1 Tuesday, 10 May 2005
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-95-12-PT, the Prosecutor versus Ivica Rajic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
10 Could I have the appearances, please. For the Prosecution.
11 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Kenneth Scott for the
12 Prosecution. I'm joined today by Ms. Josee D'Aoust and also our case
13 manager Ms. Denise Gustin.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. For the Defence.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for counsel.
16 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
17 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour. Counsel Doris
18 Kosta, co-counsel appearing for Ivica Rajic.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Rajic, can you hear the
20 proceedings in a language that you understand?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand. I'm not getting
22 any interpretation in my headset.
23 JUDGE LIU: Let me repeat my question: Can you hear the
24 proceedings in a language that you understand?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And do you have anything to complain?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I ask for leave to
3 address you at a later point with issues dealing with my Defence. As for
4 the conditions in the Detention Unit, I have no complaints.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We will come to you at a later
6 stage. You may sit down, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: This is a Status Conference in accordance with the
9 Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and the purpose of
10 this hearing is to assist the parties to facilitate the preparation of the
11 case, and there are several items on my agenda. The first issue is the
12 disclosure issues.
13 Mr. Scott, has the Prosecution complied with the obligation of
14 disclosure under Rule 66(A)(i) since January 2004?
15 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Yes. As I explained to
16 your senior legal officer this morning in a 65 ter meeting, the
17 Prosecution believes that we have complied with all discovery obligations
18 to date. Of course the Rule 68 obligation is a continuing one, which we
19 understand, but subject to that continuing disclosure obligation, we
20 believe that all disclosure is current at the present time.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could I get confirmation from
22 the Defence on that disclosure issue.
23 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as we said this morning,
24 it's true that we have received documents from the Prosecution, and we
25 agree that they continue to act pursuant to Article 68.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. The next issue is about agreed facts. Are
2 there any proposals from the side of the Prosecution concerning the agreed
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, very briefly, a report on that. You will
5 recall, Judge Liu, that in approximately August of last year the
6 Prosecution provided to Mr. Olujic approximately 200 proposed facts for
7 agreement. Unfortunately and for various reasons, there were delays in
8 receiving a response to those proposals. However, on approximately the
9 18th of March of this year we did receive a response from Mr. Olujic in
10 which he responded to each of the 200 facts, agreeing to some, agreeing --
11 in toto, agreeing in part to some, and disagreeing with others. Since
12 that time we have had approximately two meetings and various telephone
13 conversations with Mr. Olujic where some progress has been made but we're
14 still not -- haven't finalised that. And as I reported this morning, we
15 do anticipate spending quite a bit of time on that with counsel in the
16 immediate future, and in fact, since counsel's in town, we expect to sit
17 down and speak with her tomorrow on this matter.
18 So nothing more specific -- well, there is more progress than
19 there has been in the past, because we did receive a response, but it's
20 still being worked on.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your information. This matter
22 has been on our agenda for quite a long time, and I hope both parties
23 could meet together and to reach agreement on certain facts as early as
24 possible. So I hope that the parties could arrive at an agreement in a
25 month's time, at least before the summer recess.
1 Yes. The next issue will be the pre-trial briefs. Mr. Scott,
2 when do you think you are in a position to submit your pre-trial briefs?
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think we can realistically do that just
4 prior to the summer recess, which I understand starts in approximately the
5 last week of July this year, I believe, but if we could have right up
6 until that time, I think that's realistic.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
8 And how about Defence? When do you think you're in the position
9 to file your pre-trial brief?
10 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that depends on when we
11 receive the Prosecution pre-trial brief, but in accordance with what we
12 said today during the Pre-Trial Conference, I can say that we can do this
13 by the end of September. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: I see. Just for the information of the parties, we
15 might have four Trial Chambers available ready to hear any cases which is
16 ready. So I hope that both parties be prepared for the trial of this case
17 at the end of this year or at the very beginning of the next year. So the
18 most important thing is to have the filings from the both parties, the
19 pre-trial briefs. Of course, other preparation should also be undergoing
20 at this moment.
21 Mr. Scott, would you please brief me how big that case will be in
22 terms of the witnesses and the documents. You may just give me a rough
23 idea, of course, at this stage.
24 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Well, I'm happy to report we think
25 we can probably do it in a little shorter time than the Milosevic case. I
1 think we can do better, a little better than that. But I think that
2 realistically we're looking at about 30 live witnesses, approximately, and
3 20 whatever you would like to call them, 92 bis or paper witnesses. Those
4 numbers could be modified, depending, again, on the agreed facts, or
5 possible adjudicated facts could come into that. For example, if there
6 were to be adjudicated facts on the issue of international armed conflict,
7 that could reduce the number of witnesses. But roughly speaking -- and I
8 must say, Your Honour, when I did this with Mr. Harhoff this morning,
9 these were very rough estimates. It's not something we specifically
10 looked at just recently, but I think it's a ballpark estimate. So 30 live
11 and 20 on paper.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Are there any other matters concerning the
13 preparation of the case at this stage? I see none.
14 Could I turn to Mr. Rajic. I believe that you have something to
15 say to me at this stage.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I wish to assist
17 the work of the Court, the Prosecution, and my Defence. With respect to
18 the response to these 200 facts, I have given my precise instructions and
19 told everything I know to my counsel, Attorney Zeljko Olujic. He
20 proceeded to work and this, but at a later stage I discovered that he had
21 not followed my instructions faithfully, or the facts that I told him.
22 Therefore, I think that the document delivered by him is factually
23 inaccurate in many respects, and there are matters there I cannot agree
25 I think that whether intentionally or unintentionally, my defence
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 has been obstructed.
2 I have informed the Office of the Prosecutor of this, and I asked
3 my attorney to come so that we could clarify this. I asked that he attend
4 this Status Conference so that this matter can be clarified. However, he
5 has not shown up. For this reason, I conclude that certain problems have
6 arisen in my relations with my Defence counsel. I will try to solve them,
7 but I have no way of doing that until he comes to The Hague.
8 My co-counsel, Ms. Doris Kosta, is unable to communicate with me,
9 and for this reason I am not receiving legal aid.
10 That is all I wish to say at present, Your Honour, and I hope that
11 with your many years of legal experience you can assist me and help me
12 with your advice. Thank you.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Generally speaking, the
14 communications before the accused and his counsel should be kept
15 confidential. I believe that is the principle in the Rules. Anyway, we
16 quite understand the situation you are in at this moment. I'm very much
17 worried about the preparation of this case because of that relationship
18 between you and your lead counsel.
19 Ms. Kosta, would you please inform me why Mr. Olujic was not able
20 to come for this Status Conference.
21 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] As far as I am aware, Your Honour, he
22 has to appear in court in Croatia. I believe that this is also a
23 reflection of the situation that has obtained over the past month between
24 Mr. Rajic and Mr. Olujic.
25 JUDGE LIU: And when do you think that Mr. Olujic will be here in
1 The Hague?
2 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] Next week he should be here. As our
3 client has been persistently asking for a meeting with him, I will ask him
4 to travel here at once, especially as we have outstanding matters to
5 discuss with the Prosecutor's office as well.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Please convey my words to him that his
7 client is in need of him in The Hague for some very important matters of
8 this case. Thank you.
9 Are there any other matters that the parties would like to raise
10 at this stage?
11 Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. Thank you very much. I mean, we're
13 also quite concerned about the situation and which was only fully
14 appreciated by us today based on conversations with counsel who is here,
15 who has been quite helpful in this respect. But of course we're very
16 concerned because it raises all sorts of uncertainties as to who -- who to
17 deal with and who has authority to speak for Mr. Rajic at this point.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Ms. Kosta?
19 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] I did inform all those present at the
20 Rule 68 ter [as interpreted] meeting this morning about the situation. I
21 believe that at present I am able to protect the interests of our client,
22 Mr. Rajic. I will do my best to have Mr. Olujic travel to The Hague and
23 have a meeting with the accused.
24 It is true that a problem has arisen, and I have drawn attention
25 to it this morning. Since June, I have not been able to have telephone
1 contacts with Mr. Rajic.
2 JUDGE LIU: What's the reason for that problem? Can you shed some
3 light on that?
4 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in May last year, I was
5 away from my office. I was not in the city of my residence. I do not
6 know when my client will call me on the phone and make use of the
7 privileged telephone line. On the day that he called, his wife happened
8 to be in my office. My intern very recklessly and in ignorance of the
9 Rules of The Hague Tribunal and the Detention Unit said to him, "Well,
10 here's your wife," and he said to her, "Your husband is on the phone," and
11 they greeted each other on the phone. I was not aware of this.
12 I do not know how this came to light, because we have received
13 guarantees that our telephone conversations with our client are not
14 listened into. We did not intend to abuse the privileged telephone line.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, to my understanding, the privileged telephone
16 line is for the accused and his counsel only. It should not be misused or
17 abused. I believe there must be a reason for that, and that bar could be
18 lifted if the accused is sure that he will never abuse this privilege.
19 If the accused would like to do so, he could file something,
20 application, to the Registrar and to see what they could do to it. I
21 believe that this matter is entirely in the mandate of the Registrar.
22 Is that all right?
23 MS. KOSTA: [Interpretation] I fully agree with Your Honour. We
24 have already or, rather, my colleague Mr. Olujic has already applied to
25 the Registry. We have apologised. And this was not an intentional abuse
1 of the privileged telephone line.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Anyway, we'll see to it.
3 Yes, Mr. Rajic, do you have anything to add?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your
5 suggestion, and here in front of you I wish to promise that no line will
6 be abused. Should such a thing happen, I fully agree to have all my
7 communications cut off. However, this was truly unintentional. I give my
8 word in front of all these people here and Your Honour. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I believe that I'll send the
10 transcript to the Registrar and let him read your views on it. And I also
11 hope Ms. Kosta could send this transcript to the lead counsel, Mr. Olujic,
12 on those matters.
13 Well, I believe that's all for this Status Conference. The
14 hearing is adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
16 at 2.52 p.m.