Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 848

1 Tuesday, 15 May 2001

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please announce the case, Madam Registrar.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-9-PT, the Prosecutor versus

8 Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. May we have the appearances, for the

10 Prosecution.

11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,

12 counsel. My name is Peter McCloskey, appearing for the first time on this

13 case. I am joined by Gramsci di Fazio and Aisling Reidy for the

14 Prosecution.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. For the Defence.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I am Igor Pantelic,

17 Defence counsel on behalf of my client, Dr. Blagoje Simic, who is today

18 with us.

19 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic and

20 Miss Catherine Baen for Milan Simic.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Attorney

23 Nowak Lukic from Belgrade for Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and also assisting me,

24 Mr. Krgovic, from Belgrade.

25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I'm

Page 849

1 Borislav Pisarevic representing Mr. Simo Zaric.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Pisarevic.

3 Today's proceedings were originally designated as a Pre-Trial

4 Conference. We'll have to change that to a Status Conference for the

5 following reasons: We have two new Judges assigned to the case, Judges

6 May and Fassi Fihri, and the Rules require the Chamber to examine the

7 pre-trial briefs very closely, and this requires time for us to analyse

8 the briefs and also for translation into both working languages. What we

9 have decided to do, then, is to set the Pre-Trial Conference for

10 Wednesday, the 27th of June, at 2.30 p.m. That would allow us to make the

11 necessary preparations.

12 I am to announce that the trial date for this case is set for the

13 10th of September, although it would be before a different composition of

14 Judges, but the 10th of September.

15 The accused persons who are now on provisional release are to

16 return to the Detention Unit at least a week before the trial commences,

17 and the Chamber will confirm this by an order nearer to that time.

18 The sitting hours for the trial will be as requested to take

19 account of Mr. Milan Simic's medical condition, four hours maximum per

20 day.

21 Mr. McCloskey, there are some matters relating to witnesses. I

22 take it that you have been fully briefed. Facial distortion was granted

23 for seven witnesses, and the OTP was to report as to whether a particular

24 witness, Witness I, would testify with facial distortion or would seek

25 closed session. That was by way of the order of the 26th May 1999, and

Page 850

1 the OTP indicated that it would check their position and report back. Are

2 you in a position to tell us what the situation now is with Witness I?

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I will turn the floor over to

4 Mr. di Fazio who has been, as you know, on this case. I have literally

5 just been appointed to this case and have -- and I have all the confidence

6 that Mr. di Fazio, as an experienced lawyer, will be able to deal with

7 most of those issues.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours. The situation is that

10 it's a non-issue. He's not on the witness list. We don't intend to call

11 him.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You don't intend to call Witness I?

13 MR. DI FAZIO: No.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, okay. And the OTP was also to confirm,

15 Mr. di Fazio, whether Todorovic's statements have been disclosed to

16 Defence.

17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. The situation in that respect is this, if

18 Your Honours please: Some interviews have been conducted. They -- the

19 videos are available and are currently being transcribed and translated,

20 and I expect that that entire task of, which relates to four - will

21 Your Honours just bear with me - which relates to four interviews will be

22 complete within four weeks and almost certainly sooner than that, but four

23 weeks at the outside. So all of that material can be handed over easily

24 within that time frame.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Within four weeks?

Page 851

1 MR. DI FAZIO: Within four weeks.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. di Fazio.

3 There is a motion to amend the indictment. The motion is

4 relatively simple. It seeks to remove Mr. Todorovic from the indictment;

5 in respect of Blagoje Simic, it deletes the Article 7(3) responsibility

6 charge; and in respect of Milan Simic, it deletes four counts, leaving the

7 indictment with nine counts. The Chamber grants the motion, and a written

8 decision to that effect will be issued shortly.

9 Are there any other matters which counsel may wish to raise before

10 I call on Mr. Simic?

11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Just for sake of clarification,

12 it seems to me that on the last hearing regarding the -- Mr. Todorovic

13 sentence, the learned colleague from the OTP bench Ms. Paterson stated

14 that, in total, five interviews were conducted with Mr. Todorovic, so I

15 would like to check whether it's five or four.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. di Fazio.

17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I haven't been engaged in

18 the task of transcribing and examining the interviews as yet. I intend to

19 look at them in the very near future. My understanding is that there are

20 only four interviews conducted thus far. It's likely a further interview

21 will be conducted. That wasn't occurred yet. So at the moment, the task

22 of transcribing and translating and redacting is ongoing, and that relates

23 to only four interviews so far.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I hope that should clarify the matter.

25 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Another issue, Your Honours. With your

Page 852

1 leave, I would formulate the application or motion regarding the,

2 regarding the witnesses with pseudonyms because, as I am informed, in some

3 other cases it was discovered -- I mean, the Defence was entitled to know

4 the general, general facts or, I mean, names, et cetera, of course,

5 subject to protective measures, in order to prepare the cross-examination,

6 in order to prepare Defence.

7 I mean, so if we are dealing with some witnesses with this kind of

8 thing, I kindly and respectfully would like to formulate my motion. So

9 subject to certain restrictions, of course, which are familiar with all of

10 us, I apply for this ruling. Thank you.

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. di Fazio, at the last Status Conference, I am

14 reminded that the Prosecutor undertook to make that disclosure 30 days

15 prior to the witness giving evidence, and at that time the Chamber felt

16 that that was reasonable. On further thought, we believe that a period of

17 six weeks would be more reasonable in the circumstances.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, if Your Honours -- yes, if Your Honours

19 please, I can see no reason why that shouldn't be changed from 30 to 6

20 weeks, so I have no particular objection to that, but I can't say that

21 I've examined the issue in detail. I've seen it in the transcript of the

22 Status Conferences, and I would like to reserve the Prosecution's

23 position, if I could, on that -- the Prosecution's response, if I could,

24 on that issue.

25 As I said, at this stage I can't see any obvious reason that

Page 853

1 stands out as to why the Prosecution should object to that; however, I do

2 need some time to consider the reasons as to why that, that application

3 was made, the reasons why that ruling was sought by the Prosecution. I

4 can't address you on that at the moment, so that is the position. I could

5 easily notify the Tribunal and my learned friends of the Prosecution's

6 attitude on that aspect in a very short period of time.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. di Fazio, we'll give you 14 days --

8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- in which to make the response.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm grateful to Your Honours.

11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.


13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Would an oral response to the Court's officer be

14 sufficient, or do you expect a written response?

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think in the circumstances a written response,

16 yes.

17 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any other matters? Yes, Mr. Zecevic.

19 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to propose

20 that the OTP be ordered in regard of production of transcripts of

21 Mr. Stevan Todorovic, that the OTP be given a specific deadline, that is,

22 a date for the production of these transcripts; and I propose that it be

23 20 June, seven days before the Pre-Trial Conference. Thank you.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will consult on that.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 854

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. di Fazio, how do you respond to that?

2 MR. DI FAZIO: I have no problem --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: I apologise, Your Honours. I've got no problem

5 with that, and I'm sure we can get the material to the Defence easily

6 within that time. The only matter that arises is the possibility of a

7 further interview, so I would ask that any order does not encompass or

8 refer to a further interview, material obtained from Mr. Todorovic in a

9 further interview; in other words, one that has not yet been conducted.

10 Other than that, I'm sure that timetable can be adhered to.

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, then. The Chamber will require the

13 OTP to make available to the Defence by the 20th of June transcripts of

14 the four available interviews, and the additional interview or any other

15 interview which is being conducted as quickly thereafter as possible.

16 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Simic, will you stand. I have to ask you

18 whether you have any matters that you wish to raise relating to the case

19 or, in particular, to the conditions of your detention.

20 THE ACCUSED B. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we are adjourned until the 27th of June at

22 2.30 p.m.

23 Mr. di Fazio.

24 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, there's just another

25 matter or two that I would like to raise with the Tribunal, if I may --

Page 855

1 the Chamber at this stage, if I may; that is, the question of further

2 evidence. I intend to obtain some further evidence in the form of

3 transcripts and statements relating to international armed conflict, so

4 I'd like to put the Defence on notice of that, and that will invoke the

5 use of Rule 92 bis, I believe.

6 And secondly, I wondered if the Tribunal had in mind any period of

7 time for this particular trial, or whether that is a matter to be decided

8 at the Pre-Trial Conference.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think we will discuss that at the Pre-Trial

10 Conference.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. In that case, I have no further issues

12 to raise.

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are adjourned until Wednesday, 27th June, at

14 2.30 p.m.

15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

16 at 10.20 a.m.