1 Monday, 17 March 2003
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.02 p.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. This is a Status Conference for us to look at
6 our Defence witnesses who are remaining and see if we can reorganise, in
7 view of the status of health of Mr. Simo Zaric and Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
8 As was reported this morning during the proceedings in connection
9 with Mr. Simo Zaric's health, counsel was saying that he is supposed to
10 have surgery performed?
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour is right. He will definitely
12 have surgical -- surgery. First of all, we thought that he would have it
13 in the month of May, and it was the last information that we have up until
14 today. But the recent development of his illness and information that we
15 have just received from Mr. Zaric after he came here in the Trial Chamber,
16 it seems that it's going to be most probably in April. I advised
17 Mr. Zaric that if surgery is necessary, and it definitely is, he should go
18 on surgery in the week or in these ten days when we have a trial recess,
19 starting from April 18. But it is not solely up to him to decide whether
20 it's going to be in April. It needs to be scheduled with a specialist and
21 everything. So at this point, we still have not enough information to
22 give a precise answer to the Trial Chamber as whether it's going to
24 JUDGE MUMBA: But he is on medication?
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, he is on medication, but basically he gets
1 painkillers. There is not any medication that can resolve the problem.
2 He just receives painkillers, and they have their period of -- and after
3 this period expires, he starts suffering pains, and this is the main
4 problem that we have here in the trial. He's really willing to be present
5 here and to follow the proceedings, but at one point he just cannot do it
6 any more.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, other than the
9 information about the last examination, when Dr. Falke said that Mr. Tadic
10 is not able to attend trial proceedings the whole day, we do not have any
11 new information. Mr. Tadic keeps telling me all the time that he's hoping
12 that these proceedings will end as soon as possible. However, in my
13 professional view, and as I told him today, and as far as his health is
14 concerned, I told him that he should attend just half a day, until the
15 doctor tells him otherwise. I know that this week he has therapy in the
16 afternoons, related to his illness, and I know that regarding certain
17 witnesses, Mr. Tadic would agree for the proceedings to go on in his
18 absence. But I thought that in the longer term, if the proceedings are
19 planned for the whole day, I thought that we could perhaps secure the same
20 measures as in the case of Milan Simic, I mean organising a videolink.
21 However, when I heard that Zaric also would be unable to attend the trial,
22 then I gave up on that idea. So other than the report from the doctor
23 recommending Mr. Tadic to attend only half a day of the proceedings, we
24 don't have any other information from the doctor.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Was that medical report filed?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is the report which we received
2 after Mr. Tadic stopped testifying. After that, he went through the
3 medical examination, and then we got the report from Dr. Falke that in his
4 condition Mr. Tadic is unable to attend the proceedings for the whole
5 day. I have the report. I found it in my locker. It was sent to me by
6 the registry. So I assume that it's been filed. I received this medical
7 report about two weeks ago, so I'm not exactly sure when.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. I wanted to find out how many more
9 witnesses for -- yet to appear for Dr. Blagoje Simic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, at the top of my head, at this moment,
11 because I'm waiting for the translation of the additional 92 bis
12 statements, so whether there would be certain objections from the
13 Prosecution side. So we have to see.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No. No. Before we --
15 MR. PANTELIC: Up to now, Your Honour, I think we have one, one
16 witness, in accordance with the cross-examination, chief and
17 cross-examination, and I think his name is Cedo Simic.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That one we are aware of. How many statements
19 are being prepared.
20 MR. PANTELIC: You mean in total?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. The ones you are waiting for, how many?
22 How many more?
23 MR. PANTELIC: Eight. Eight, Your Honour. Among them a few -- I
24 think two maybe are the character witnesses, so we could say, let's say,
25 five or six are --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: So these statements are waiting translation.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Awaiting translation, yes. And then we are waiting
3 for the position of my learned friend from the Prosecution office to say
4 whether they want to cross-examine some of them.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What the Trial Chamber wanted to find out was
6 whether it is possible to bring the witnesses in which the rulings have
7 already been made for Rule 92 bis and continue with them for the other --
8 for Mr. Blagoje Simic and Miroslav Tadic, because we have to wait for Simo
9 Zaric's viva voce witnesses to come to an end, whether it's possible to
10 bring them and then we can proceed with them, in case the condition of
11 Mr. Simo Zaric doesn't improve.
12 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Miroslav Tadic's defence, as you know,
14 already has the Trial Chamber's decision regarding five witnesses who
15 would come under Rule 92.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Partially for viva voce testimony and
18 partially for cross-examination, and then there are another two witnesses
19 that the Prosecution has told us about last Friday. I tried last week to
20 see about these five witnesses that there is already a decision for.
21 Three of them have their travel documents already, and for the two of
22 them, such procedures have been initiated. As far as we're concerned, and
23 with the help of the registry and the secretariat, perhaps we would need a
24 little bit of logistics support so that they could come and testify next
25 week. I would need to know that at the end of this week, because two of
1 these witnesses are business people, so I have to also check back with
2 them. I cannot just say: Come in five days. They are asking for some
3 kind of advance notice so that they could organise their work in such a
4 way that they would be able to come.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: So that in the case of these witnesses in your case,
6 it is possible to bring them as from next week?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if I would be able to
8 guarantee that right now. Perhaps I could have information about that in
9 two days. I've only been inquiring through my investigator about their
10 travel documents, whether they have them or not, because I know that's the
11 longest procedure for those who don't have valid travel documents. This
12 is something that can be taken care of fairly quickly. Perhaps I could
13 organise for three of them to come, but I would only know about this in
14 two to three days.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: The other alternative for the two accused who are
16 unable to continue, subject to the medical report, would be to have the
17 proceedings via videolink with the Detention Unit, in which case then we
18 would be able to proceed for the afternoon sessions. Because the
19 courtroom is available and the Trial Chamber was trying to see if we could
20 continue the proceedings so that we get through the witnesses, especially
21 the short witnesses who are coming under Rule 92 bis.
22 This will mean breaking up Mr. Simo Zaric's sequence of witnesses
23 and see if we can finish Dr. Blagoje Simic and Miroslav Tadic's witnesses
24 so that we can start dealing with their closing briefs, and then while we
25 continue with Mr. Simo Zaric, depending on his health.
1 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would just like Your Honour, some
3 clarification regarding the closing statements. Does that mean that then
4 you would do the closing statements first and then continue the Zaric
5 proceedings? Since this is a joint case, I don't think that we could
6 accept to give the closing statements before the actual proceedings were
8 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous interpretation continues] ... preparation
9 part. No. This is a joint trial. If we continue as a joint trial, then
10 the dates will have to be the same, because by then all the
11 cross-examination will have been completed when we finish all the
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I can perhaps, while
14 we're on this topic - maybe it's not directly related, but it does relate
15 to our proceedings - I would like to address the Trial Chamber about a
16 problem that is of some concern to me, I must admit. This is actually of
17 concern to all the Defence. This is the demographic testimony. We have
18 asked for a decision asking the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
19 act in accordance with the Trial Chamber when we receive this decision.
20 We still haven't received any information. What I wanted to inform the
21 Trial Chamber is as follows: Last weeks and over the last few days, in
22 one of the cases our expert is testifying, Ms. Svetlana Radovanovic. I
23 had the opportunity to see her on Friday and to talk to her a little bit
24 about the method of her work, what she told me, and this is very open
25 still, because she doesn't know what is in the data of the Prosecution's
1 experts, and that is as follows: From the point where she would be
2 allowed to have access to these documents, in her opinion she would need
3 three to five working days on condition that she has the help of her
4 computer assistant, she could make this analysis. After that, she needs
5 at least 15 days to make her report. She needs a certain amount of time
6 for this report to be translated into the official language, and then
7 a certain amount of time is needed for the Prosecution to tell us what
8 they think and whether they wish to cross-examine the expert. I see that
9 the Trial Chamber does intend for these proceedings to go on at a certain
10 pace, but this could prove to be a new impediment to the timely completion
11 of this case. This is what I wanted to inform the Trial Chamber about. I
12 don't know what we could do in this matter. Perhaps we could ask the
13 matter to be expedited or something else. What I did propose is for our
14 expert witness and her assistant possibly could make an oath before the
15 Chamber about the confidentiality of the documents, and perhaps they could
16 embark upon the actual procedure and they would act in accordance with
17 their professional ethics in maintaining the confidentiality of the
18 documents, since the documents are already in the possession of the
19 Prosecution and since it has already been permitted for these documents to
20 be looked through. I just wanted to draw the attention of the Trial
21 Chamber to this so that later we're not in the situation where we need to
22 extend some deadlines. It is also in our interest and in the interest of
23 our expert witness for this procedure to be completed as soon as
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: On the documents for the demographic expert, the
2 Trial Chamber has already issued a request to the authorities of Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina, and we're just waiting for their response.
4 Very well. The proceedings will continue in the morning tomorrow
5 with the witness who is already on the stand, and see how far we can go.
6 And the Trial Chamber will request medical reports in the -- for the two
7 accused, Mr. Tadic and Mr. Simo Zaric. And we'll also look into the
8 possibility of having a videolink so that we can continue our proceedings,
9 if necessary.
10 Yes, Mr. Re.
11 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour. There's another matter relating
12 to witnesses which maybe we should raise at the moment. It arised from
13 the Rule 71 depositions heard in Belgrade a month ago. There were two
14 witnesses whose evidence we heard, of course in the Trial Chamber's
15 absence, that the Prosecution feels should come to The Hague to continue
16 their evidence. One of them specifically his name is Marko Tubakovic, I
17 think. He gave evidence which in a sense could be seen as evidence
18 against -- I think it was Mr. Zaric's witness, gave evidence which could
19 be seen as against Dr. Blagoje Simic's interests, and the Trial Chamber's
20 ruling, of course, in interpreting the Rules, was that Mr. Pantelic was
21 precluded from cross-examining that particular witness. Now, when his
22 evidence is transcribed, it will come out fairly strongly as against
23 Dr. Blagoje Simic's interests. The Prosecution too in the 30 minutes or I
24 think it was 40 with time banked to cross-examine that particular witness,
25 couldn't put all matters to that witness that we wished to. Dr. Simic, of
1 course, hasn't been able to cross-examine the witness and of course it
2 would be in the interests of justice that this witness attend The Hague to
3 give evidence.
4 There was one other witness whose name just escapes me at the
5 moment, but I can certainly advise the Chamber's legal officer later, in a
6 similar category. The difficulty we have at the moment is that the
7 evidence of these witnesses has not yet been transcribed. Our case
8 manager has asked the transcription people to get on to those particular
9 witnesses first, if possible, and that was some weeks ago. So it's a bit
10 hard to make the application without the transcript in front of us. But
11 I'm flagging that at the moment, as there are two possible extra witnesses
12 the Prosecution will request the Trial Chamber proprio motu rather than
13 attempt to call them in rebuttal because we feel that they will be more
14 appropriately heard within the Defence case than by the Prosecution in
15 rebuttal. But we will come to that matter as soon as we can get those
16 particular witnesses' evidence transcribed.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is also waiting for the
18 transcripts, to look at the objections that were raised and be able to
19 make its rulings.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. And if I may just briefly have
21 your attention. If I understood correctly Your Honours we will proceed
22 with witnesses that are already here in The Hague. Because here we have
23 four witnesses. These are first witnesses from the list that Mr. Zaric
24 listed for his Defence, and they are intended to come viva voce anyway.
25 So these witnesses will continue -- well, start their testimony tomorrow
1 and the day after tomorrow and this week. This is what it's going to be.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because -- yes. That's what I said, that we
3 will continue with their testimony. It would have been better if we were
4 able to sit afternoons as well, because then we would be able to conclude
5 their testimony.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Then we shall, after we receive a medical
7 report from Mr. Zaric, Tadic we will decide what to do with the
8 proceedings, whether we should bring other witnesses or break and then --
9 yes. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will adjourn now and I only wish to say
11 that subject to the medical reports, the sequence of witnesses will be
12 varied up to the conclusion of the trial.
13 We shall rise.
14 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
15 3.26 p.m.