1 Wednesday, 20 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present in court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to deal first with the wider issues
6 relating to the trial and secondly with the specific issue that relates to
7 the witness Kosta Bulatovic.
8 Yesterday when we adjourned, we were awaiting a medical report on
9 the health of the accused Slobodan Milosevic. We have received a report,
10 and the Chamber has determined that it's in the interest of the trial and
11 there is a public interest in the disclosure of the report, so I'll read
12 the report.
13 It's from Dr. Falke, and it says: "Further to the Milosevic
14 meeting yesterday evening and the specific questions posed by the Trial
15 Chamber this morning, I confirm that Mr. Milosevic should not attend court
16 for the duration of this week.
17 "In relation to the questions posed by Judge Robinson:
18 "What is wrong with the accused? Beginning on Friday,
19 16/4/2005, I noticed an increase in Mr. Milosevic's blood pressure
20 readings which spiked to an unacceptably high 215/130 on Monday afternoon.
21 "Why should he not attend court? With reference to the first
22 question, as the blood pressure was dangerously high yesterday afternoon,
23 coupled with an increased risk of cardiovascular accident, it is
24 imperative that any stressful activity should be ruled out until the blood
25 pressure has normalised.
1 "How long will he be unable to attend court? In consultation
2 with the consulting cardiologist, the medication regime has been changed.
3 Providing the amended medication takes effect, the accused should
4 convalesce for the remainder of this week, and I will review his condition
5 on Monday, 25/4/2005."
6 That's the medical report.
7 I should inform the parties that the Chamber has since informed
8 the doctor that the report and the review of the condition of
9 Mr. Milosevic should take place by Friday of this week so that we will be
10 informed before the end of the week about the condition of the accused and
11 be in a position to determine what will happen next week, since next week
12 we are due to sit Monday to Wednesday.
13 If there are no comments on this matter, I will ask Mr. Kay to
14 inform the Chamber about his briefing with Mr. Jasovic.
15 MR. KAY: Yes. I went to the hotel where Mr. Jasovic is staying
16 yesterday, having been informed whilst I was in the building that he
17 wouldn't consent to see me, but I decided, nevertheless, to go myself and
18 meet him. And I did meet him, and I spoke to him for some 15 minutes, in
19 which I explained to him that -- the position and asked whether he would
20 agree to become a witness in the Milosevic case for the Defence, albeit
21 being questioned by me, and he refused on several occasions to consent to
22 such a course. And so in those circumstances -- I have no proof of
23 evidence from him, and I'm unable to -- to advise the Court as to what he
24 would -- would say.
25 Having reviewed the file of exhibits that he produces or seeks to
1 produce, it is clear that he is an important witness, particularly
2 relating to the activities of the KLA in the Stimlje area, not exclusively
3 Racak but Rance, other towns around Stimlje, or villages, which have a
4 bearing on the indictment and the allegation concerning Racak in
6 So that's all I can say about that particular matter. Yesterday
7 the Court said that before any issue of the trial continuing in the
8 absence of the accused, a trial in absentia, that the trial would have
9 legal argument -- the Trial Chamber would have legal argument before it,
10 and I've told you that we have worked on such a document in advance,
11 although it is not completed but would be completed later on today, and
12 it's a thorough review of the issue.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
14 Mr. Nice, do you have any --
15 MR. NICE: Only one observation in respect of what Mr. Kay's just
16 said. We understood that Jasovic was a willing witness at the hands of
17 the accused, although that was never, I suppose, absolutely expressly
18 revealed, but it was the clear implication of the conduct of the Defence
19 case by the accused. Mr. Kay doesn't say expressly that the refusal of
20 Jasovic is because of the absence from the courtroom of the accused and,
21 therefore, doesn't tell us that Jasovic would be a willing witness were
22 the accused in fact to be here.
23 MR. KAY: That is the case.
24 MR. NICE: I'm much obliged.
25 MR. KAY: That much is obvious.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 I want to turn next to the matter relating to the witness Kosta
3 Bulatovic. Let the witness be brought into court.
4 Mr. Bourgon, I recognise you.
5 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning, Your
6 Honours. If I may ask with leave of the Trial Chamber to address the
7 Trial Chamber in the absence of the witness, before he is brought in.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, you may.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone is on, Your Honours.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bourgon, I presume that you will be seeking
12 to address the Chamber in the absence of the witness with the consent of
13 the witness?
14 MR. BOURGON: Indeed so, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead.
16 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Your Honours, I have been assigned by the Registrar to act as
18 standby counsel to the witness Mr. Bulatovic pursuant to the wish of the
19 Trial Chamber yesterday at the end of the hearing. For this purpose, I
20 have been provided with a copy of the transcript of yesterday's session,
21 which I have had the benefit of consulting. I have also met with
22 Mr. Bulatovic this morning for approximately 45 minutes. What I would
23 like to do at this time before the witness is brought in is simply to
24 report to the Trial Chamber as to my duties accomplished as standby
1 I have -- I am informed this morning, and Mr. Bulatovic will
2 confirm the same, that last night he met with an associate of the accused
3 as was requested after the hearing by the parties. I'm also informed --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bourgon, I've got to express concern. Why are
5 we hearing this outwith the presence of the witness? Is there a reason
6 for that?
7 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, simply to report on my duties as
8 standby counsel. If the Court wishes, I can do the same report in the
9 presence of the witness who I met this morning. I thought it would be
10 more appropriate to have this information before having a chance to get
11 the witness's position this morning.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. If my colleagues think that's the
13 appropriate course.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Let the witness be brought in.
16 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 WITNESS: KOSTA BULATOVIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bulatovic, the counsel assigned to you,
21 Mr. Bourgon, was addressing the Chamber, but the Chamber has brought you
22 in because we consider that you should be here to hear what he's saying.
23 Mr. Bourgon, you may address the Court. Start again.
24 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I will start my
25 submission again, which will be very short.
1 I have been assigned by the Registrar of this Tribunal to stand --
2 to act as standby counsel to the witness, Mr. Bulatovic, pursuant to the
3 wish of the Trial Chamber expressed at the end of the hearing yesterday.
4 I have been provided with a copy of the transcript of yesterday's session,
5 which I have read, and I have also met with Mr. Bulatovic this morning for
6 approximately a period of 45 minutes. What I wish to do at this time,
7 with the consent of Mr. Bulatovic, is simply to report on my activities as
8 standby counsel to allow the Court to benefit from all the information
9 before they would ask any questions to the witness.
10 I have been informed that Mr. Bulatovic, yesterday, has met with
11 an associate of the accused as was authorised by the Chamber after the
12 hearing. I'm also informed that this meeting was kept to discussing the
13 issue of the testimony of the witness and that it had nothing to do with
14 the substance of his testimony.
15 In my dealings this morning with the witness, Mr. Bulatovic, I
16 have informed him of the applicable rules and regulations of the
17 International Tribunal dealing with his situation as a witness before the
18 Trial Chamber this morning. I simply wish to confirm that at this point
19 in time Mr. Bulatovic is ready to answer questions of the Court and make
20 his positions known in full knowledge of the possible consequences.
21 Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
23 Mr. Bulatovic, when we adjourned yesterday, we adjourned to give
24 you time to reconsider your position, that is to say, whether you are
25 prepared to answer questions asked by the Prosecutor in cross-examination.
1 Have you reconsidered that position?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have reconsidered.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what is the position that you now take?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by the decision I presented
5 to you yesterday.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: To be absolutely clear: That means you are not
7 prepared to answer questions of the Prosecutor in cross-examination.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: As I said yesterday, you are liable to be charged
10 with contempt under the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn for half an hour so the charge
13 may be formulated. So we will resume at ten minutes to 10.00.
14 Mr. Bourgon.
15 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, am I to understand that a decision
16 has been made, that he is being charged? Because you say that the charge
17 is being prepared. Or is it just a proposal? I would just like to know
18 exactly what is the status of the witness at this point in time.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: He will be charged. The charge will be
20 formulated and will be read to you and to the witness when we resume at
21 ten minutes to 10.00.
22 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 --- Break taken at 9.23 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber has issued an order pursuant to
1 Rule 77(D)(ii). That order should be transmitted to the witness and his
2 counsel Mr. Bourgon. It may be transmitted to the parties as well.
3 The order is in English, and we recognise that it needs to be
4 translated. I am going to go through the order, and the translated
5 version in the language of the witness will be available in about an
6 hour's time.
7 The order notes the refusal of the witness to answer questions
8 asked by the Prosecution in cross-examination. It sets out the relevant
9 provisions of Rule 77, and it states that the Trial Chamber has reason to
10 believe that the witness may be in contempt and that it is appropriate for
11 the Chamber to initiate proceedings itself. It also states that the Trial
12 Chamber considers that there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the
13 witness for contempt, and pursuant to Rule 77(D)(ii) to issue an order in
14 lieu of an indictment and to prosecute the matter itself.
15 Then the order sets out the charge, and I read slowly: "Kosta
16 Bulatovic, born in 1937 in the village of Dobrusa in Northern Metohija, is
17 charged that on the 19th and the 20th of April, 2005, being a witness
18 before Trial Chamber III of the International Tribunal, he knowingly and
19 wilfully interfered with the administration of justice by contumaciously
20 refusing to answer questions asked by the Prosecution, contrary to
21 Rule 77(A)(i) of the Rules."
22 That's the specific charge. The Trial Chamber will prosecute the
23 matter itself.
24 It is right that Mr. Bulatovic and his counsel should have time to
25 consider this matter, and for that purpose we will adjourn until 12.30,
1 when we'll -- we'll resume and take a plea from Mr. Bulatovic.
2 Mr. Bourgon.
3 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 I would just like to clarify for the benefit of the Trial Chamber
5 that during the break, during the adjournment I have had a conversation
6 with the Deputy Registrar who has clarified my mandate given to me by the
7 Registrar. I noted earlier, Mr. President, that there was no order in
8 writing. Yesterday it had been explained to me that I was to act as
9 standby counsel for a witness. It has now been clarified that my mandate
10 is twofold. It was to both act as standby counsel to a witness, and if
11 and when such witness was to be accused of contempt pursuant to Rule 77 of
12 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, that in such a case I was to
13 represent him. Of course, subject to the consent of Mr. Bulatovic, the
14 witness, who has now become an accused.
15 I will therefore, Your Honour, consult with my client during this
16 break. However, to facilitate the issue of my consultations with the
17 client, I would like to ask some clarification from the Trial Chamber as
18 to how the Trial Chamber intends to proceed with this matter. You have
19 just mentioned a few moments ago that you intend to have an initial
20 appearance this afternoon.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. I didn't say initial appearance. No, I
22 said we will take a plea. As you know, the Rules apply mutatis mutandis
23 to the prosecution of a contempt under Rule 77. They apply but just
24 mutatis mutandis. So what we'll do is we'll take a plea when we resume
25 at 12.30, and we will proceed with the trial for contempt. We'll hear
1 anything which the accused person has to say in his defence or any
2 submissions that you wish to make on it.
3 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Your Honour. I may -- if I may inform
4 the trial at this time that I have considered the matter and of course I
5 need to consult with the witness, but there might be some preliminary
6 submissions at 12.30 when we reconvene.
7 Thank you very much, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
9 We are adjourned until 12.30.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.09 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bourgon, I see you on your feet. Do you have
13 submissions before we proceed with the plea and the hearing?
14 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President. On behalf of the accused,
15 whom has accepted to be represented by myself, at least until trial
16 proceedings are instituted, I would like to address the Court and make the
17 following preliminary submissions.
18 To begin with, Your Honours, an order has been issued, and the
19 trial has decided to proceed in this matter against Mr. Bulatovic pursuant
20 to Rule 77 subparagraph (D)(ii). As was mentioned by the Trial Chamber,
21 parts 4 to 8 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence apply mutatis mutandis
22 to contempt of court procedures. However, the Trial Chamber has confirmed
23 just before the adjournment that this was not per se an initial appearance
24 pursuant to Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and that the
25 Trial Chamber intends to first take a plea, and two, to proceed with the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 trial for contempt.
2 In this respect, Your Honours, I wish to make the following
3 preliminary submissions: My first submission is that it would not be
4 appropriate for this Trial Chamber to proceed with the trial for contempt.
5 In support of this submission, I offer the following arguments: First,
6 Rule 77 subparagraph (C)(ii) states that the Trial Chamber may initiate
7 proceedings itself. In this case an order has been issued by the Trial
8 Chamber and the Chamber has done that. It has initiated proceedings.
9 We then move to subparagraph (D)(ii), which says that the Chamber
10 may also prosecute the matter itself. Our submission, Mr. President, is
11 that it would not it be appropriate for the Trial Chamber to prosecute
12 this matter.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're saying it would be an improper exercise of
14 our discretion.
15 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President, and I would like to explain
17 Mr. President, when we look on the face of it, prima facie, the
18 order issued by the Trial Chamber is straightforward and the charge itself
19 may appear to be simple. First, did the Prosecution ask any questions?
20 And second, did the accused refuse to answer these questions? So indeed
21 it may appear to be simple.
22 However, in this case my submission is that the matter is much
23 more complicated. The issue in this case, Mr. President, is was the
24 accused, when he was a witness before this Chamber, required to answer
25 such questions in the first place? The background to this question,
1 Mr. President, is whether this Tribunal has jurisdiction to hold a trial
2 or trial -- or parts of a trial in absentia. Should the answer to this
3 question be no, then in our view the matter is closed and the issue
4 becomes moot.
5 Yesterday, the Trial Chamber has rendered a decision on this issue
6 based on an interpretation of a decision rendered by the Appeals Chamber.
7 It said it could proceed without the accused being present. Moreover, the
8 Trial Chamber has recognised that this is an issue which is, first of all,
9 not clear, and more importantly, which will require detailed submissions
10 from the parties. In other words, Mr. President, the Trial Chamber has
11 already made up its mind with respect to whether it could proceed
12 in absentia in this case.
13 In light of the above, it is our respectful submission that it
14 would not be appropriate for the Trial Chamber to deal with this matter.
15 In support of this submission, I would like to quote the following
16 paragraph which comes from the United Kingdom, and this refers to a
17 practice note which was issued by the Lord Chief Justice in May of 2001.
18 Reference, 3 All E.R. 94. I apologise for not knowing exactly how to
19 translate this abbreviation at this time.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: All England Law Reports is the description. Do you
21 say that's 2001 All England Law Reports?
22 MR. BOURGON: 2001, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: That would be 3 AER.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, All E.R.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
1 MR. BOURGON: According to this practice note which was issued by
2 the Lord Chief Justice, if in an offence of contempt is directed to the
3 magistrate, it will not be appropriate for the same Bench to deal with the
4 matter. And B, in the case of a contested contempt, the trial should take
5 place at the earliest opportunity and should be before a Bench of
6 magistrates other than those justices before whom the alleged contempt
7 took place. If a trial of the issue can take place on the very day of the
8 alleged offence, such arrangements should be made, taking into account the
9 offender's rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on the
10 Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
11 In addition, Your Honours, I have here a document which consists
12 of guidance for judges, which has been issued by the Judicial Studies
13 Board in the United Kingdom, and it is a document which is available on
14 the Internet. This document deals with contempt of court procedures. And
15 on page 5 of this document -- or, sorry, on page 51 of this document there
16 is a paragraph which states when contempt is denied, the trial should take
17 place at the earliest opportunity. It must be tried by a different Bench.
18 The need for an independent and impartial tribunal may require that a
19 Bench or district judge be brought in from elsewhere to try the case. It
20 may be necessary for the court to instruct independent solicitors to
21 prosecute the matter, and justices, legal advisors, and advocates may find
22 themselves called as witnesses.
23 Mr. President --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are there any European cases on this from the
25 European Court?
1 MR. BOURGON: This is judicial -- this is guidance for judges in
2 the United Kingdom --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. I was asking if you are aware of any
4 case that is might have gone to the European Court.
5 MR. BOURGON: I am aware of some cases in the European Court of
6 Human Rights. However, I did not find at this time and with the short
7 time that I had at my disposal, I did not find a specific case on point.
8 However, when discussing the practice note which was issued by the Lord
9 Chief Justice, this was made in a commentary which dealt with the case of
10 Kyprianou versus Cyprus, a judgement of the European Court of Human
12 Now, I'm not in a position to tell you that this case fits exactly
13 the present situation. What my submission is today, Mr. President, is
14 that the issue of trial in absentia is intimately linked to the issue of
15 contempt of this witness, and on this issue the Trial Chamber has already
16 made a determination. In my view it would not be appropriate for this
17 Trial Chamber - and this is of course respectfully submitted to Your
18 Honours - to proceed with the order issued by the Trial Chamber before
19 this Chamber.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bourgon, you might want to consider what the
21 Trial Chamber said about the Appeals Chamber's ruling was specific to this
22 particular witness. I don't myself believe it is correct to say that the
23 Chamber has made up its mind already about the issue of trial in absentia
24 in relation to the continuation of the case as a whole. We gave a ruling
25 that was specific to this witness.
1 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I have the transcript here, and
2 indeed you are right. The Trial Chamber did not make a position on the
3 issue in principle of trial in absentia. On the contrary, the Trial
4 Chamber did say this is an issue which would require submissions.
5 However, and I don't have the exact paragraph, but Trial Chamber did say
6 that in respect of this witness, the interpretation of the Appeals Chamber
7 decision allows it to continue and to proceed with the cross-examination
8 which was to be conducted by the Prosecutor.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. But bear in mind this was a witness who was
10 already examined-in-chief, and his cross-examination was what was
11 outstanding. It's not as though he was being examined and cross-examined
12 in the absence of the -- of the accused. The accused had already examined
13 him. And we also instituted certain safeguards to ensure there would be
14 no prejudice to the accused, in that we ordered that the transcript and a
15 video of the proceedings would be made available to the accused.
16 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, in this case what I would -- my
17 submissions would include the following: Indeed there is -- there are
18 specific circumstances which apply to this accused when he was a witness
19 before the Trial Chamber. My submissions do not relate to the specifics.
20 It relates to simply that the Trial Chamber did say that the Appeals
21 Chamber, regardless of the circumstances, this is something that will be
22 looked at in any trial for contempt, but there was a decision made that
23 the Trial Chamber decision did allow the Trial Chamber to continue with
24 the cross-examination. In my respectful submission, whatever the
25 circumstances which led to the Trial Chamber making this determination, it
1 doesn't change the fact that a determination was made.
2 Moreover, Mr. President, when addressing the witness yesterday,
3 the fact that the Appeals Chamber was in authority to continue in this
4 case is a fact which was mentioned to the witness who is now standing
5 before you as an accused for contempt. Therefore, this determination, in
6 my respectful submission, did indeed -- has a major role to play in these
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bourgon, surely that determination is one that
9 can only be challenged by an appeal. That isn't the sort of determination
10 it would be appropriate for another Bench of equivalent standing to this
11 one to interfere with. That decision having been made, the only issue now
12 that arises is whether or not the accused refused to answer questions, and
13 once that's determined, one way or another, if you're unhappy with the
14 outcome, then the whole issue may be explored before the Appeals Chamber,
15 and there is a right of the accused to have that done. But our concern
16 must be with whether an order that we have made is obeyed or not, and that
17 I would not have expected to be open to challenge before a court of
18 equivalent standing.
19 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, if I may respond to your comment. I
20 think your comment is exactly on point, but why is it exactly on point?
21 Because this Trial Chamber, having made a determination in addressing the
22 issue of contempt certainly would have difficulty to review its own
24 JUDGE BONOMY: But its own determination doesn't arise for review.
25 That's passed. The only question here is whether the order having been
1 made, it was obeyed or not. We're past that stage.
2 MR. BOURGON: I must respectfully disagree with Your Honour,
3 because the fact that this determination does become one of the issues
4 that will lead to whether this accused who stands before you is guilty or
5 not of contempt. Another Trial Chamber is not bound by your determination
6 that it was possible to proceed with a cross-examination by the
7 Prosecution, and for this -- in this respect, then another Trial Chamber
8 will be much more able to guarantee the right of the accused to a fair
9 trial before an independent and impartial Trial Chamber.
10 If I may continue, Mr. President, with my other submissions. My
11 second submission is that should the Trial Chamber nevertheless decide to
12 proceed with this issue itself as was said earlier, if a trial must take
13 place at the earliest possibility, all the guarantees, all the rights of
14 the accused guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Charter must be
15 guaranteed. In this regard --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: As far as I'm concerned, it's safer and better to
17 cite the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, which is
18 an international, not a regional convention, and of course has a much
19 wider participation. And it is, after all, that convention, Article 14 of
20 which the Secretary-General enjoined the Tribunal to adhere to in
21 respecting the rights of the accused.
22 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, if I did by my comment say something
23 that the Trial Chamber feels was an inappropriate legal reference, I
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. I'm not saying it's inappropriate. I'm
1 not saying it's inappropriate. But as far as I'm concerned, for this
2 Tribunal it is always safer to rely on the international covenant and the
3 commentaries to that covenant for the reasons that I have stated.
4 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you look in the -- if you were to read the
6 Secretary-General's preparatory statement, that is preparatory to the
7 adoption of the Resolution which established the Tribunal, you will see in
8 relation to Article 21 that he makes specific reference to Article 14 of
9 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and for very
10 good reason. It's an international covenant with about 150 members as
11 States Parties.
12 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I thank you for your kind advice.
13 But since you bring the topic up of Article 21 of the statute, I guess
14 maybe it's better common ground to have Article 21 of the statute, and I
15 think if we are going to proceed in this case with contempt proceedings
16 in -- against Mr. Bulatovic, then the rights of the accused pursuant to
17 Article 21 must be safeguarded completely.
18 Now, this includes in Article 21, paragraph 4(A) the fact to have
19 the necessary time and facilities to deal with this issue and to prepare
20 the case for the Defence.
21 In this case, Mr. President, the accused who stands before you
22 cannot be ready to answer these charges today, and the reason for this is
23 quite obvious, because as I've explained a little earlier, even though on
24 the face of it, it is a simple matter, the Defence to be prepared may
25 involve lengthy legal submissions, may involve detailed research, may
1 involve even the calling of witnesses, because it goes much further than
2 simply refusing to answer a question.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: He may have witnesses to call. Are you saying
5 MR. BOURGON: I'm saying, Mr. President, he may, yes.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that -- have you considered that seriously?
7 You make that submission seriously?
8 MR. BOURGON: I do not make that submission having considered the
9 matter seriously. However, it is a possibility that arose in my
10 discussions with my client, but I cannot say that at this point in time I
11 can make it a submission that witnesses would be called. But there are
12 circumstances in this case, there are matters, there are issues that
13 were -- not issue, that there were words stated to this accused by members
14 of this Tribunal when he was first called to testify, and there are other
15 possibilities also for a Defence to call witnesses in the case of this
16 specific contempt. But regardless or not, we have -- sorry, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Before I could see any weight in that I would
18 really need to know what you're talking about. Give me an example of
19 words that were said to him that -- by the Tribunal that may require legal
20 research and lengthy submissions and possible evidence.
21 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, the Trial Chamber itself has stated
22 that the issue of trial in absentia --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's assume that's irrelevant for the
24 moment. Let's assume we decide that --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's assume that just for present purposes
2 or that hypothetically that's not a defence, what else is there?
3 MR. BOURGON: Then let me point to you, Your Honour, a
4 hypothetical scenario whereas a witness, and I wish to stand aside from
5 this particular case even though this may very well apply, a hypothetical
6 scenario where a witness is contacted by representatives of this Tribunal
7 and asked to testify, and as he is asked to testify, during those
8 consultations which take place back and forth some promises, some
9 guidelines, some guarantees might be offered to a witness. This witness
10 then appeared before the Trial Chamber, and suddenly there is a change of
11 circumstances which make it that even though the Trial Chamber tries to
12 reassure him he still have those guarantees or promises or words in mind,
13 and that very well be an excuse.
14 Again, I'm stating this aside from this case because I'm being
15 asked to provide an example. So there is the possibility in a case of
16 contempt such as this one that a witness could be called.
17 Another example, Your Honour, is yesterday there was a meeting. I
18 informed the Trial Chamber earlier today that there was a meeting between
19 one of the associates of the accused in the main trial with the accused
20 now. What was discussed at that meeting may be of some relevance. I
21 don't know, and I don't want to say, but we cannot ignore that what was
22 said at that meeting may be relevant to the charge of contempt.
23 For all these reasons, to proceed at this stage does not allow the
24 accused to have the necessary time and facilities to prepare his defence.
25 Furthermore, Mr. President, another issue is the health of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 accused. This witness has been here for ten days. He has a medical
2 condition which without being precarious is indeed not the best. As such,
3 Mr. President, and given what happened and the stress that was put on the
4 witness over the last two days in something that came completely as a
5 surprise to him, this is indeed, Mr. President, something to take into
6 account not to proceed at this time.
7 The International Tribunal always goes beyond what is even
8 necessary or what is possible to ensure the well-being of victims and
9 witnesses. Before Mr. Bulatovic was an accused, he was a witness. We
10 need to take this into consideration, and we need to give him time to
12 Another issue, Mr. President, is the right to counsel of his
13 choice. All of this came all of a sudden for Mr. Bulatovic. Today I am
14 representing him, and as I expressed at the beginning, my mandate is
15 limited to representing him until trial proceedings begin. Why this is
16 so? Because rightfully this accused would like to consult with legal
17 counsel of his choice back home, to use his own words, and then make a
18 determination as to how he would proceed.
19 Your Honours were able to see that the witness conduct in the
20 courtroom was made a matter of principle, and this matter of principle is
21 something that he may want to discuss with counsel of his choice. In this
22 case, he does want to discuss this with counsel of his choice before
23 proceeding any further with everything that took place in a very short
24 period of time and completely unexpectedly to this witness. He is placed
25 in the position where he made a decision. He decided to stood by -- to
1 stand by his decision. Now he faces charges before an International
2 Criminal Tribunal. I believe, Mr. President, that the right for him to
3 choose legal counsel, even though he may in the end decide to continue
4 with myself, I have no idea. What I can confirm today is that my mandate
5 is limited to representing Mr. Bulatovic until the beginning of the
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bourgon, there should be no doubt in the mind
8 of the witness that he can change his mind now and relieve himself and
9 everyone else of the anxiety that he has been causing. It remains open to
10 him to do that.
11 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, I cannot respond to this comment. In
12 the situation of my client, I think it would be improper for me to respond
13 to this comment. My submission is that first of all, this Trial Chamber
14 should not handle this case for the reasons mentioned; and number two,
15 that in any event, this -- these proceedings should not even begin today,
16 and in accordance with Article 77(D)(ii), the matter can be -- where it
17 says prosecuted by itself, we believe this matter should be transferred to
18 another Trial Chamber, and that of course the trial for contempt can take
19 place at the earliest possibility to which, if the Trial Chamber wishes to
20 put questions to the accused, he may very well answer to you that he would
21 be available and he would consent to coming back at the earliest
22 possibility for such proceedings.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can I ask you, Mr. Bourgon, on the discretionary
24 power that the Rule gives a Trial Chamber to prosecute the matter itself,
25 you have said that in these circumstances it would be improper for the
1 Trial Chamber to prosecute the matter itself, and this is what I want to
2 be clear. The reason for that, in your submission, is that the Trial
3 Chamber has already expressed itself on a particular issue.
4 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, this is indeed one of the
5 submissions, but the submission in general is that an accused has a right
6 to a fair trial before an independent and impartial Trial Chamber, and
7 simply by reading the transcript of what happened yesterday it appears
8 that this would not be the case, or there is a likelihood that this would
9 not be case, given the conversation and the questions that were put back
10 and forth with the accused in this case.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is the impartiality of the Trial Chamber that
12 is in question.
13 MR. BOURGON: And independence from the facts, yes, Your Honour.
14 And one of the major submissions respectfully is the issue of the
15 determination made as to whether the Trial Chamber could continue in the
16 first place with the cross-examination of the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: But by citing the practice direction of the Chief
18 Justice of the United Kingdom you seem to be going further, because that
19 practice direction, if followed, would seem to indicate that a Trial
20 Chamber before which a contempt has been done should not itself prosecute
21 the contempt, that it should be for another body of judges to prosecute
22 that contempt.
23 MR. BOURGON: As a given, Mr. President, I think that this would
24 be the normal course of action in a case where the Trial Chamber has been
25 involved in any way into the events that led to the conduct that is now
1 the object of the contempt proceedings.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And that would be so in most cases, which would
3 then mean that this portion of the Rule is, ultra vires, some law, some
4 body of law, because it would mean, then, that that discretionary power
5 would seldom be able to be exercised properly.
6 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I would not go as far as saying that
7 Rule 77(D)(ii) is ultra vires. On the contrary. I believe that there may
8 be in some instances cases of contempt which the same Trial Chamber may
9 handle. My submission to you today are limited to the facts of this case,
10 where I'm saying that in the particular circumstances of this case, I
11 respectfully submit that it would not be appropriate for the same Trial
12 Chamber to conduct these proceedings.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I mention it to you because you may be aware
14 that there is a range of jurisdictions that actually proceed with a
15 contempt case where the contempt has been committed in the face of the
16 court and the court itself proceeds with the hearing of contempt.
17 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I am familiar with the -- the issue
18 of the contempt proceeding, which is very much, as we all know, at the
19 starting point a common law procedure. I come from a common law
20 background. In my own country, in Canada, in some Trial Chambers it
21 depends on the facts of the case. In some cases the Trial Chamber or the
22 judge will decide to proceed himself if the issue is minor, if the issue
23 does not infringe or does not come close to influencing the Trial Chamber
24 in their decision-making. Whereas in more serious issues a new -- the
25 matters would be referred to a different Trial Judge for this issue to
1 continue, and this will not -- in the same way this also has an advantage
2 in many systems where you transfer the case of contempt because it does
3 not delay the trial proceedings in the main case.
4 Now, in this case this trial appears to be temporarily stopped,
5 and it appears that maybe there would be time to do so, but that's another
6 reason why in most cases cases are transferred to another Trial Chamber.
7 The main reason remains: The right of the accused for a fair
8 trial before an independent and impartial Trial Chamber. However, there
9 is also the practical issues that come with that.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just help me to understand your submission on the
11 linkage between a trial in absentia and these proceedings for contempt.
12 Are you saying that if a trial in absentia is improper in the
13 circumstances, then the Prosecutor would not have been entitled to put any
14 questions to this witness in the absence of the accused, Milosevic?
15 MR. BOURGON: That is indeed my submission, Mr. President. That
16 if there would be -- if a trial in absentia is not a possibility, if parts
17 of a trial in absentia is not a possibility, then in such a case the
18 witness would not have any questions to answer and would not be in a
19 position he is facing today.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And I think that's why in that regard I -- I said
21 to you that what was taking place was not a trial in absentia, that we
22 made it clear that we were dealing with this witness, whose evidence had
23 already started, who had already undergone examination-in-chief and it was
24 just left for the Prosecutor to cross-examine him, and that perhaps the
25 parallel with a trial in absentia is not entirely appropriate.
1 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, we use the word "trial in absentia,"
2 but the -- our focus in this case should be could the trial continue.
3 Now, what the Trial Chamber is saying today, Mr. President, appears to me
4 that indeed the Trial Chamber was convinced that it could continue with
5 the cross-examination on the basis of the Appeals Chamber decision.
6 Now, if that is the case, Mr. President, and if the Trial Chamber
7 could not continue, then in this case there would not be contempt of court
8 proceedings, and for this reason, I think this is a very good reason why
9 another Trial Chamber should try this case.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bourgon, could I see the two documents you
11 referred to, please?
12 MR. BOURGON: Absolutely, Your Honour. I apologise for the
13 highlighter, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we may benefit from your highlighting,
15 Mr. Bourgon.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you also referred to the case from the All
17 England Law Reports or did you have the report? It wasn't the case; it
18 was the practice direction.
19 MR. BOURGON: The practice direction --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it here?
21 MR. BOURGON: No. What I have is the -- when we talk about the
22 case, and I cannot say that name again, Kyprianou.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 MR. BOURGON: -- against I guess it was Cyprus, and as part of the
25 commentary --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Kyprianou is more recent, though, I think, than the
2 Lord Chief Justice's direction; is that correct?
3 MR. BOURGON: I believe it is so, Your Honour, and that is why
4 they make reference to this practice note by --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. It's just that my recollection, and it
6 may be someone in this room can assist, but my recollection is there is
7 English authority on this question of the Court of Criminal Appeal which
8 proceeds that the sort of situation we're in here, where it may be
9 necessary to deal with the contempt to enable the trial to proceed, is
10 precisely the situation where the English courts recognise the right of
11 the presiding court to deal with contempt, and that this is in fact one of
12 the sorts of situations that in the English jurisdiction is envisaged as
13 one that would not be dealt with by a separate court. But I was hoping to
14 try -- that I might find that in the documents that you had -- or
15 contradiction of it in the documents you had presented.
16 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, I don't think this is in the documents
17 that you have. However, if I may say, whatever is decided in this case, I
18 don't think will delay proceedings. On the contrary. By transferring the
19 matter to another Trial Chamber, this will allow the trial to continue.
20 But I believe --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, Mr. Bourgon, this book, the reference to
22 judicial studies, is about misbehaviour in court and defines contempt of
23 court as insulting behaviour. I doubt if it actually deals with the
24 situation we're dealing with, which is the wilful refusal to answer a
25 question. It may also be that what you do in an English magistrate's
1 court is really of no relevance to what might happen in a court like this.
2 However, I can read that separately.
3 And the other one is just some sort of commentary on Kyprianou, is
4 it? Oh, it's the report of Kyprianou, which was January 2004. Thank you.
5 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, if I may, I mean this matter came up
6 for me last night. I have gathered as much material as I could this
7 morning, but -- and submissions on the application of national law or
8 national rules of procedure and evidence are often made. There is a
9 specific rule that says that the International Tribunal is not bound by
10 such rules, and I cannot agree more. However, they can be cited in terms
11 of trying to explain issues in principle. And I believe that the issue in
12 principle in this case is the right of the accused to a fair trial before
13 an independent and impartial Trial Chamber, and I believe that this would
14 be best guaranteed in front of another Trial Chamber given the background
15 issue, which is whether the trial could continue in the first place with
16 the cross-examination by the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should same the Chamber is indebted to you for
18 your submissions, particularly bearing in mind that you have come into
19 this matter only recently, Mr. Bourgon. I think the accused would be well
20 advised to continue with your services for the trial itself.
21 I'll consult with my colleagues.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bulatovic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bulatovic, I want to ask you, your counsel
1 has indicated that you wish to retain counsel of your choice with regard
2 to how you would plead and with regard to the hearing itself. How long
3 would you take to retain counsel? And I want to say that, as I indicated,
4 the Chamber itself has absolute confidence in Mr. Bourgon, and indeed as I
5 said, I think you would be well-served by retaining Mr. Bourgon. But in
6 the event that you decide to retain counsel of your choice, how long would
7 it take for you to retain that counsel?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson and Your Honours, I
9 think that I would need a maximum to confer with my counsel in Belgrade up
10 to a month. Within a month they would provide a response to the charge
11 against me. I think that would be sufficient time.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I myself don't think a month is necessary for a
13 charge of this kind, but I'll consult with my colleagues.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. NICE: May I ask to be heard just on one issue of
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE: The suggestion that there should be any significant
19 time allowed to this now accused person to prepare his defence should be
20 set, it may be, beside the absolute need for this Chamber to be able to
21 conduct its affairs and to control the conduct of witnesses. I don't want
22 to go into the substantive issues at the moment. Any delay leaving
23 matters in the air at all as against this witness, accused person, may act
24 as an extreme encouragement to others and leave the Chamber powerless to
25 deal with recurring problems of a like kind.
1 I would invite the Chamber to consider at this stage as a maximum
2 putting the case over until tomorrow to review the state of law on -- in
3 case the Chamber wants further assistance beyond the two documents
4 provided by Mr. Bourgon, on the issue of dealing with these cases
5 peremptorily and indeed immediately.
6 I am bound to observe - and I'm sure the Chamber won't have missed
7 it - that it could be argued that the response of this witness, now an
8 accused person, could be seen to fit into a course of conduct first
9 started with the reaction of the witnesses --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I would like to say here and now, Mr. Nice, I do
11 not think you have standing in this context at this stage in this
12 proceedings. If this Bench requires assistance from the Prosecutor, which
13 may well arise in the circumstances that now are developing, I think, then
14 it will be appropriate for us to ask, but I don't think you have an
15 independent role in this at all, if I may say.
16 MR. NICE: If that's Your Honour's view, then I'll say no more
17 apart from that of possible assistance to you may be, and it's only a
18 document of limited assistance, but it's a decision of the Scottish
19 sheriff who reviewed the law on the question of a court dealing with
20 contempts before it and reviewed it in light of the convention. It's been
21 made available to me by Mr. Ruxton. I've got hard copies of it.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that a review following of Kyprianou or --
23 MR. NICE: Yes. This is 2001. So it's -
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it is of no assistance in my opinion.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The ruling of the Chamber is by majority. We
1 will adjourn until Thursday, the 5th, resuming this hearing at 9.00 in the
2 morning. That will give time to the accused to consult a lawyer of his
3 choice and to prepare his case.
4 I said Thursday, the 5th of May. Thursday, the 5th of May at 9.00
5 in the morning.
6 Mr. Bourgon.
7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Am I to understand from
8 this decision that the Trial Chamber has decided to proceed itself with
9 the matter and not to refer the matter to another Trial Chamber?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. But we can't preclude submissions being
11 made by counsel of choice in relation to that matter.
12 We are adjourned until Thursday the 5th of May at 9.00 a.m.
13 Mr. Bulatovic, you may leave and then we will return to the trial
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 MR. BOURGON: With your permission, Mr. President, I will leave
18 with my client.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We just have ten minutes.
20 Mr. Kay, may I inquire whether you would have any witnesses
21 available for testifying?
22 MR. KAY: I have no witnesses available, and the issue that the
23 Trial Chamber would have to move to in consideration of the calling of any
24 witnesses other than the dealing with the Bulatovic problem is the issue
25 of trial in absentia.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will be getting a report on the medical
2 condition of the accused on Friday.
3 Mr. Nice, any submissions on this matter?
4 MR. NICE: Yes. On this matter, my submissions are that the case
5 should proceed as if Mr. Kay was in the driving seat, and to use the
6 vernacular we used at earlier stages, and as if the Chamber could proceed,
7 at least until argued to the contrary, in the absence of the accused and
8 in accordance with paragraph 20 of the Appeals Chamber's decision. That
9 would mean that the witness Jasovic should be the subject of efforts to be
10 called or could be the subject of efforts to be called by Mr. Kay -- yes,
11 by Mr. Kay. But, Your Honour, I can go no further than that. I
12 understand that Jasovic is still in The Hague.
13 My second submission is that one way or another, the time that has
14 passed this week is time that should count from the accused's 150 days. I
15 can summarise the reasons for that submission.
16 The point was first raised by me expressly when witnesses were
17 declining to cooperate before the Appeals Chamber's decision. It was then
18 referred to by the Prosecution in a skeleton argument lodged in the course
19 of the hearings on, I think, the 9th, 10th, and 11th of November of last
20 year, subsequently made public, and it was dealt with at paragraph 17, and
21 I returned to the issue at the time that the accused suffered from
23 It seems to the Prosecution really of the highest priority that
24 this trial should be brought to a timely conclusion, and the Appeals
25 Chamber and this Chamber have collectively made to the accused every
1 facility to meet his particular circumstances, including the circumstances
2 of ill health, which in combination with the work that he puts in on this
3 case or independently may keep him from coming to court from time to time,
4 and in light of the decisions that have been made, it would be appropriate
5 for the days this week to count against him.
6 I observe, as I was on the point of almost observing before His
7 Honour Judge Bonomy indicated he wished to hear no more of it, I observe
8 that although it may never be possible to establish whether witnesses on
9 that earlier occasion or now are acting according to any concerted plan or
10 under any instruction, the Chamber can be certain of this, that one word
11 for the accused encouraging or instructing or requesting witnesses to
12 cooperate with the orders of the Court and to give evidence in his absence
13 would undoubtedly have been obeyed, and the objectives of this Court to
14 bring this trial to a timely conclusion would be better served.
15 Those are my only submissions on the point, but I have going back
16 to the matter upon which I'm not to be heard but nevertheless may be able
17 to offer assistance, I'm again grateful to Mr. Ruxton, and I'll tell or
18 make sure that Mr. Bourgon knows of this. There may be a case rather more
19 recently - Your Honour may indeed be aware of it - and it appears to come
20 from -- it does from the High Court of Justiciary, Lords Penrose, Hamilton
21 and Abernethy, and it's 2004. And, Your Honour, I'm sorry not to be
22 familiar with the proper citation system, but I've got a copy of it here.
23 It's appeal number MISC 306/03, and that appears to deal with this issue.
24 We'll try and get a better version of the version that I've got at
25 present, which is off, I think, the Internet by the looks of it.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: But it does deal with Kyprianou, I think.
2 MR. NICE: I haven't yet been able to scan it sufficiently but the
3 date would suggest that it does, yes. Your Honour, if that's of
4 assistance, we'll make that available and we'll notify Mr. Bourgon of it
5 as well.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, particularly on the question of the
8 counting of time.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. Just a couple of matters.
11 In our submission, the Trial Chamber would be driven into grave
12 jurisprudential error to follow the line that Mr. Nice for the Prosecution
13 is trying to drive you into. It would be a line that is not followed by
14 any of the jurisdictions of the world nor any of the commentaries contrary
15 to Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
16 contrary to the report of the Secretary-General during the establishment
17 of this Court, pursuant to paragraph 2 of Security Council Resolution 808
18 in which it was said there is a widespread perception that trials
19 in absentia should not be provided for in the Statute as this would not be
20 consistent with Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and
21 Political Rights which provides that the accused shall be entitled to be
22 tried in his presence. And we urge the Trial Chamber not to be driven
23 into jurisprudential error that would invoke great criticism on it until
24 it has properly considered the matter.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: How, then, do you interpret paragraph 20 of the
1 Appeals Chamber's --
2 MR. KAY: The word used in paragraph 20 is the word "participate."
3 It doesn't deal with the absence of the accused from the proceedings, and
4 the Appeals Chamber was never seized of the issue of trials in absentia.
5 That was not the matter before it, and indeed it was the issue of
6 participation. So it may be that his presence was possible in the court,
7 but his right to conduct all the affairs could be restrained and the
8 imposition of assigned counsel in those circumstances, hence the phrase
9 the "reshuffling of trial roles."
10 We're unable to drive this case without any passenger in the back.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thank you, Mr. Kay.
12 We will adjourn until --
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we have heard your submissions on the
15 question of time being counted against the accused, but on this particular
16 occasion the Chamber is not inclined to count the time against the
17 accused, although we recognise that we'll have to revisit that question on
18 a wider basis.
19 So we will adjourn until Monday morning, but we expect a report on
20 the condition of the accused on Friday. If we have that report, then we
21 will issue an order.
22 MR. NICE: And will that order -- excuse my asking, for
23 clarification for preparation purposes, will that order make clear whether
24 even if the accused is not here there's any expectation that I may have to
25 deal with evidence because it's --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: It depends on all the information that we have
2 available at that time.
3 MR. NICE: I'm obliged.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are adjourn.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 25th day of April,
7 2005, at 9.00 a.m.