1 Thursday, 3 May 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [Status Conference]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.03 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, you may be
7 seated. Good morning to you all. Madam registrar, can you please call
8 the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-97-24-PT, the Prosecutor
10 versus Milomir Stakic.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we have the appearances,
12 please, for the Prosecution.
13 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour, Susan Somers, for the
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
16 MS. SOMERS: You, Your Honour, Susan L. Somers for the
17 prosecution, accompanied by Morten Bergsmo for the prosecution,
18 Mr. Dan Saxon for the Prosecution and Ms. Denise Gustin.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am
20 professor Radomir Lukic, proposed by the accused Stakic as accused
21 counsel. The process of my designation as such is still underway.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I wish to
23 bid welcome to counsel, both for the Prosecution and for the Defence.
24 This Status Conference has been organised to permit the first
25 contact between the parties and the Pre-Trial Judge that has just been
1 designated, and that is myself. As announced by the order of the May 1st,
2 we may also touch upon the question of communication between the parties
3 which, as you know, is crucial for the progress of our work so as to
4 ensure for the accused here present, Mr. Milomir Stakic, a fair and
5 expeditious trial.
6 I would like to suggest for this Status Conference the following
7 agenda. First, we are going to take stock of the situation. Point two,
8 we are going to discuss some general ideas in connection with the
9 preparations of the trial which can help us all to improve our mutual
10 communications. Perhaps we need to synchronise our views with certain
11 procedures. And a third point would be other matters or other business,
12 if you yourself have anything to suggest, and it will be up to you to make
13 such suggestions which will not be connected with the two points that I
14 have mentioned previously, and at the end of the hearing, I will give
15 Mr. Stakic an opportunity to speak.
16 So we come to the first point. For today, I should like to know
17 where we stand as regards the disclosure of the material. You know how
18 important that disclosure is for the pre-trial and I would, in fact, say
19 that the pre-trial can actually begin only once the exhibits have been
20 disclosed in -- pursuant to Rule 66 and 68 and after all the preliminary
21 motions have been addressed pursuant to Article 72, and this is stated by
22 Rule 65 ter. So it is really important to see where we stand, as I was
23 saying, regarding the disclosure of evidence.
24 I should now like to turn to Ms. Susan Somers for her to tell us
25 how we stand in that regard.
1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 I had relayed through channels that on Friday last, which would
3 have been 27 April, the Prosecution, in the absence of having counsel upon
4 whom to serve the supporting materials for the original indictment, went
5 to the detention unit and met with Dr. Stakic to try to give him, as the
6 only logical recipient, the materials. It was indicated by Dr. Stakic
7 that he preferred to wait for counsel as he believed would be coming in
8 the next few days, and the investigator therefore unable to deliver to
9 Dr. Stakic the materials, returned them to the Office of the Prosecutor
10 where they are waiting now to be delivered to Professor Lukic.
11 I have, for the record, a declaration by the investigator as to
12 his visit to the Detention Centre and I would simply like to make it a
13 part of the record so as to make it clear that the Prosecutor did try to
14 carry out its obligations but was unable to for reasons peculiar to this
15 particular case.
16 I have checked on a regular basis with the Registry to see if and
17 when counsel for the accused would be assigned so as to try to have a
18 preliminary opportunity to meet with him or her. I am pleased that at
19 last, there is someone with whom I can deal and I have indicated to
20 Professor Lukic that immediately following this hearing I would like to
21 hand him the materials and to have an opportunity to speak with him.
22 I hope I am correct in and permitted to say that he agreed to do
23 the same. The Prosecution as I indicated at this point is proceeding with
24 a disclosure as to only the initial indictment and is in the process of
25 preparing an amended indictment which was indicated to the full Chamber at
1 the first appearance.
2 We will -- we are working diligently and if the Chamber requires,
3 from time to time, a progress report, we are prepared to make it.
4 The Chamber's -- may I ask for a moment of -- for a private
5 session, please. Private.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let us go into private
8 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The question I have has to do
19 with the amendment of the indictment. From the point of view of the
20 pre-trial, I should like to ask you if you can tell us, I'm asking you,
21 from the standpoint of the pre-trial, it is important to know more or less
22 what type of modification the Prosecutor is going to make to the
23 indictment. That is to say, whether the facts are going to be more or
24 less the same and they will be distributed among several counts using
25 different legal qualifications for the same facts or are new facts going
1 to be added? I am putting this question to you because if the facts don't
2 change, and if there is only one legal qualification, we can work and make
3 progress in the pre-trial stage already. But if the Prosecutor is going
4 to add new facts, new material, new evidence, then there will have to be
5 fresh disclosure and that will mean delaying the real beginning of the
6 pre-trial stage.
7 Are you in a position to tell us a little more in response to this
8 question, please?
9 MS. SOMERS: The indictment will surround, Your Honour, the same
10 essential core of incidents; however, all that is charged, the sole charge
11 now is the genocide. There will be, as was consistent with the previous
12 co-accused, an expansion, based again, on facts that are certainly well
13 centred and known of some, perhaps most, of the charges that appeared in
14 that indictment, and we are looking very carefully at refining.
15 In addition, we have been able, pursuant to those same,
16 essentially the same types of facts and the same situation that prevailed
17 in Prijedor, we have the benefit of material that has come from a number
18 of sources since the original indictment was confirmed, and indeed, since
19 the amendment of Kovacevic and the Drljaca, Kovacevic, Stakic indictment
20 was confirmed.
21 So it will surround events in Prijedor. There will be an
22 expansion as to - which is appropriate - to a policy person, a person who
23 was in the type of role, occupied the type of role as is alleged to have
24 been occupied by Dr. Stakic. And I think at this point, I will not go
25 further, but that -- I think the Chamber has an idea of certainly the
1 types of events in terms of the underlying crime base plus policy and much
2 of which, of course, is an expansion or a clarification with more
3 specificity of the genocide charge.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Ms. Susan
6 So there are at least two points here that I would like to submit
7 to Professor Radomir Lukic for his consideration and comment, that is the
8 question of the disclosure of evidence, and also what we have just said
9 with respect to the amendment of the indictment.
10 Mr. Lukic, do you have any comments to make?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would have certain
12 comments to make regarding the explanations given by the Prosecution. It
13 seems to me that the explanation given by Prosecution counsel is such that
14 it is not possible to decipher what exactly the Prosecution is preparing
15 so that the Defence, at this point in time, finds itself in a rather vague
16 and unfavorable position for it is not clear whether only the genocide
17 charge will remain. What is clear is that there will be new facts which
18 further complicates this stage of our proceedings.
19 Therefore, it seems to me that the Prosecution should, in somewhat
20 greater detail, give us indications as to what it intends to do regarding
21 the expansion of the indictment.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Professor Lukic, regarding the
24 disclosure of evidence, have you any comments to make?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The Defence is ready to receive what
1 the Prosecution is ready to disclose at this point in time, and to act
2 accordingly. However, the Defence realises that things will be
3 complicated with the disclosure of new facts as a result of the expansion
4 of the indictment which complicates our pre-trial work.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Before giving
6 the floor to Ms. Susan Somers, I think that in -- up to a point, she has
7 clarified things because my concern was, indeed, to know what would be the
8 impact on the pre-trial stage of any modifications.
9 Ms. Susan Somers mentioned the indictment against Milan Kovacevic
10 and Simo Drljaca, at least the Kovacevic indictment is well known. It was
11 amended. It was the same indictment. I think we can speak about that
12 now. It was an indictment against three accused, one of whom was Milomir
13 Stakic, a second was Kovacevic and the third Simo Drljaca so the situation
14 will repeat itself in a sense, and that is why I asked the Prosecutor
15 whether the modifications consisted of new facts or not. If there are new
16 facts, then there can be an impact on the pre-trial preparations if we are
17 talking about the same facts, but distributed or qualified in a slightly
18 different manner, then that does not have any impact because maybe now I
19 will be generalising, but I think both from the point of view of the
20 Prosecution and the Defence, the pre-trial work, that is my opinion and my
21 view, is work that differs from the trial -- the work after the opening of
22 trial. Therefore, for the pre-trial stage is to discuss the points of
23 fact and law with the view to achieving an agreement on disagreements. In
24 other words, what is the actual object of the trial, what will be the
25 purpose of the trial, because there will be a whole series of facts and
1 law that we are agreed on, that are accepted. So that will not be the
2 object of the proceedings.
3 So when I say that we need to reach agreement on disagreements, it
4 is really a question of defining the subject of the discussions we are
5 going to have throughout the trial. So it is with that in mind that I
6 put this question, and the most important information given to us by
7 Ms. Susan Somers is that the facts that are going to serve as a basis of
8 the amended indictment are already present in the indictment with a single
9 charge. But to confirm that, and perhaps to provide additional
10 clarifications that Professor Lukic needs, I would like to give the floor
11 to Ms. Susan Somers.
12 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, there have been a number of cases before
13 the various Chambers of this Tribunal and there are, indeed, a number of
14 cases presently before the various Chambers concerning the events in
15 Prijedor as well as the impact of said events generally on the situation
16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole.
17 I would be unable and unwilling at this time to go much beyond
18 what I have said, however, the explanation as set forth in the genocide
19 count indicates that it did not happen overnight, that there were factors
20 that occurred in the implementation of whatever policy would be further
21 expanded in the amended indictment. I think this is evident in the
22 Kovacevic Drljaca indictment that had been confirmed.
23 We would be looking, so that there is a better understanding of
24 the direction, at counts perhaps of grave breaches, crimes against
25 humanity and war crimes in addition to the genocide count.
1 Again, these, by understanding the base which this -- the Chamber
2 has had a tremendous amount of contact with and understanding of, these
3 are the essential -- this is the core and from this core, we will find the
4 appropriate charges and we will put the appropriate charges in the amended
6 I am turning over, of course, a copy of the original Drljaca,
7 Kovacevic -- sorry, before I say the date, let me make sure I'm correct,
8 of the 13 March 1997 confirmed indictment which should give some guidance,
9 I believe, to Mr. Lukic as to the sum of the nature of the charges.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, do you wish to ask
11 for any further clarification or are you happy for the moment with what
12 you have just heard?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the time being,
14 conditionally speaking, I could perhaps be happy with what the counsel for
15 the Prosecution has just said. However, there is one condition, the
16 Defence is going to proceed on the basis of the first indictment, and on
17 the first batch of supporting material while we wait for the expansion of
18 the indictment. At that moment, we will have to adjust ourselves with
19 respect to the new elements in the proceedings.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.
21 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Because we have indicated a
22 clear intent and are moving in the direction of amendment, I would ask the
23 Chamber to consider that the normal preliminary motions that are filed
24 perhaps be held in abeyance pending the amended indictment simply because
25 of the amount of energy that would have to be expanded on both sides and
1 certainly the requirements that would be upon the Chamber as well.
2 Whereas, we will begin the -- the process has been undertaken. I think if
3 the Rule 72 motions were now set in motion, it would be -- it would
4 require a relitigation of effectively the same motions at a later date and
5 if the Chamber is minded to hold in abeyance that process, mindful of
6 whatever time limits normally would be required pending confirmation of
7 the amended indictment, it may prove to be judicially economical as well
8 as economical from the stand point of energy expanded by counsel on both
10 I believe that in the amendment of the Kordic indictment there was
11 a similar request that had been made and the motions, if my memory serves
12 me correctly, were held after the amended indictment. I can check that,
13 but it strikes me that that was the case because it was clear that there
14 would be -- and the dual effort seemed wasteful.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but that raises another
16 issue. When do you intend to submit the amended indictment?
17 MS. SOMERS: Without being firmly bound because of the way we are
18 proceeding, I would hope by the end of the summer, and that is working at
19 a consistent pace. We are analysing and documenting material and -- to
20 make sure that we have everything in one round rather than have to return
21 to the Chamber. We want to make sure that it is judicially economically
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know what exactly you
24 mean when you say by the end of the summer. Could you be more precise,
1 MS. SOMERS: We have, as a target, between the middle and end of
2 July. That is a target date subject to any complications that may arise,
3 but that would be our goal.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, do you wish to make a
5 comment on what we have just heard from Ms. Somers, that is, that
6 preliminary motions pursuant to Article 72 be held in abeyance pending the
7 submission of the amended indictment?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As regards the application of Rule 72
9 and the motions to be held in abeyance maybe it would make sense at this
10 point and in the interest of both the work of the Defence and the
11 Prosecution. I can give you my agreement in principle, however, the issue
12 should be dealt with cautiously and prudently when it comes to the
13 behaviour of the Prosecution in terms of dates, deadlines, and materials
14 that we are supposed to receive pursuant to the amended indictment because
15 that aspect of the problem can have a significant impact on the
16 preparation of the Defence.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think I should now hear
18 Mr. Lukic in respect of certain clarifications. If that beginning of the
19 proceedings is depending on the Prosecutor, who has a number of
20 obligations to fulfil, if we have a look at the relevant provisions
21 regarding the pre-trial proceedings, I think that we can now distinguish
22 two stages of the proceedings, the pre-trial phase of the Prosecution and
23 then after the Prosecution rests, there would be a pre-trial proceedings
24 for the Defence case.
25 As regards that second -- as regards the pre-trial proceedings of
1 the Prosecution, it is the Rule 65 ter (E) and (F) which provide for the
2 measures to be taken. That is to say, it is expected of the Defence to
3 participate in that part of the preliminary proceedings in order to state
4 in general terms the nature of the accused Defence, the matters with which
5 the accused takes issues in the Prosecutor's pre-trial brief and so on and
6 so forth as provided for by the Rule. That is to say, we have to find an
7 agreement on disagreement, that is on matters in dispute.
8 However, there are other obligations on the part of the Defence
9 and I should like to hear Mr. Lukic once again, if you can perhaps tell us
10 at this juncture whether you intend to submit any preliminary motions at
11 all and if you intend to invoke Rule 66(B) of the Rules of Procedure and
12 Evidence. Sometimes it is referred to reciprocal disclosure between the
13 parties. This Rule needs to be considered in light of Rule 67(C). So
14 whether you can tell us at this point whether you intend to present a
15 Defence of alibi or any special defence such as provided for by Rule 67.
16 So, Mr. Lukic, if you have a general idea, without committing
17 yourself one way or another, I should like to hear you regarding the
18 provisions that I have just quoted and these suggestions that I have just
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope that you will be
21 able to understand that at this point in time, I am really not in a
22 position to give you a precise answer whereby I would take it upon myself
23 to abide by what I say here. I was only informed on Friday about the
24 request of Mr. Stakic about my designation and I was invited to
25 participate in the Status Conference on the same day. Everything happened
1 very fast, and I really had no time to think about these issues. However,
2 I proceed with full responsibility before this honorable Tribunal and I
3 will endeavour to inform this Chamber about the issues that have just been
4 made as soon as I am able to do so.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
6 We do understand your position.
7 As regards the issue of abeyance of preliminary motions, I think
8 that it is appropriate to proceed that way since we all have to wait for
9 the amended indictment. However, my objective was to complete the
10 pre-trial proceedings at the end of October, but I don't think that
11 preliminary motions prevent us from working in terms of facts, factual
12 issues during this pre-trial stage. But you're quite right, I hereby
13 decide to extend the deadline for the submission of preliminary motions,
14 that is, to hold them in abeyance once this future Initial Appearance is
15 held pursuant to the amended indictment, and only then are we going to
16 hear you on preliminary motions.
17 Which brings me to the second point, second item on our agenda for
18 today. That is, the procedures to be applied during the pre-trial
20 If you read the Rule 65 ter, you will see that the condition, the
21 requirement which enable us to work during this preliminary phase of the
22 proceedings is the completion of the disclosure of evidence and the
23 decisions pursuant to Rule 72. However, I don't think that we have --
24 that we can start with the preliminary proceedings without these
25 requirements being met. However, I think that we can proceed with matters
1 of dispute and matters not in dispute when it comes to facts. Because one
2 of the objectives of the pre-trial stage of the proceedings is something
3 that is announced, that is envisaged here in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter,
4 that is, we have to know what is exactly the case of the Prosecution, what
5 are the matters which are not in dispute, and also what are the contested
6 matters of facts and law.
7 This should constitute the first step that we have to take in this
8 pre-trial proceedings. Once we are aware of what the case actually is, we
9 will be in the position to define and streamline the evidence which will
10 bring us to the second stage of the preliminary proceedings, that is, the
11 list of witnesses and everything else that is contained in Item 4 of that
13 There are several, therefore, stages of this preliminary phase,
14 and we can also discuss the issue of the order of presentation of evidence
15 in the courtroom, witnesses, video material, affidavits, and so on and so
16 forth. Once we deal with that issue, we will be in the third stage of the
17 proceedings, that is, the issue of exhibits.
18 At Item 5 of Sub-rule (E), that, is the list of exhibits the
19 Prosecutor intends to offer stating wherever possible whether the Defence
20 has any objection as to their authenticity.
21 So I think that we can also deal at that time with the issue of
22 expert witnesses. I have, therefore, identified three stages of our work
23 and I don't think that there is anything that is preventing us from
24 proceeding with these issues, that is, the fact that we still do not have
25 an amended indictment, and that the preliminary motions haven't yet been
1 dealt with. That, I don't think, hinders us in any way in terms of steps
2 and procedures that are envisaged in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter; that is,
3 we should discuss the issues of matters of dispute and not in dispute.
4 I have to say at this point, Mr. Lukic, that we should not be
5 invoking the case law of the Tribunal at this point. There are always
6 precedents and we do not have a firmly-established case law on all of
7 these issues. If there is an appeal, the merits should be discussed later
8 on. But be that as it may, I do believe that we can proceed with certain
9 practical matters during this pre-trial stage of the proceedings, so I
10 invite you to start working on the amended indictment and let us have it
11 as soon as possible. Afterwards, we will be dealing with the preliminary
12 motions, but at the same time in parallel, we can, I think, proceed with
13 the work regarding the indictment that we already have in terms of facts,
14 because as we have heard, the facts will remain more or less the same. So
15 certain aspects of the work can already begin.
16 As you know, at the Plenary Sessions, the Judges have adopted a
17 number of provisions regarding the preliminary stage of the proceedings
18 and I believe that the said provisions enter into force today. The
19 Chamber has already applied those provisions in another case so we do have
20 some experience with these procedures which provide for the trial judge to
21 be able to participate in a more active way in this stage so that once the
22 trial begins, it can go on as fast as possible and as efficiently as
24 First of all, we have to have a work plan on the basis of which we
25 can proceed. Let me try to explain to you what I understand by work
1 plan. Any such work plan should have its objectives and appropriate
2 methodology. The objectives are provided for in Rule 65 ter, Sub-rule (E)
3 for the Prosecution and Sub-rule (F) for the Defence. There is a
4 methodology that goes with that objective and I believe that this
5 methodology is more or less the same mutatis mutandis as the methodology
6 of Rule 71 and the statements taken by a presiding officer.
7 It is one of the general ideas in terms of methodology. However,
8 there is another aspect of this issue of methodology and that is the
9 efficient use of time. In this Chamber, we have so far been applying a
10 methodology in terms of adequate use of time and space. It is very
11 important for the parties to be able to meet with each other and it is
12 also very important that the parties are also close in terms of space and
13 that they have adequate possibility to meet in order to discuss and
14 analyse the issues which only later on will come before the Judges and
15 will be discussed in the courtroom.
16 Once those issues are discussed in the courtroom, the parties have
17 to meet once again and see whether any progress, further progress can be
18 made and then after that, of course, they come back to the Judges and
19 inform them about the progress.
20 We have to have meetings. They can take place here in the
21 courtroom. They can also take place in my office or in the office of the
22 senior legal officer of the Chambers and I think that we will have -- that
23 we will achieve good results by applying this methodology of work.
24 So as I have just indicated, the work plan will be elaborated in
25 light of this perspective. We have to define the objectives and the
1 methodology. You can avail yourselves of the presence of the legal
2 officer, of the Chamber who is also presiding officer in some cases, in
3 order to discuss the issues. So in order -- we have to try to organise
4 the Pre-Trial Conference as soon as possible, but that means that we will
5 have to go through a number of stages that I have already identified.
6 The first stage being to reach agreement on the issues identified
7 in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter. The second stage concerns item 4 of
8 Sub-rule (E), that is, the list of witnesses or rather the presentation of
9 evidence in different forms in which it can be called. And finally, the
10 third stage being the list of exhibits including, if possible, if any, any
11 expert witness reports.
12 So those would be the three stages which will enable us to work.
13 The first one, once again, being trying to find an agreement on matters of
14 dispute, and not in dispute. However, we have to see what evidence we
15 will have to deal with in terms of material and documents that the
16 Prosecutor intends to present and what are, in general terms, the main --
17 what will be, in general terms, the Defence case. So I have just
18 identified a number of tasks for you so that you can start working during
19 this preliminary phase of the proceedings.
20 It is essential that the parties meet, and I said that we will do
21 so, but the parties also may do so on their own initiative. As has
22 already been decided as Rule 65(D) authorises me to do, that the legal
23 officer of the Chamber, Mr. Olivier Fourmy, to assist me in the pre-trial
24 proceedings of this case. It will be up to him to see with you, to
25 consider the questions that need to be addressed and to keep me informed
1 should any difficulties arise. And there, I see a comparison with the
2 system of evidence by depositions because the presiding officer is
3 delegated by the Chamber. In this case, he assists the Pre-Trial Judge.
4 He monitors the implementation of the work plan, but he must always
5 communicate to the Pre-Trial Judge any difficulties that may arise and
6 keep constantly in touch with him so that he can follow the progress of
7 the preparations. So you can ask him to organise a meeting, and also he
8 may request a meeting with you, that is, the Prosecution, the Defence
9 separately or together.
10 Proceeding in this way, I hope that we will relatively speedily
11 come to a point when the trial can begin towards the end of October or --
12 because or rather that the pre-trial phase be completed by October. That
13 is our target. If you calculate the time limits in the Rules, you will
14 see that the pre-trial stage has to be completed in more or less six
15 months. We have started now, but I think that we can complete this stage
16 towards the end of October. I say this because as you know, the Judges
17 that now constitute this Chamber will not remain as of November. But we
18 would like to complete our work before then. Therefore, it is the duty of
19 this Chamber to prepare this case, and we would like to achieve that.
20 It is up to the Chamber to do its work, and we are determined to
21 do so. I am saying this so that we might all achieve this objective of
22 the pre-trial proceedings. We will see what we can do.
23 In any event, I should like to give you a chance to present your
24 views or remarks or questions regarding what I have just said with regard
25 to the new rule of the pre-trial proceedings, the plan of work and the
1 methodology I have presented. I should like to hear your reactions.
2 Ms. Susan Somers.
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution will of
4 course remain mindful of the timeframe the Chamber has pronounced. I
5 would also ask that the Chamber encourage the use of judicially noticed
6 facts which the Chamber has so wisely allowed us to use in other cases. I
7 think that it is a mechanism which will save potentially months of
8 litigation and works, I believe, to the advantage of all parties and in
9 the interests of justice.
10 Adjudicated facts, as well as, which may form the basis of notice
11 should be brought to the attention of the Chamber from -- as they become
12 appropriate after completion of all phases of other trials which may have
13 bearing on this case.
14 The issue which haunts every Chamber and Prosecution, of course,
15 is the need to bring in the same witnesses over and over again because of
16 the way accused come before the Tribunal perhaps serially delivered or
17 perhaps because of the way cases are broken up. And I would ask the
18 Chamber also to assist us in encouraging mechanisms that will not require
19 unnecessary burdens, where appropriate, on certain witnesses to come in
20 again and again.
21 There are pending, besides the Omarska case, the Keraterm case,
22 the Talic/Brdjanin case, and this case matters before various Chambers
23 that have of necessity repetition of witnesses and I would ask this
24 Chamber to assist us in not encouraging witness burn-out or failure of
25 witnesses to appear because of the repeated necessity of so doing.
1 I want to state that I am available to counsel for the Defence any
2 time he needs or wishes to see me, subject to my obligations in court or
3 with my office, and I maintain an open-door policy. I do want to indicate
4 that we did try to reach out as early as possible, and unfortunately
5 because of some red tape, we were unable to make contact but we will make
6 every effort to meet regularly as has been our practice in the other case
7 before this Chamber, and to try to reduce issues to the minimum so that we
8 can get on with the case.
9 Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, with respect
11 to the work plan regarding objectives and methodology, have you a word to
12 say about that?
13 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I think that it is a very sound plan. I
14 realise that a certain part of our work will be held up a bit because of
15 the amendment, but I agree fully that there are things that we can tackle
16 now that we should, indeed, begin to tackle now because when we are in
17 full swing, it will require our full energy. So yes, I think it's very
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Ms. Susan Somers.
20 Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Lukic, have you any comments, remarks, or questions?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the plan that you have
23 set out may give us hope that the trial will proceed as expeditiously as
24 necessary so as to reach the actual trial stage. We are ready to
25 cooperate with you and the Prosecution to that end, and as regards time
1 limits, I hope that with your assistance, we will be able to observe
3 The question just raised by the Prosecution, that is, the question
4 of adjudicated facts and the status of witnesses that have to appear in
5 several cases, in my view, are of a principle nature, and the Defence is
6 unable to take a position with that regard at this stage yet.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
8 I would like to tell you that the concern of this Chamber have already
9 been implemented in the cases that are ongoing before this Chamber. We
10 have prepared trials, and I can tell you that in one particular case, we
11 achieved excellent results by a simple reading of the indictment by the
12 two parties and the Pre-Trial Judge. We read together the indictment
13 going through it and everyone saying, "I agree. I do not agree. I am
14 totally in agreement. I am partially in disagreement."
15 So it is possible to reach stipulations on the basis of the
16 indictment and I accept that. Why, because at the end, there will be a
17 whole series of facts that you will see in the indictment that have
18 nothing to do with the person of Milomir Stakic himself. It has to do
19 with history, the description of a conflict, the general background, but
20 what is important, in my opinion, for the Defence, and I would ask the
21 Defence to adopt an active Defence role, an attitude I do wish to discuss
22 these matters. Because very often, Defence counsel take a passive
23 attitude. It is up to the Prosecution to prove things and I will just
24 wait. However, as you know, in the language of football, defensive teams
25 as a rule lose the match. So it is important to attack to win.
1 So a good position to be taken by the Defence is a dynamic
2 position, a position of communicating with the other party and an active,
3 committed attitude. I do wish to discuss, and to go into the details. So
4 what I think is really important for the Defence is everything that really
5 affects the responsibility of the accused.
6 There are other things that are of a general nature that provide
7 the context, the framework. So in that regard, we can move forward. And
8 in the other case, we did make progress because there was judicial notice,
9 partly judicial notice and partly stipulations, on the basis of some 500
10 facts. Out of those 500, some 440 were accepted as adjudicated. So this
11 enormously facilitates the process of witnesses, the exhibits and so on.
12 Now, as regards this case, we have at least the Omarska case that
13 is related, the Keraterm case. We have the Talic and Brdjanin case,
14 then we have the Kovacevic case too, to a certain extent. So there are
15 many things, in my view, which have already been cleared up to a point and
16 it is possible to negotiate on condition that they do not concern the
17 responsibility of the accused.
18 There is something else that has to be borne in mind. Since we
19 have all these different cases, there is also a large number of witnesses
20 who have already appeared here in court and, in my opinion, it is not
21 useful, in the interest of justice, for the parties or for the Tribunal to
22 make a witness come back to repeat what he has already said and which has
23 been recorded in a transcript of which we have audio and visual record.
24 So I think that one should accept that there is one particular point that
25 this witness needs to clarify because this may be a point that another
1 Defence counsel had not raised because his Defence strategy was different
2 because he forgot or for any other reason.
3 But if there is a real reason to have a witness brought back, we
4 shall do so, but only to tell us something new. If he is to say what he
5 has already said, that has no sense. Therefore, I think that we must be
6 reasonable and, for instance, one could imagine a video conference for the
7 case of a witness who has already appeared in the Tribunal, who has
8 already made his testimony before the Judges after taking the solemn
9 declaration. But if there is one question with the Defence counsel or the
10 Prosecution wishes to put to him, then for that one question, the witness
11 can answer that question by video conferencing, avoiding his travel here,
12 wasting a lot of time bringing him here to the courtroom to give an
13 answer to one single question.
14 So you see, there is a whole series of issues from the practical
15 point of view that we will address, but at this stage of the beginning of
16 the pre-trial, perhaps we need to share them with you already so that the
17 parties may reflect upon them and give them thought. I think that we are
18 all keen on the trial being expeditious but also fair or, vice versa, the
19 trial should be fair but also expeditious. So that is the balance that we
20 wish to build as from now.
21 I should now like to go on to the third point of the agenda, and
22 that is other business or other questions. Are there any other questions
23 which have not been addressed and which should be addressed now?
24 I am looking at Ms. Susan Somers.
25 MS. SOMERS: I cannot think of anything procedurally that you have
1 not covered, Your Honour. I -- again, after I have a chance to speak with
2 Mr. Lukic after the session has ended there may be something, and I will
3 inform your officer if that's appropriate. Thank you.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Ms. Susan Somers.
5 Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Also, at this point in time, Your
7 Honour, I have no question that I feel needs to be addressed just now.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.
9 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I was just reminded, this
10 may be absolutely superfluous, but because this is the first time I have
11 we've had dealings with each other, of course the materials which will be
12 given out as supporting materials are confidential and we have attached a
13 receipt which indicates their confidential nature and that they are not to
14 be disclosed to anyone.
15 I just wanted to inform the Chamber that we have so included this
16 caveat. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I am going to issue
18 the work plan and a few guidelines with respect to the objectives and
19 methodology and especially scheduling formally designating Mr. Olivier
20 Fourmy as the legal officer who will assist me in this pre-trial
21 proceedings establishing the role that he will play, but from this moment
22 on, you are able to communicate through him with me.
23 I should like to give him the floor to see whether he has anything
24 to add for this Status Conference. Mr. Olivier Fourmy.
25 MR. FOURMY: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
1 Thank you very much for the confidence shown in me, and by the Chamber
2 through you in designating me as a person who could facilitate the
3 pre-trial stage of these proceedings, and I should like to invite the
4 parties to contact me, either separately or together, whenever they feel
5 the need to do so. Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you very much,
7 Mr. Olivier Fourmy. There is something I would like to address before I
8 give the floor to Dr. Stakic. That is the composition of Mr. Lukic's
9 team. I think to be able to develop their work and to be able to fulfil
10 our objectives in terms of the schedule, we really have to pay attention
11 to this and I am referring to the composition of Mr. Lukic's team.
12 I should like to ask Madam Registrar where we stand with
13 respect to that issue.
14 THE REGISTRAR: I just spoke with Chritain Rohde this morning and
15 he informed me that a decision a being made now to make Mr. Lukic counsel
16 for Mr. Stakic. And as far as getting more people for his team, Mr. Lukic
17 will have to ask Mr. Rohde for that.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. So Mr. Lukic, you
19 have an additional task, and that is to form your team and to communicate
20 with Mr. Christian Rohde so that the team could be constituted because
21 we wouldn't like to hear you say tomorrow that you were not able to
22 complete your work because you were alone, you have no co-counsel and no
23 proper team. I have made this remark to the Registry so that the Registry
24 take care of your requests so that the Registrar should be well aware of
25 our interest in working properly and completing our work by October. And
1 in order to achieve that, it is also important for the Registrar to
2 provide the necessary resources for you to compose your team.
3 Before adjourning this hearing, I should like to address
4 Dr. Stakic. Will you stand, please. I should like to ask you whether
5 there is anything in particular that you would like to say, specifically
6 regarding conditions of detention and your health. Are you feeling well?
7 Do you have anything to tell us?
8 THE ACCUSED: Your Honour, I believe that you know that I have
9 been operated on 14 or 15 days ago and, thank God, and thanks to the
10 doctors, my colleagues who did a good job, I am already feeling quite
11 well. The wound is healing and I hope everything will be fine and thank
12 you for your concern.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.
14 THE ACCUSED: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I hope, after this first
16 meeting, we will really be able to begin establishing a good cooperative
17 strategy, a strategy from which all of us will gain, the accused, the
18 Defence, the Prosecution, the Chamber, and justice in general. It is not
19 a case when somebody gains and the other loses. It really is something
20 that all can benefit from if making the proper contribution.
21 So I encourage you to adopt such a working perspective, because
22 when somebody does not cooperate, it makes the overall task more
23 complicated. So I think the spirit of cooperation and communication can
24 make the work of all of us easier, simpler, but also more effective and
25 more beneficial. Having made that remark, I wish to say that I am very
1 happy to work with you. I am always available through Mr. Olivier Fourmy,
2 and we will do everything we can to complete the pre-trial stage by
3 October so that the trial can begin as soon as possible.
4 Thank you for your attention. Success in your work. The hearing
5 is adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon The Status Conference is adjourned at
7 11.15 a.m.