1 Wednesday, 12 November 2008
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The Accused not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would the registrar call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-69-PT. The
9 Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. GROOME: Good afternoon, Your Honour. For the Prosecution
12 I'm Dermot Groome. I'm accompanied by Doris Brehmeier-Metz. I'd like to
13 introduce you to Klaus Hoffman, who will be the senior lawyer responsible
14 for disclosure in the case, and Thomas Laugel our case manager.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks. And the Defence.
16 MR. KNOOPS: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Geert-Jan Knoops
17 counsel for Mr. Stanisic, accompanied by, first, Ms. Amy Walsh, legal
18 assistant in this case, in the process of being admitted to the New South
19 Wales bar Supreme Court of Australia. And Ms. Rima Dijkstra. She is a
20 lawyer in the process of being admitted to the Dutch bar. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. And for Mr. Simatovic.
22 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. My name is
23 Zoran Jovanovic and I appear on behalf of accused Simatovic.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I thank you all for attending this
25 conference, Status Conference. I'm happy to see all of you again. Those
1 that I haven't seen for such a long time, Mr. Jovanovic and Mr. Knoops.
2 Mr. Groome is virtually ubiquitous, so I see him all the time.
3 We have some matters to consider, and I will deal with them as
4 quickly, but as completely as possible. Both Defence teams have filed
5 notices evidencing the accuseds' consent to the status conference
6 proceeding in their absence.
7 I turn next to the review of the health of the accused,
8 Jovica Stanisic. You recall that the proceedings were adjourned on the
9 20th of May, and final medical reports were submitted to the Chamber in
11 On the 23rd of October, the Prosecution filed a motion for the
12 re-assessment of the health of Mr. Stanisic, and resumption of the
13 trial proceedings. The Stanisic Defence filed its response on the 6th
14 of November, 2008, requesting continuation of the adjournment.
15 Mr. Jovanovic confirmed that the Simatovic Defence will not
16 file any submissions. The Prosecution reply, I understand, has now
17 been filed. The matter is, therefore, now ready for determination by
18 the Trial Chamber and we'll give our decision shortly.
19 Now, pending motions. Question really arises as to whether
20 most of these matters should not really be left to the Chamber that
21 will actually be dealing with this matter, trying this matter. I
22 would tend to think that that is the better course, but there are some
23 matters that could be dealt with by this Trial Chamber.
24 There's the Prosecution's fifth, sixth and seventh motions to
25 amend the Rule 65 ter exhibit list filed the 22nd of July, 2008
1 the 2nd of October, 2008. There's the Stanisic response to the
2 Prosecution's fifth and sixth motion filed the 5th of August, and the
3 response to the Prosecution's seventh motion filed the 16th of
4 October. And then we have the Simatovic response to the Prosecution's
5 seventh motion to amend the 65 ter exhibit list filed the 16th of
7 The Prosecution requests for leave to reply and reply was
8 filed on the 22nd of October, 2008. These motions are matters that, in
9 our view, can be properly dealt with at this stage of the proceedings,
10 and are now ready for determination.
11 There's a Prosecution submission of the reports of Amor Masovic,
12 Visnja Bilic and Anna-Maria Radic, all filed the 22nd of September. Both
13 Defence teams have filed responses requiring the expert to be called for
14 cross-examination. The only matter arising in relation to these reports
15 is that the Prosecution withdrew one of its expert witnesses,
16 Ivan Grujic, whose report was replaced by other expert reports pursuant
17 to the Chamber's decision of 18th June.
18 Mr. Groome, I understand that you would welcome the Chamber's
19 guidance as to whether you should withdraw the report of this expert
20 from the record, or whether the present informal agreement that it
21 does not intend to reply upon the report is sufficient. I would
22 tends to think it should be withdrawn.
23 MR. GROOME: In a formal written submission, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, then we will do that.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Now, motions pursuant to Rules 92 bis, ter
2 and quater. The Prosecution has indicated it would welcome an early
3 determination of these matters, including the Rule 92 ter quater motion
4 to admit the prior testimony of Milan Babic, who is deceased. The
5 Defence take the view that these motions should be decided by the Judges
6 who will hear the trial when resumed.
7 There are also more recent applications to admit the further
8 written evidence of Petar Jankovic, pursuant to Rule 92 ter, filed on
9 the 28th of August, and further written evidence of Husein Ahmetovic,
10 pursuant to Rule 92 bis, filed on the 26th of August, 2008.
11 My own view is that the 92 bis, ter and quater matters should
12 be decided by the Chamber that will actually be hearing the trial when
13 it -- when it resumes.
14 The Prosecution's motions for protective measures and video
15 conference link. There is a motion filed by the Prosecution for the
16 continuation of protective measures for Witness MM-078 on the 6th of
17 May, 2008, and a response filed by the Stanisic Defence on 20th of May,
18 2008. No response has been filed on behalf of Simatovic, and at
19 present this has been left pending to await the decision as to the
20 resumption of trial.
21 Then there was a motion to hear the evidence of two witnesses
22 by video conference link filed by the Prosecution on the 2nd of May,
23 2008, with a response filed by the Stanisic Defence on the 16th of
24 May. No response has been filed on behalf of Simatovic, and as is the
25 case with the protective measures application, this is currently
1 awaiting the resumption of trial.
2 You will, of course, be aware that the protective measures
3 sought by the Prosecution continue to apply without further order
4 pursuant to Rule 75(F)(i), and it would seem to be premature to determine
5 the application for video conference link based on ill health until
6 sometime nearer the testimony. One of the witnesses is in his 70s. The
7 health condition of the witnesses may change, and no decision will be
8 rendered on these matters until the resumption of the trial.
9 Adjudicated facts. Prosecution motion was filed on the 1st of
10 May, 2007, and is fully briefed. I understand that at the 65 ter
11 Conference, the parties confirmed that they have held discussions but
12 agreement can only be reached on a very limited number of facts relating
13 to personal issues such as the date of birth of the accused.
14 That's not going very far. Mr. Groome and Mr. Knoops,
15 anything on that, and Mr. Jovanovic? Can we get any further on the
16 adjudicated facts, anything --
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Office of the Prosecutor remains
18 open to this and while there may be some facts that remain in dispute and
19 are core issues in the case, there are some that I must frankly say that
20 I have trouble seeing how they would be in any serious contention. For
21 example, for the victims at Trnovo, is it really in contention who their
22 identity is, and do we really need to bring the family members to say
23 that was my son who is executed on the videotape? It would seem to me
24 that that would be the type of fact that would be a matter of such little
25 controversy that it should be easily an agreed fact.
1 The Prosecution remains open for any discussions about this and
2 would welcome the Chamber's encouragement to the parties to make some
3 better progress in this regard.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Knoops and Mr. Jovanovic. Mr. Knoops,
5 first, why would you be contesting a matter such as the one just raised
6 by Mr. Groome, the identification of the victims at Trnovo?
7 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, we are willing to reconsider that
8 position when it concerns the numbers of the victims and the names. And
9 on this issue I can reconsider the position of our Defence team. Thank
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. And of course, I encourage you to
12 look at other matters that may be amenable to agreement.
13 Mr. Jovanovic.
14 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our position is the
15 same as that of my learned friend. We will reconsider this issue. As
16 for the issue of the victims in Trnovo, we will reconsider it as well.
17 In particular, having in mind the judgement that was rendered before the
18 court for war crimes in Belgrade
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Groome, I hope you are
20 encouraged by that, and you may want to put other matters to the Defence.
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. And I know that Mr. Jovanovic has
22 travelled from Belgrade
23 later today or tomorrow or before Mr. Jovanovic goes back so we hopefully
24 can engage in fruitful negotiations on this matter.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
1 Now, disclosure matters. I understand the Stanisic Defence has
2 prepared documents listing some outstanding items, and that these are
3 being addressed by the parties. And the Simatovic Defence has indicated
4 it will seek to obtain access to confidential material in the Perisic
6 May I ask whether there is any matter that any party wishes to
7 raise? First, Mr. Groome?
8 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Knoops.
10 MR. KNOOPS: Thank you, Your Honour, no.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovanovic.
12 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] None, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 The Prosecutor already announced that they will not object to our request
14 for access to material in the Perisic case.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Now, the next Status Conference will
16 have to be held before the 12th of March, 2009, and you will be advised
17 as to the precise date.
18 There being no other matter to discuss, this hearing is
20 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
21 adjourned at 2.33 p.m.