1 Wednesday, 13 October 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
7 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-69-T.
8 The Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Before we will hear
10 further evidence, there are a few procedural matters which I'd like to
11 raise. We first move into private session.
12 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
1 On the 8th of October, you, Mr. Jordash, have sent an e-mail to
2 Ms. Malmstrom of Chamber staff in relation to the admission into evidence
3 of payment records obtained through request for assistance 1639, and in
4 relation to any objections to the admission of the Donia report. You
5 wrote to Ms. Malmstrom that you had considered the matter in light of the
6 admissibility threshold established by previous Trial Chamber decisions
7 and consequently have decided not to pursue any objections and upon your
8 request, the Chamber then informed you that it was not needed to file a
9 formal response because we put it on the record by other means which has
10 hereby been done.
11 Then I'm now looking at the Prosecution. In relation to the
12 admission of payment records, is there any confidentiality involved,
13 Mr. Groome? I'm talking about P444 up to and including P468, and
14 P1484-1514, which are three additional lists, any need to keep them?
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, given the potential importance, can I
16 ask that I report to the Chamber after the first break and I will verify
17 whether there is a need or not?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the Chamber hereby decides that P444 up
19 to and including P468 are admitted into evidence and that P1484 up to and
20 including P1514 are also admitted into evidence and later today the
21 Chamber will decide whether these will be public exhibits or whether they
22 will be confidential exhibits.
23 Then since there are no objections to admission of the Donia
24 report, both parties have now expressed -- both Defence teams have now
25 expressed that they do no longer object, the Chamber hereby admits into
1 evidence the Donia report, which is P1483.
2 Then we now turn into closed session in order to hear the
3 evidence of the next witness.
4 [Closed session]
11 Pages 7888-7931 redacted. Closed session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
7 I would like to deliver the Chamber's decision on the Prosecution
8 motion for video-conference link for the testimony of Witness JF-052. On
9 the 20th of September, 2010, the Prosecution requested leave to call
10 Witness JF-052 via video-conference link. It's submitted that the
11 witness's status as a refugee in Bosnia-Herzegovina currently makes it
12 impossible for him to obtain travel documents. While Bosnian law
13 entitles refugees to request passports, Bosnian authorities have not
14 issued such passport to date. And the implementation of this law is not
15 expected any time soon. The Prosecution received this information from
16 the Bosnian ministry of security, as well as a non-governmental
17 organisation providing legal assistance to asylum seekers through the
18 Victims and Witness Section in Sarajevo
19 The Prosecution further submitted that Witness JF-052 offers
20 unique and important evidence to the trial, and that the use of
21 video-conference links does not prejudice the rights of the accused.
22 The Stanisic Defence responded on the 24th of September, 2010,
23 opposing the motion. It submitted that the Prosecution has made no
24 meaningful effort to obtain the necessary travel documents on behalf of
25 the witness, and argued that not even an application for a passport seems
1 to have been submitted to the authorities.
2 It further argued that the relevance of the witness's testimony
3 to the indictment is highly questionable as the events his testimony
4 concerns are not enumerated in the indictment, and relate to a
5 time-period with little connection to the enumerated events in 1991, 1992
6 or 1995.
7 The Simatovic Defence did not respond to the motion.
8 According to Rule 81 bis of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and
9 Evidence, a Chamber may order that proceedings be conducted by way of
10 video-conference link if this is consistent with the interests of
11 justice. The jurisprudence of this Tribunal has identified three
12 criteria guiding the Chamber in acting pursuant to this rule. Those
13 criteria are: The witness must be unable or have good reasons to be
14 unwilling to come to the seat of the Tribunal; the witness's testimony
15 must be sufficiently important to make it unfair to the requesting party
16 to proceed without it; and the accused must not be prejudiced in the
17 exercise of their rights to confront the witness.
18 However, after considering all relevant factors in a particular
19 case, the ultimate determination to be made when considering a request
20 for video-conference link testimony is whether it would be consistent
21 with the interests of justice.
22 Witness JF-052's evidence concerns the presence and actions of
23 certain individuals in Bajina Basta in 1993 and 1994. These individuals
24 included members of VJ units, the Drina Wolves, police officers from
1 which may not be alleged in the indictment, the Chamber considers his
2 expected testimony about the acts and conduct of Mr. Simatovic
3 sufficiently important to make it unfair to the Prosecution to proceed
4 without it.
5 Furthermore, the Chamber finds that the accused would not be
6 materially prejudiced in the exercise of their rights to confront the
7 witness if video-conference link were granted.
8 In relation to whether the witness is unable or has good reasons
9 to be unwilling to come to the seat of the Tribunal, the Chamber notes
10 that the witness is willing to come to The Hague. As to his ability to
11 come, the Chamber accepts the representations made by the Prosecution.
12 While the Chamber would, at a minimum, have expected requests to obtain
13 the necessary travel document in such a case, it is cognizant that to
14 require such requests at this stage may not lead to any or at least not a
15 timely issuance of such documents.
16 Accordingly, the Chamber considers that to require the applicant
17 to request the travel document at this stage would not be conducive to
18 the expeditious completion of the Prosecution's case. At the same time,
19 the Chamber expresses its concerns with the administrative system of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina which may not be functioning as it should be, thereby
21 having a some negative influence on the proceedings of this Chamber.
22 Accordingly, the Chamber invites the parties and the Registry to
23 find ways in consultation with the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to
24 avoid similar such occurrences in the future. Based on the foregoing,
25 the Chamber is satisfied that it is consistent with the interests of
1 justice to hear Witness JF-052's testimony via video-conference link and
2 grants the motion. And this concludes the Chamber's decision on this
4 Mr. Groome, as may be clear, we would have expected a request and
5 this is not part of the decision, whereas the decision says that it's in
6 the interests of justice to hear this evidence through video-conference
7 link, justice might even have been better served if more efforts would
8 have been made to even hear this testimony viva voce. I'm not seeking
9 any further comment on it, but it's just an encouragement to -- if -- so
10 on both sides, both to -- as is expressed in the decision to seek
11 co-operation with the Bosnian authorities, but even if that has not
12 been -- has not yet resulted in a final solution, that it would certainly
13 be preferable to see whether, although perhaps it bad perspectives, to
14 have done everything possible to see whether we could not have received
15 this evidence viva voce.
16 Then we'll take a break now, break of half an hour. We resume at
17 20 minutes to 6.00, but I already informed the public that we'll resume
18 in closed session and in order not to lose any time, have the curtains
19 already down when we resume at 20 minutes to 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.12 p.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
23 [Closed session]
11 Pages 7936-7959 redacted. Closed session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
16 How many additional days you would need, Mr. Jordash? You asked
17 for a couple of days in relation to D122 and D123? My suggestion was
18 Friday, the 29th of October. You asked for some additional days. How
19 many would you need?
20 MR. JORDASH: Could we have until the Wednesday after, please.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Which would be Wednesday the 3rd of November, would
22 that do?
23 MR. JORDASH: Yes, thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I've not heard from the other parties, therefore
25 simultaneous -- the dead-line for simultaneous submissions by the parties
1 is set at Wednesday the 3rd of November, close of business.
2 If there's nothing else, we'll adjourn for the day. I already
3 informed the public that we'll continue tomorrow in closed session. We
4 adjourn until tomorrow, the 14th of October, quarter past 2.00 in the
5 afternoon in this same Courtroom I.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of
8 October, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.