1 Tuesday, 12 March 2002
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 4.47 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
7 IT-01-42-PT, the Prosecutor versus Pavle Strugar.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. As far as the
9 appearances are concerned, I see that both parties are represented by the
10 same persons as during the hearing on the preliminary motion we just had
11 prior to this Status Conference.
12 If you'd allow me first to come back to this preliminary hearing,
13 so this is not yet part of the Status Conference, I informed the parties
14 that the Trial Chamber has decided during the pause that on the last
15 question I put to Mr. Petrovic on which he said he would prefer to seek
16 advice first before giving a final answer, that the Defence is allowed to
17 give a written response to that question but not later than this week.
18 And we'll then, of course, see whether there's any -- whether the Chamber
19 feels that it's appropriate to give an opportunity for the Prosecution to
20 respond to that. It also depends a bit on the content of the response we
21 receive. It was a question of the Judges to the Defence. That about the
22 hearing on the preliminary motion.
23 At the beginning of this Status Conference, I repeat what has been
24 said during the hearing on the preliminary motion, that both parties
25 agreed to have this Status Conference, although not scheduled in advance,
1 that it is limited to those issues specifically regarding the accused
2 Strugar and not the accused Jokic. The reason why we thought it wise to
3 have this Status Conference today is that especially Defence counsel are
4 present in The Hague at this very moment, and why not use their presence
5 to see whether there's anything to be further discussed in the presence of
6 the Pre-Trial Judge.
7 I'm aware that there have been lengthy discussions today between
8 the parties in the presence of the senior legal officer, and I would like
9 to invite the parties to bring to the attention of the Pre-Trial Judge
10 whatever issue that has been discussed today of which they feel that
11 the -- that it should be directly brought to the attention of the
12 Pre-Trial Judge, and also to give an opportunity to the parties to present
13 any additional matter which they think should be brought to the attention
14 of the Pre-Trial Judge at this very moment, although it has not been
15 discussed today.
16 Mr. Rodic, may I first give you the opportunity to bring to my
17 attention whatever you'd like.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, today we nearly had two
19 hours, almost two hours, in the presence of the Senior Legal Officer, and
20 with the presence of our learned colleagues, we discussed this case and
21 some problems that the Defence believes have to be discussed, and we
22 believe that we discussed them in detail. First of all was the fact that
23 the Defence, in relation to the initial appearance of General Strugar,
24 when he came forward of his own will before the Tribunal, in this period,
25 the Defence was only given the support material to the indictment, when
1 the indictment was confirmed. Now, from the experience and my work in
2 other cases -- on other cases, the Defence expects -- believes -- that
3 this material that the Prosecution has and that the Defence would like to
4 have disclosed, we believe that this will be a very voluminous material,
5 in comparison to the support material we were given with the indictment.
6 In order to be expeditious in the preparation for the Defence and
7 preparation for the trial, we requested from our colleagues of the
8 Prosecution to hand over, in some succession, the materials that they
9 have, regardless whether this material in this case has already been
10 translated into B/C/S or not, so that the Defence could prepare adequately
11 for the trial. And at this meeting that we had today, we underscored what
12 our position was, and I believe that we have some kind of agreement on
13 this matter. And to tell you the truth, this is the main problem for us.
14 This is the problem of the documents.
15 Secondly, I would like to tell the Trial Chamber, rather Your
16 Honour, to inform you about our client, Mr. Strugar, upon his return in
17 Podgorica after the Trial Chamber ordered his provisional release. He is
18 at home and he is in every way respecting the order of this Chamber, as it
19 is in the decision of the 30th of November, 2001. I believe that the
20 government of Montenegro is also respecting the guarantees that it issued
21 in relation to General Strugar. General Strugar is relatively well, from
22 the point of view of his health, after some intervention that he's had in
23 Podgorica, and it was also discussed at this meeting I talked about, that
24 by mid-April, the Defence will also hand over to the Trial Chamber and to
25 the Prosecution, about the interventions regarding -- medical
1 interventions after his departure from The Hague and his treatment. Thank
2 you very much.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Rodic. First of all, of
6 course, I'm quite glad to hear that the condition of Mr. Strugar is
7 satisfactory at this moment and has improved. I'm sure that you'll convey
8 to him that it's a pleasure to hear this, for me, at this very moment.
9 I also do understand your remarks that disclosure, although I
10 would say, as always being a problem, led to some kind of an agreement
11 between the parties, I take it that this agreement would be with full
12 respect to Rule 66 to 70 which deals with the disclosure. I'm always glad
13 to hear that the parties have agreed upon certain aspects, but I'd like to
14 hear from Ms. Somers now, whether she has any additional observations to
15 make in respect of today's discussions or anything which has not been
16 discussed today but nevertheless is of importance to know for the
17 Pre-Trial Judge.
18 Please proceed, Ms. Somers.
19 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
20 First and foremost was one of the points which the senior legal
21 officer very greatly assisted us in establishing, which is that there is
22 no 66 [B] or 67 request pending. And accordingly, the obligation for
23 document disclosure would come in 65 ter submission. We will endeavour
24 where possible, as things become ready, to have these materials ready, but
25 we are also mindful of where the obligation does lie in terms of the
2 On the -- unless, of course, and we raise this, it would be
3 helpful since ultimately we will be receiving when the Defence case comes
4 the documents that they intend to use. If in the same spirit that we are
5 asked to, as it were, accelerate our obligations, they may consider the
6 same type of offer. It will help us to know what may at this point in
7 time be most helpful. In other words, a 66 [B] request does assist us.
8 It gives us an idea of the nature of the Defence and what might be most
9 appropriate at this time to expedite the transmission of.
10 The process of the ongoing Rule 68 searches was a subject of
11 discussion, and I wanted to make sure that Your Honour is aware that the
12 all-system search that is carried on normally as part of the pretrial
13 phase, we have been informed will be undertaken some time at the end of
14 May because of the exigencies caused by the Milosevic related searches.
15 However, having said that, any materials that we come across that we find
16 would meet -- and that is principally, Your Honour, a Rule 68 driven type
17 of search. We do not limit Rule 68 searches to only that engine. We are
18 looking ourselves. And as we come across things, we will so transmit, and
19 we are permanently mindful of our obligation to do so. The bulk of the
20 witness statements which would fall under 66[A][ii] effectively overlap
21 much of what was turned over under 66[A][i], which was immediately turned
22 over, I think probably -- if I'm correct, Mr. Tochilovsky informed me --
23 very close in time to the arrest -- I'm sorry, to the surrender. However,
24 we have been asked to check for those potential additional statements
25 which may come from sources outside the Tribunal but may be in our
1 possession, let's say from other governments or from relief agencies.
2 Those normally are given over in connection with the 66[A][ii]. We will
3 undertake to look for those as well. That was specifically a concern of
4 the Defence's.
5 We have asked and would ask the Defence in a most expeditious
6 manner if they can undertake to give us the particular references of two
7 documents in the Rule 66[A][i] materials that they deem most urgent, and
8 we will undertake to search those out and present them.
9 Again -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I know you're going to say
10 something, Your Honour. Those would normally only go if, of course, we
11 would call those particular witnesses. And that still may be the
12 parametre under which we'll operate. But it would help me to know what it
13 is they are in particular looking for.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MS. SOMERS: And also, of course, I mentioned earlier the
16 application seeking leave to amend the indictment will be forthcoming. I
17 do not at this point in time have a time frame. We're trying to get some
18 of the sources from whom some specificity may be available to assist us.
19 And I hesitate to tell the Chamber anything now that I can't act on.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Somers.
21 It seems to me that the parties are proceeding in such a way which
22 would not ask any interference of the Pre-Trial Judge at this very
23 moment. I'd like to urge the parties that they should not hesitate to
24 approach the senior legal officer whenever there would come up a problem
25 in respect of which they think the senior legal officer could assist.
1 It's like, as it is in health situations, if you ignore a problem, it
2 might become bigger while ignoring it. So rather pay attention to it at
3 an early stage than wait until it has grown and has become such size that
4 it's far more difficult to tackle.
5 I do not see that there's anything else to be raised by the
6 parties. If this is confirmed by nodding, then that would mean that we
7 could now conclude the very short Status Conference. I thank the parties
8 for being present and informing the Pre-Trial Chamber.
9 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
10 at 5.03 p.m.