Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Monday, 1 October 2007

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.

 6            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Please be seated.

 7            Mr. Registrar, could you please call the case.

 8            THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honour.  This is case number

 9    IT-01-42-A, the Prosecutor versus Pavle Strugar.

10            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.

11            Mr. Strugar, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you

12    can answer?

13            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

14            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.  You may be seated.

15            Can we take the appearances, starting with the Office of the

16    Prosecutor.

17            MS. JARVIS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

18            Michelle Jarvis appearing for the Prosecution, together with my

19    colleague, Ms. Laurel Baig, and our case manager today, Mr. Sebastian van

20    Hooydonk.

21            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22            And now I would kindly ask the Defence of Mr. Strugar.

23            MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.

24            I am Vladimir Petrovic, and I'm co-counsel for General Strugar.

25            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.

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 1            In this case, both parties have filed an appeal to the sentence

 2    passed on the sentence on the 31st of January, 2005.  At the request of

 3    both parties, the Appeal Chamber permitted for the appeals to be withdrawn

 4    on the 20th of September, 2006.  The appeal proceedings restarted on the

 5    7th of June, 2007.

 6            Pending the appeals judgement, Mr. Strugar has been detained in

 7    The Hague, in the Netherlands, pursuant to provisions of Article 65 bis

 8    (P) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal.

 9            The Status Conference takes place 120 days after the appeal has

10    been announced in order for the person in the Detention Unit to raise the

11    matters with regard to the appeals in this case.

12            In this case, the deadline started at the moment when the appeals

13    proceedings were reopened.  On the 31st of August this year, an order was

14    issued to hold a status conference in this case.  This is the first time

15    that we sit as part of the appeals proceedings.

16            Mr. Strugar, I would kindly ask you to tell me whether you have

17    anything to draw my attention to with regard to the conditions in the

18    Detention Unit or your health condition.

19            You have the floor, Mr. Strugar.

20            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no --

21            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Mr. Strugar, could you please switch

22    on the microphone so that we could hear your words.

23            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.  I don't have any

24    complaints to the conditions in the Detention Unit.  As far as my health

25    is concerned, I don't know whether you're familiar with the fact that last

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 1    year I underwent a surgical procedure on my right hip, and my hip was

 2    replaced by an artificial hip.  For the time being, I don't have any pain

 3    in that hip.  However, my left hip is now giving me a lot of pain.  The

 4    pain is acute.  And I suppose that given the conditions that I am in at

 5    the moment, I will not be able to undergo another surgery at the moment,

 6    but it is pending.  I'm sure I will have to be operated soon.

 7            I also suffer from a kidney disease, and I have been treated for

 8    this kidney disease in The Hague, in the Detention Unit as well as in the

 9    hospital.  What is its name?  I can't remember at the moment, but it

10    doesn't really matter.  The Hague hospital.  I believe that it is the

11    Queen's hospital in The Hague.  There, they found out that the artificial

12    channels that I have had come loose and this defect was repaired.

13            Given my very serious condition, I was provisionally released for

14    a period of two years.  In the meantime, the kidney condition has improved

15    to a certain extent.  I have had another attack recently.  The attack was

16    somewhat milder with regard to the attacks that I suffered in the past.

17    However, this kidney disease is always present.  It's not going to go

18    away.

19            I also suffer from a prostate disease, and the Dutch doctors have

20    provided me with medicines that are administered regularly.  My prostate,

21    especially since the weather has turned cold again, prevents me from

22    getting a good night's rest.

23            I've been undertaking some other measures, such as warming my

24    feet, stomach and similar things, but that is another ailment that at the

25    moment I'm suffering from and which makes me suffer.

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 1            The cervical vertebra number 2 were impaired in an accident, and

 2    that's why I have the neck spondylosis, and I pass out from time to time

 3    as a result of that.

 4            I'm sure that you can appreciate that I am getting on in age.  I

 5    am 75.  All my joints are affected by rheumatism, especially my knees,

 6    that I will also have to undergo a surgery for.

 7            This would be more or less some of the more significant health

 8    complaints that I have at the moment.

 9            I believe that I have answered your question, Your Honour.

10            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Strugar.

11            I have noted your condition.  You may be seated again.  I would

12    now like to remind you that pursuant to Rules 84 to 88 of the Rules that

13    are relative to the regime in the Detention Unit, at any moment you can

14    file a complaint or a request to the head of the Detention Unit or even

15    the Registrar of the Tribunal, but as I've told you, we have noted

16    everything that you have just told us about your health condition.

17            When it comes to the development of the appeals proceedings, I

18    would like to remind the parties of the order of the 23rd August of this

19    year.  In that order, the Trial Chamber states that the file in these

20    proceedings encompasses all the submissions that the parties submitted

21    before the appeals was withdrawn.  By that order, the parties were invited

22    to update their submissions in order to take into account the most recent

23    developments with regard to the case law of this Tribunal from the moment

24    the appeals was withdrawn.

25            By a decision of the 31st of August of this year, I extended the

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 1    deadline for the submissions, of the updated submissions.  Unless you want

 2    to do it today, I would like to state that the parties have not submitted

 3    their amended submissions.  Unless this changes, pursuant to Rules 108 and

 4    115 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Appeal Chamber will

 5    examine the parties' submissions in the form as we are seized of them

 6    today.

 7            Would the parties like to say something about the appeals file and

 8    their submissions?  First, the Prosecution.

 9            MS. JARVIS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

10            Just in respect of Your Honour's invitation to the parties to file

11    updated submissions, it is the Prosecution's intention to file such an

12    updated submission, and we had understood that the deadline for doing so

13    was today, given that the deadline in the order fell yesterday, being a

14    non-registry day, so we were intending to file that submission by the

15    close of business today.

16            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.  We have heard your oral

17    submission, and I'm turning to the Defence.  Do you have any remarks with

18    regard to the filing of the submissions?

19            MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have analysed the

20    case law that followed the period of time when the submissions in these

21    proceedings were filed, and it is our position that it is not necessary to

22    modify anything that we submitted during 2005 and 2006.

23            The most recent sentence in the case of Mrksic until a few days

24    ago has a lot of things that may -- and I say they may have an impact on

25    our case.  Since that sentence was passed only two or three days ago,

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 1    towards the end of last week, we were not in a position to re-examine and

 2    analyse this sentence.  And I remind everybody that that sentence is very

 3    similar to our case.  The first accused in that case, General Mrksic, was

 4    also commander of an argine, just like our defendant. The type of

 5    responsibility for which he was charged and found guilty is similar to the

 6    charges against our defendant.  It is possible that after a detailed

 7    analysis of this sentence, we will arrive at certain things that might be

 8    of some significance for this case and for this Appeals Chamber.

 9            What I would kindly ask the Appeals Chamber, and I may be asking

10    for too much, but this is still my request, is to give some time in order

11    to analyse that sentence in view of the similarities between the position

12    of the first accused in that case and the accused in this case. And should

13    we deem it necessary after the analysis, we will be able to supplement our

14    appeal submissions.

15            As I've already stated and I repeat, this happened only recently,

16    and there was no time for any forward analysis between Friday and today.

17    If this does not delay the appeals proceedings, which I don't think will

18    be the case, I'm kindly asking for another postponement to allow us to

19    analyse this sentence in the case of Prosecutor versus Mrksic.  This will

20    allow us to possibly supplement our submissions in these appeal

21    proceedings.

22            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23            I take note that the Prosecution is going to submit an amended

24    submission today, and you would like to be granted additional time in

25    order to take into consideration the Mrksic judgement that you have just

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 1    mentioned.

 2            In that case, pursuant to Rule 108, you should file a submission

 3    and state therein the rationale supporting your request.

 4            MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] This is exactly what we are going

 5    to do, Your Honour.

 6            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7            Pursuant to Rule 114 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and

 8    once the file -- the appeals file is complete, the trial will schedule a

 9    date for a hearing.  This question has not been raised, but we are doing

10    our best, depending on the schedules, to have the hearing in this case. It

11    may happen in the first quarter of 2008, but it will all depend on the

12    circumstances surrounding this case.

13            As far as I am concerned, I have nothing else to add.  The parties

14    have spoken, and if you have nothing else to say or if you have no other

15    questions, we may adjourn for today.

16            Are there any questions, any comments?

17            MS. JARVIS:  No, Your Honour, there's nothing further from the

18    Prosecution.  Thank you.

19            THE INTERPRETER:  No, thank you, Your Honours.  The Prosecution

20    have nothing to add.

21            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Jarvis.

22            I am now addressing the Defence.

23            MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to

24    draw your attention to the fact that there is a submission of ours dated

25    10th of May, 2007, which, as far as I know, is still unresolved, and it

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 1    pertains to providing medical assistance to the accused Strugar in the

 2    Detention Unit and partly to what Mr. Strugar himself has told you today.

 3    Therefore, I don't know whether I'm required to give additional

 4    explanation relating to this request or should the Appeals Chamber deal

 5    with it as part of the case file.

 6            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.

 7            Based on the information that we have, this submission was denied

 8    on the 23rd of May this year.  Therefore, if you wish so, you may submit a

 9    new request to the Appeals Chamber regarding the medical condition.

10            MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are going to review

11    the situation and then give our response in an appropriate manner.

12            JUDGE VAZ: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.

13            There are no other questions?

14            I would like to thank everybody.  This concludes today's status

15    conference.

16                          --- Status Conference concluded at 10.23 a.m.