1 Tuesday, 11 December 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE PROST: Good afternoon, everyone.
7 Madam Registrar, can you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
9 IT-05-88/2-PT, The Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir.
10 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Tolimir, I would like to confirm that you are receiving
12 interpretation and can understand me. Is that correct?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. I understand you,
14 and I'm hearing you quite clearly.
15 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. And if you have any difficulties at any
16 point in hearing me, please let me know immediately.
17 May I have the appearances, please.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PROST: Good afternoon.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Peter McCloskey with Rupert Elderkin and Janet
21 Stewart for the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much. And I note Mr. Tolimir is
23 present, self-represented.
24 Before we begin, I have one preliminary matter, Mr. Tolimir. At
25 the last Status Conference, it was your first appearance as a
1 self-represented accused, and you were given at that time what I would as
2 some latitude to express personal religious beliefs through the prayer at
3 the beginning of the conversation. However, you have elected,
4 Mr. Tolimir, to represent yourself in a court proceeding, and you must
5 conform your conduct to that context.
6 While your religious beliefs are certainly fully respected here,
7 so to must be the proper decorum and procedures of this Tribunal. So from
8 now on, I would ask you to refrain from such interventions and restrict
9 yourself to matters appropriate to the court proceeding.
10 If you wish to offer prayers in relation to the proceedings,
11 please do so outside the courtroom before or after they commence, or else
12 silently to yourself. I'm sure you will understand and cooperate with me
13 on this.
14 I'm going to move, then, to the substantive matters for this
15 afternoon. This is the second Status Conference in this matter. And
16 under the Rules, the Status Conference purposes are clear to organise
17 exchanges regarding preparations for trial, to look at the status of the
18 case, and, importantly, to allow you, Mr. Tolimir, to raise any issues
19 including issues related to your mental or physical condition, treatment,
20 at the UNDU, et cetera.
21 As has been our practice, I'll begin by going over the few - I
22 have very few - agenda items this afternoon; and then both the Prosecution
23 and you, Mr. Tolimir, can raise any issues that you wish to after that.
24 I'm going to begin with a very minor matter. I just wanted to
25 have confirmed on the record the practice which is already in place
1 relating to filing deadlines, in light of the fact that the accused is
2 self-represented at the moment and that requires a translation of
4 As has been the case to date, any filing deadlines applicable to
5 the Prosecution, Mr. McCloskey, will commence when the translation of any
6 submission made by Mr. Tolimir is filed. So it would be filing date of
7 the translation.
8 Similarly, Mr. Tolimir, the deadlines for you will run from the
9 date of service, or attempted service, of the translation of the
10 documents. For the purpose of the registry and the Chamber and the
11 Prosecution, the date of that service or attempted service will be
12 determined based on the proces-verbals which are currently being filed
13 from time to time indicating the dates of service.
14 So I don't need any submissions on this point. I simply wanted to
15 confirm that point on the record.
16 Now, if we can move, then, to the probably the most substantive
17 matter I wanted to deal with this afternoon, and that is pending motions
18 in this case. And let me say, before dealing with the two motions I was
19 going to discuss originally, I am aware, Mr. Tolimir, that you have filed
20 a new submission. I believe it was filed yesterday. However, I have not
21 received a formal translation of that submission, nor obviously has the
22 Prosecution or the registry, if they're complicated, had an opportunity to
23 review it as well, to receive a translation and review it.
24 So I will not be addressing that submission today. The normal
25 time-lines will run, and we will deal with it if it requires decision
1 after the recess. However, I have been advised that it may relate, one
2 again, to the issue of language, which we're going to be addressing this
3 afternoon. So I would note that, in the absence of new material, you can
4 anticipate similar disposition in the matter as will be discussed shortly.
5 There are two main motions pending that I want to mention.
6 First, there have been preliminary motions filed under Rule 72, that was
7 filed by you, Mr. Tolimir, within the deadline set, on the 30th of
8 October, with a translation being filed on the 7th November. Prosecution
9 has replied to that motion on the 21st of November.
10 I can indicate that the decision on those motions -- on that
11 motion and those objections will be rendered shortly prior to the recess.
12 So you can expect that to be delivered by the Trial Chamber in due course.
13 I move, then, to the motion to the Pre-Trial Chamber and the
14 Registrar concerning assistance in appointing a legal advisor, disclosure
15 of material in a language that the accused understands, and notification
16 of special Defence on charges in the indictment, which was a motion filed
17 by Mr. Tolimir on the 16th of November, with the translation filed on the
18 20th of November. The Prosecution has responded to that on December 4th,
19 as well as the registry has made a submission in relation to it on the 7th
20 of December.
21 I intend to deal orally with that motion, today, Mr. Tolimir.
22 You have raised, essentially, two main issues in this motion; one
23 relating to the appointment of a legal advisor, and the second relating to
24 the service of documents and the language and script in which they are
25 being served.
1 On the first issue of the appointment of a legal advisor, I need
2 to reiterate that the primary responsibility for these matters,
3 Mr. Tolimir, rests with the registry. The Trial Chamber's involvement
4 would arise if there is a specific decision taken, for example, that you
5 want to bring to us for review. However, from looking through your
6 filings carefully, as well as those of the -- the registry, I'm satisfied
7 that that is not the case here as of yet.
8 Now, it is evident to me that are ongoing discussions between you
9 and the registry on this very important matter, and I would encourage you
10 to continue to liaise with them on it. I would also urge the registry to
11 make its best efforts to try and resolve the matter of an appointment of a
12 legal advisor as soon as possible. It is obviously a very crucial matter
13 for the preparation of trial proceedings.
14 However, beyond that, there is nothing raised in this motion which
15 is properly before the Trial Chamber at this time, so there is no need for
16 any particular decision on that first issue. But, again, Mr. Tolimir, I
17 encourage you to continue to discuss the matter with the registry, and I
18 do recognise that this is an important matter for you.
19 I move, then, to the second issue, that is raised in this motion,
20 which is the language and script of the documents that are being served.
21 Mr. Tolimir, we're going to close this chapter today. At the last
22 Status Conference, I left the door open for you. We discussed this matter
23 extensively, and I left the door open for to you come back to me on this
24 issue, but I did so with the hope that you would either reflect on it and
25 change your position, as I encouraged you to do, or that you would provide
1 something by way of a clear explanation and support for the position that
2 you're taking. But, unfortunately, you have done neither.
3 I have filings by the registry which evidence your continuing
4 refusal to accept documents which are not in, as you term it, Serbian and
5 the Cyrillic script; and, further, your motion provides no explanation
6 beyond a mere assertion that you don't understand the Latin script.
7 You are correct, Mr. Tolimir, there is a right to receive relevant
8 material in this Tribunal in a language you can understand, but this does
9 not translate into a right for an accused, regardless of his or her
10 background, education, experience, to come before this Tribunal and demand
11 the production of documents in any language or script that he or she
12 chooses. As I explained last time, in great detail, the right centres on
13 understanding, not on preference.
14 For your request to be entertained, Mr. Tolimir, there must be
15 something in the record beyond mere assertions to cast doubt on your
16 ability to understand material being provided to you in these proceedings.
17 And here the record simply does not raise such doubts; and, in fact, it
18 supports the opposite conclusion.
19 I'm just going to, by way of summary, highlight some of the points
20 in the record to which I'm referring.
21 You were educated in the former Yugoslavia where in accordance
22 with the submission of the registry, of 18th July, and acknowledged by you
23 to me at the Status Conference, the Roman script was taught in the school
24 system. When you first appeared before this Tribunal, the indictment was
25 served upon you in B/C/S and the Latin script, and you acknowledged to me,
1 on the 4th of June, that you had, and I'm quoting here, "received a copy
2 in a language I understand two days ago, and I have had time to read it
3 and look through it."
4 On the basis of that same material, Mr. Tolimir, you were able,
5 within the time limits that were set, to prepare and submit preliminary
6 objections to the indictment, and the arguments you have advanced clearly
7 indicate an understanding of the content of that indictment.
8 When I put direct questions to you, Mr. Tolimir, you have given me
9 inconsistent answers on the issue of your understanding of the Latin
10 script. These have ranged from "I don't understand it," to "I don't
11 understand sufficiently," to it being a language in which you cannot read
12 it quickly, to it being less understandable. You have even pointed to
13 medical circumstances in 1983 which required you to relearn part of the
14 language, but you have not submitted anything to me in support of that.
15 And I also have noted, Mr. Tolimir, the Prosecution filed, on the
16 10th of October, in response your request for an extension of time, with
17 their response they provided examples of documents dating from the period
18 of 1992 to 1995, which were in Serbian in the Latin script, and they were
19 either signed by you, or sent to you in your official capacity with the
20 army at that time. And I must note on the record, Mr. Tolimir, those
21 documents were filed, and I have also seen similar documents in the course
22 of sitting on the Popovic et al trial.
23 For me to accept your assertion of lack of understanding, I would
24 have to believe that you are -- you as an intelligent man, which you are,
25 as a high-ranking army official at that time in the middle of a war, that
1 you are communicating, sending out, receiving documents in a language you
2 didn't understand. I don't accept that, Mr. Tolimir.
3 Therefore, based on all the material on the record, examples of
4 which I have given, I do not doubt, rather, I'm positively satisfied that
5 you are able to read and understand the material that's being provided to
6 you in B/C/S in the Latin script.
7 I'm further convinced that the sole basis for your objections is
8 that these materials do not correspond precisely to the official national
9 language in Serbia. But as I stated to you last time, Mr. Tolimir, that
10 is not a basis upon which I would make a determination to -- to defer the
11 resources, the precious resources, the translation resources of the
12 Tribunal to assign them the task of translating of these documents.
13 Therefore, your motion of the 20th November, that's the date of
14 the filing of the translation, is denied in so far as the request for
15 language document service is concerned.
16 As I've said, Mr. Tolimir, we are closing this chapter today, but
17 I want you to be perfectly clear about one thing. The charges against you
18 are extremely grave, and the case is a very complex one. You have been
19 given time, and we have exhaustively considered the issue of these
20 documents. Without prejudice, of course, to any objections you have made
21 on jurisdiction in the indictment, trial preparation in this case needs to
22 proceed. That cannot even begin to take place in real terms without
23 regard -- you having regard to the evidence which you have so far refused
24 to accept.
25 It's an intolerable situation and one which the Trial Chamber
1 cannot allow to continue indefinitely. I'm urging you, one more time,
2 over the next short period, to reconsider the stance you have taken for
3 the next week or so and to accept the service of documents on the next
5 Failing that, Mr. Tolimir, you need to be clear that you will be
6 leaving the Trial Chamber no option but to take action, and in particular
7 to reconsider the issue of your self-representations considering that your
8 conduct at this time is blocking entirely the proper and expeditious trial
10 To finish the matter, Mr. Tolimir, the choice is yours.
11 I'm going to move, then, to the third issue that I had on my
12 agenda, which involved you, Mr. McCloskey. Last time, we spoke about the
13 disclosure situation with reference to Rule 66(A)(ii). And without
14 obviously addressing the question of service, acceptance of service, let's
15 put it that way, I wonder if you are able to update me at all as to the
16 status of the disclosure of the Rule 66(A)(ii) materials.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We are prepared to provide that material as soon
18 as -- excuse me.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've got that material. It's ready to go. It
21 came back once, but it can be sent again.
22 JUDGE PROST: So all of the material that we discussed last time,
23 which you were putting together, you have attempted service of those
24 materials. Is that correct? Is there anything outstanding, I suppose, is
25 what I am looking to see. If the materials were accepted, would that
1 constitute a complete package of disclosure as required?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I want to double-check that, Madam President, but
3 we should be close; though, there's -- we're going to need a fair amount
4 of audio statements and other things. So I will need to double-check
5 that, but we're very close. When it comes back at us, that's the problem.
6 JUDGE PROST: I would ask you -- thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
7 I would ask you to do that, to double-check, as soon as you can,
8 and to put yourself in a position where you are able to confirm that that
9 material has been or is in the position of being disclosable; and then
10 we'll take it from is there.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: All the material is on the EDS, so we have the --
12 we the ability to provide the indexes to the EDS just like that, and so it
13 is just a matter of getting the ability to do that. I have introduced
14 myself to the General today, and perhaps we can work out some sort of a
15 situation where he will help avail himself of that option to go on the
16 electronic disclosure system where this material is.
17 JUDGE PROST: Thank you for that, Mr. McCloskey, and I would
18 encourage you to continue to pursue those discussions and that avenue, so
19 that next time we can perhaps complete that issue in terms of the record.
20 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any questions you wish to raise or issues
21 or comments on this disclosure question related to Rule 66(A)(ii).
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have several matters I wish to
23 raise in relation to what you've just indicated.
24 First, I wish to greet everyone present, and I would like to refer
25 back to everything you have said, not only to what the Prosecutor has just
1 stated. Thank you.
2 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. I'm happy to hear you on
3 the issue of 66(A)(ii), or if you had any -- any issues pertaining to the
4 filing deadline that I outlined initially.
5 However, on the issue of languages, Mr. Tolimir, I have heard
6 extensive submissions. We've had discussions about that issue both in
7 writing and orally, and I have now ruled on the matter. So I don't wish
8 to revisit that particular issue.
9 If you wish to raise anything, however, regarding disclosure
10 materials under 66(A)(ii), the matter just discussed with the Prosecution,
11 I'm happy to hear you on that.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 All the problems are related to the language, and the problem of
14 the language has to be discussed before everything else can be resolved.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. You have my ruling on that
17 and my comments on that, so we will proceed on to the next issue.
18 For me, the only remaining issue that I wanted to raise this
19 afternoon was the question of your health, Mr. Tolimir.
20 Now, as always, I'm prepared to discuss this, if you prefer, in
21 private session; otherwise, we can discuss it in publicly, but it is
22 entirely up to you. Would you like to proceed in private session for a
23 discussion of any health issues you might wish to raise or general issues
24 of your conditions of the UNDU?
25 Would you like to go to private session?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. There is no need to move
2 into private session because the registry has been manipulating my health,
3 and I wish my health to be publicly discussed, but after we have discussed
4 the earlier matters that the Trial Chamber seems to be avoiding all the
5 time. And before these matters are solved, nothing further can be dealt
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, I think I have made myself very clear,
9 and I don't think my comments this afternoon could be classified as
10 avoidance in any respect.
11 So, we are not going to discuss the language issue again.
12 However, I would very much like to give you the opportunity to raise
13 anything to do with your health. In particular, I want to know if there's
14 any particular things in terms of your conditions at the UNDU that you
15 wanted specifically to raise with me. So I would appreciate, if you
16 wanted to raise those, that you do so at this time.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
18 JUDGE PROST: I'm sorry, Mr. Tolimir. You need your microphone
19 on. There, that's better. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wish the discussion on my health
21 to be in public session and not in private session. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PROST: That's fine. So we are in public session. Are
23 there any particular matters that you want to raise regarding your health,
24 your treatment, anything that you wish to bring to the Trial Chamber's
25 attention, to my attention?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 I wish to state that you, as the Trial Chamber, never respond to
3 any of my filings. Ever since my arrival here, none of my requests were
4 met by you, including my request that I addressed to you and the registry
5 on several occasions, with regard to the infringement of my discretionary
6 rights and my abuse in detention from the moment I was arrested to this
7 very day.
8 My health is excellent, and all the medical checkups have proved
9 that. The last two medical checkups have shown that my pressure is good.
10 The top ceiling is 130 -- the top one being 130, and the lower one being
11 85 or 90. This is the situation with regard to my pressure. Without the
12 administration of any medication, and with my active physical exercise, in
13 view of my age, I believe my blood pressure is excellent.
14 However, the registry has been insisting upon informing the public
15 that my death is imminent and that my health is in a very bad condition,
16 and there's really no reason for that whatsoever, for such information to
17 be divulged.
18 I wrote in my filing that this was calculated with a view to
19 depriving me of my self-representation, as is your position not to serve
20 documents upon me in my own language and in the script I understand. This
21 is also geared toward depriving me of my right to defend myself.
22 The registry and UNDU are purportedly taking care of my health for
23 the sake of the public; whereas, in reality, they're doing everything in
24 their power to cause my health to deteriorate.
25 My cell is under 24-hour camera surveillance. There is a light on
1 in my cell even at night, and the guards insist upon waking me up every
2 half-hour to check up on my health and on my situation in the cell.
3 Every working day, from the moment I was arrested to this very
4 date, and that's six months, I seem to be going through such an experience
5 as if I were sleeping in a train compartment. Everybody keeps waking me
6 up; whereas, the public portrayal of my situation is that of my health
7 being perfect.
8 My wife wanted to bring me three different assortments of tea,
9 since I don't take any medication. Now they've prohibited me from
10 drinking camomile tea, herbal teas that would help improve my urinary
11 problems that I have had for several years now. This is contrary to all
12 rules governing human rights, particularly of individuals held in
13 detention who have not yet been convicted. They want to drug me with
14 medication, the origin of which I'm not aware of; whereas, they prohibit
15 me from drinking teas that I'm perfectly familiar with.
16 In addition to all this, I am in excellent health, regardless of
17 the medication needed. But what I need is to be able to prepare my
18 Defence and to given all the necessary pre-conditions for preparing my
19 Defence out of my cell, out of detention.
20 All the rights that you have stem from the rights of the accused
21 under the Statute. Articles 20 and 21 provide that all the original
22 rights are vested with the accused. The accused is the one who has the
23 rights that everybody else has to respect; however, you, as the Presiding
24 Judge of the Trial Chamber, do not respect them. The Prosecution does not
25 respect them by serving upon me material in a language that I don't
1 understand. The registry does not respect them, as they -- they consider
2 me to have been preparing for my Defence for these past six years;
3 whereas, I have not received a single document aside from the indictment.
4 In the past six months, I have not been given any sort of legal
5 assistance. An accused, defending himself out of detention and deprived
6 of all other conditions enabling him to obtain what he needs to obtain,
7 needs to have legal assistance, because my legal assistants have to be
8 able to work out in the field and prepare my defence. I don't see how can
9 you expect me to prepare my Defence on my own in my cell in those four
10 walls with the paper that I have.
11 You say, here, that I told you that I had understood my
12 indictment. I only told you --
13 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- that I was given the
15 indictment --
16 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- that I skimmed through it, and
18 that it was on that basis that I plead. Even now, you are ---
19 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, I'm going to stop you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- evading the territory that you--
21 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, please. Stop here for a moment.
22 As I mentioned to you, I have dealt with the issue of language.
23 What we were discussing, and what I want to go back to now, is the issues
24 you raised regarding your health, and in particular issues that you have
25 with the treatment at the UNDU. I don't wish to revisit, again, the
1 issues that have been raised in your motions and decided upon, or
3 Dealing first with the last point you were making on legal
4 assistant, as I indicated earlier, I certainly appreciate the importance
5 of the appointment of your legal counsel. I have looked very carefully at
6 your submissions regarding legal assistant. I should say not legal
7 counsel, because you are aware of the distinction between counsel and an
9 But, as I mentioned earlier, this is a matter that has to be
10 worked out initially with the registry. I have urged the registry, and
11 I'm continuing to do so, to try and resolve that matter. So I appreciate
12 how important that is; and, certainly, I would encourage you to continue
13 those discussions with the registry. But that is a matter that primarily
14 has to be dealt with, first of all, by the registry.
15 Now, if we could go back to your points relating to the treatment
16 in the UNDU. I can assure you, Mr. Tolimir, that I give -- I give careful
17 consideration --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] French, French, French. I'm
19 listening to French. I don't understand it.
20 JUDGE PROST: Can we check the channel, please, Madam Usher.
21 I'm sorry. Are you receiving translation now, Mr. Tolimir, not in
22 French, but in B/C/S? Are you hearing me now?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes. Now I'm getting
24 the translation in Serbo-Croatian. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
1 Now, Mr. Tolimir, I can assure you that we do, the Trial Chamber
2 does give very careful consideration to all of the submissions that have
3 you made. We have issued written decisions, in fact, by example, on the
4 10th of October, we did issue a written decision on your submissions
5 regarding a violation of your rights.
6 I'm not sure that you accepted service of that decision,
7 Mr. Tolimir, but we certainly do give consideration to every submission
8 that you make to us, and we respond to them when we require a decision
9 from us. Some of them raised matters that aren't properly before the
10 Trial Chamber. But certainly the decision of 10th October, by example, is
11 a decision where we dealt with submissions you had made on the violation
12 of your rights. So we are certainly prepared to do so, Mr. Tolimir.
13 As I've mentioned previously, the matters obviously of your
14 detention and the day-to-day supervision and activities is a matter
15 that -- or is for the registry and the officials at the detention centre,
16 and the Trial Chamber, of course, does not wish to interfere with the
17 day-to-day administration, which is the responsibility of those bodies.
18 However, I note that you have raised today, very clearly, the
19 issue of the interruption of your sleep in the night, and the measures
20 currently being used by the registry in terms of monitoring your
21 condition. Without in any way interfering with their responsibilities in
22 this regard, I will ask them to consider the matter and to consider what
23 measures might be employed to be the least invasive, in terms of your
25 So I will take up your point on this, Mr. Tolimir; and through --
1 through our legal officer, I will have some communications with the
2 registry on that -- that particular point, because I note you have very
3 clearly explained what your concerns are. So I will pursue those as best
4 as possible, given the roles here in terms of administration.
5 So I will certainly take that forward. I think you've made it
6 very clear, as you have on previous occasions, that you -- your position
7 regarding your health. The registry, again, being responsible for these
8 matters, has made their position clear, and there really isn't much that
9 the -- that I can do or the Chamber can do in that respect.
10 I would, again, urge you to -- to take the medical advice that is
11 being provided to you, and to follow that, Mr. Tolimir. As I say, I will
12 follow up on the particular points you have raised.
13 As to your latter comments, again, we're not going to revisit
14 general issues, Mr. Tolimir, at this time.
15 Are there any other -- I believe that was the specific issues I
16 wished to deal with. Is there anything else you wish to raise, Mr.
17 Tolimir? Again, we're not going to revisit the issue of language or
18 service of documents at this time, but are there other issues that you
19 wanted to raise this afternoon.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, there are. Thank you for
21 allowing me to say that you are evading all questions that have to do with
22 process and procedural actions. You are asking about the state of my
23 health, which is excellent, but you are not concerned that I'm being
24 prevented from receiving minimum legal assistance that I have a right to
25 under Article 21 of the Statutes and Article 14 of the International
1 Covenant on Human Rights.
2 I have written five motions on this topic, and I have been writing
3 motions on this, that I need to be given minimum legal assistance as a
4 person defending themselves and is currently in detention. The registry
5 does not wish to appoint legal advisors that I submitted. I did not wait
6 for any deadlines to expire. I completed everything in the -- in the
7 quickest possible deadline. I didn't wait in appointing my legal
8 advisors, but the registry does not want to appoint my lawyers and
9 advisors because it does not wish to me to represent myself. It is my
10 fundamental right to represent myself and this cannot be delegated to
11 somebody else, and this has to concern you as the Presiding Judge.
12 In all laws, in all countries, members of the international
13 community, and all laws and conventions that the Statute of the
14 International Criminal Court is based on, agree that the accused can
15 represent himself in his own mother tongue and in the language he
16 understands and can read. You not wish to discuss this question which is
17 the fundamental question, the most fundamental of all questions.
18 I cannot be tried here. I cannot be denied the right to represent
19 myself and to award this right to somebody else. No lawyer can receive
20 documents unless I receive them first. When I receive them in the
21 language and the script that I understand, only then can they be handed
22 over to a lawyer.
23 My documents cannot be disclosed to anyone else who would be
24 possibly imposed on me, because in Article 21 it does not say that I can
25 be imposed representation. It says that I can be appointed
1 representation, but I cannot be given something that I'm not seeking. I'm
2 not seeking representation. I'm just asking for legal assistants and for
3 them to be paid. I have found my own legal assistants. So the registry
4 provides for legal assistants to indigent persons who do not have the
5 funds to cover that themselves. The International Tribunal can cover such
6 costs if the accused are unable to cover those costs.
7 I don't need legal assistants. I am choosing the legal
8 assistants, and you just need to pay for that. The registry needs to pay
9 for that, but you don't want to deal with that. That is the main
10 question. I cannot carry out any activities in the field. From the
11 detention unit, I cannot have any documents. I do not have any documents
12 from other cases in order to acquaint myself with the jurisdiction of this
13 Tribunal; and, constantly, you are referring to the jurisdiction. So I
14 need to have all of these things, and only my legal assistants can prepare
15 all of this. And for the past six months, I have not been allowed a
16 minimum of legal assistance that I have a right to under the Statutes and
17 under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
18 I don't know why you are evading this question. This is the
19 essential question. Why have my lawyers not been appointed as legal
20 advisors, ones that I named on the 10th of October. That is two months
21 ago, because it is already past the 10th of December. They have been
22 representing Milan Martic for five years before this Tribunal. They have
23 five years of experience before this Tribunal, more than perhaps some
24 Judges who are members of the Trial Chamber. And according to them, the
25 jurisdiction does not apply to them, and they cannot be elected because
1 the registry does not wish to agree to that.
2 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, let me stop you there.
3 Unquestionably, and perhaps you weren't listening when I spoke
4 earlier, I do accept the points that you have made, which you have made in
5 writing and also orally, of your request for and need for legal
6 assistance. Certainly, we have discussed the issue of your
7 self-reputation on previous occasions. The registry has filed a
8 submission, in which they have detailed the discussions that have been
9 ongoing between you and them and your selected -- or the names that you
10 have provided to them, and they have provided an explanation as to some of
11 the reasons for the difficulties in actually concluding the appointment.
12 You may not be aware of this in detail because have you not been
13 accepting the filings, but there is a filing by the registry explaining
14 this. No one, not the registry, nor the Trial Chamber, disputed your
15 position that you wish to have legal assistants appointed and that you
16 have identified individuals, but there are other factors such as whether
17 the individuals in question are prepared to act for you, et cetera.
18 I don't want to get into the it details of it again, because that
19 is a primary responsibility of the registry. But it is not a matter which
20 I am avoiding in any way, nor is it a matter that the registry from their
21 submissions is voiding either. But there are ongoing matters that have to
22 be resolved before the appointments can be finalised.
23 Should the registry take a positive decision not to appoint
24 someone and you wish to bring that forward, certainly you can bring that
25 to us. But that has not been done to date. There is no decision on the
1 part of the registry not to appoint a particular individual, so far as I'm
2 aware from the filings to date.
3 So I take the points, you've made your position very clear, and we
4 will revisit this matter. Should there be any particular decisions taken,
5 then certainly you can bring them to our attention, if you wish to. But at
6 the moment what is important is that you look at the material the registry
7 is providing you with, you discuss the matter with them, so that the
8 appointment of your legal assistants can be carried out.
9 So I'm going to leave that issue at that stage, Mr. Tolimir. I
10 think your position is very clear on the record, and I again want to be
11 very clear: My remarks earlier relating to self-reputation were tied very
12 directly to the language issue. I think my comments were very clear, and
13 that's where I'm going to leave the matter, Mr. Tolimir.
14 So unless you have any other particular issues that you wish to
15 discuss, as I say, the issue of legal assistants, I'm aware of your
16 positions. I would urge you, and I am urging the registry, to conclude
17 this matter as soon as possible with the appointment of a legal assistant
18 that is of your choice, Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, but there is a crucial
20 question that I would like to have recorded in the transcript, as you say.
21 On several occasions, I asked for my legal advisors to be
22 appointed, the ones that I proposed, in order to assistant me in
23 conducting my Defence over the past six months; however, the registry
24 keeps refusing. This is why I addressed you, as the Trial Chamber, as a
25 control organ, to see why the secretariat is wasting my time for six
1 months, because I didn't receive a single document or the minimum legal
2 assistance that I have a right to under Article 21.
3 I would like this Trial Chamber to see why I am being denied legal
4 assistance in all possible options, from the beginning since I have come
5 before the Tribunal until today. As a control organ, you need to see why
6 somebody is obstructing and eating up my time that is it valuable for me
7 for preparation, because six months have already gone by and I have not
8 received a single document. I have not analysed it with my legal advisors
9 who need to provide the minimum of legal assistance to me that I have a
10 right to.
11 So I would like to ask you to view this problem from that aspect
12 and not to say that it is a problem of the registry. The Trial Chamber
13 has just been reviewing my state of health. I don't understand that, and
14 now you say that you will not discuss disclosure. It's not that I do not
15 wish to receive the material. I cannot receive it, because if I do
16 receive it, then the deadlines start running, the procedure starts
17 running. I cannot receive something in a language that you consider that
18 I know and that you would wish me to know, that you made up, and that was
19 created after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I cannot speak that
20 language. I do not wish to learn it again.
21 You would need to have a course here in Bosniak, Croatian, and
22 Serbian. It is a new language, and here I'm only studying English. I'm
23 not learning that Bosniak/Serbian/Croatian language that was created after
24 the war. I would like you to keep this in mind.
25 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot accept that the language --
2 I cannot receive the documents because I don't understand the language.
3 It's not that I don't want to, and I would like this to be entered into
4 the transcript. I do not wish to enter into procedural actions with
5 documents that I cannot read and cannot interpret.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE PROST: Your position on the language issue is very clearly
8 on the record, as is the decision that was rendered earlier. So we're not
9 going to revisit that.
10 As for the legal assistance, in closing, that issue for this
11 afternoon, Mr. Tolimir, as I stated, the Registrar provided a submission
12 outlining state of the discussions with you on the issue of your legal
13 assistants. That is dated the 16th of November. It was served upon you,
14 but I am -- I imagine it was amongst the documents that you did not agree
15 to accept.
16 So I certainly take your point. Your point is on the record, as
17 I've indicated, as to your need on legal assistants. I'm sure the
18 registry will be following the proceedings and will take note of your
19 comments and of my request that they work to resolve this matter as soon
20 as possible.
21 Should it reach a point where any decision which, based on the
22 material before me, there has not been, a positive decision on the part of
23 anyone to deny you at this stage, the particular legal assistant that is
24 being investigated or pursued, there's been no positive decision to say no
25 to that request. If there is that, and you wish to bring it to your
1 attention, certainly you can do so.
2 But for the moment, I would please urge you to take a look at what
3 the registry has set out in their submission of the 16th of November in
4 that document, and I'm urging them, as well as you, to continue to work
5 towards resolving the issue of legal assistants as soon as possible.
6 But we will leave the matter there, and I have your point very
7 clearly, that -- yes, Mr. Tolimir -- but, as I say, I don't wish to hear
8 you again on the language issue, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. You do not wish to
10 discuss about things that are not authorised to discuss, and I understand
11 that. I would just like to say that you need to understand that the
12 registry does not want to resolve the question of my legal assistants, and
13 the registry has not been talking with me for a month. They only had one
14 conversation with me.
15 You are saying that you are -- that I'm communicating with the
16 registry, but I would like the transcript to reflect that I'm not
17 communicating with the registry. I'm not talking with them. I don't what
18 they're doing and what they want. You, as the Pre-Trial Judge, need to
19 have this in mind. As the control organ, you need to see if any of the
20 sides in the trial is being prejudiced. You do not wish to see here that
21 I'm prejudiced, because the trial is conducted in a language and in a
22 script that I don't understand.
23 The problem here is that I cannot study a million pages of
24 material in a language that I don't understand. My own Serbian language I
25 learned. I learned to write in the Cyrillic. I'm writing like a person
1 in the 4th grade, like a young boy, and you can see that by my
3 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not wish to discuss any other
5 things now.
6 JUDGE PROST: Please stop. We're not going to revisit the
7 language issue, period. Now I have your points regarding discussions with
8 the registry. I'm asking them to open again the discussions with you. If
9 they have not spoken with you, I'm asking them to do so, and I'm asking
10 you, on your part, to read the documentation that the registry has
11 provided outlining the steps that they have taken regarding the
12 appointment of your legal assistant, and we're going to end the matter
14 I am inviting both the registry and you to engage again in
15 discussions so that we can, as soon as possible, resolve the issue of your
16 legal assistant. But we're not revisiting the issue of the language, and
17 we won't discuss further this question. I think your position is very
18 clear on the record, and I understand your position.
19 Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking you what the date of this
21 document is. Secondly, I don't know the language the document is written
22 in. I cannot read it, so could you please send somebody to read that for
23 me or find a way. If I don't know the language, maybe somebody can read
24 it to me. There is a translator. They can read that to me. I cannot read
1 You can send hundreds of documents to me, but I don't know how to
2 read. And this is why I cannot accept them because the procedural
3 deadlines are running, and I cannot read the documents in a language that
4 is not my mother tongue and that I did not learn.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, on this particular issue, I will invite
7 the registry to communicate with you, to discuss with you, the content of
8 that communication and their ongoing efforts to try and appoint your legal
9 advisor. I will ask them to specifically do that, and we will leave it at
10 that point.
11 I hope that by the time of your next meeting, our next Status
12 Conference, that the issue of your legal assistant will have been
13 resolved. So I will ask the registry to follow up on that and to ensure
14 that you're aware of their ongoing efforts and the status of that matter.
15 I believe that is all of the issues. Mr. McCloskey, does the
16 Prosecution have any particular issues it wished to raid this afternoon.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Madam President.
18 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much. Then barring any new issues,
19 not the ones we have been discussing, but any new issues, I believe that
20 covers all of the matters necessary for this afternoon's Status
22 The next appearance will be communicated to you, Mr. Tolimir.
23 Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Again, I would like it to be
25 recorded in the transcript that you and the Prosecution have the materials
1 on the basis of which I'm being charged. I don't have the material. Only
2 on the basis of the indictment that I read while I was still free, I know
3 that I was charged just because I was the deputy commander of the Main
4 Staff for Republika Srpska for Intelligence Affairs. I am only charged
5 for being the deputy of Ratko Mladic. I am not ashamed of that. I'm
6 proud of having been in the army under the command of Ratko Mladic.
7 I would like to ask you to tell my why I am being charged and
8 being held here for six months, so that I know, on the basis of which I
9 can build my Defence.
10 Other than that, there is no other charge other than that I was a
11 soldier of the army of Republika Srpska, and the indictment was published
12 openly on the web site of the Tribunal, and that is all I have read. I
13 didn't even read the pre-trial motion. I would like to know what I'm
14 being charged with, why I am here.
15 If there is no other charge other than my being deputy commander
16 of the -- commander of the army of Republika Srpska, then I ask to be
17 allowed to go -- to be provisionally released and to be defended from
18 freedom. I have nothing to fear, because all I am being charged with is
19 of being the deputy of the commander of the army of Republika Srpska,
20 Ratko Mladic.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. Obviously, this Status
23 Conference is not the time or place to go through the contents of the
24 indictment in that respect.
25 And in relation to any issues of provisional release, Mr. Tolimir,
1 you have chosen to represent yourself, so those matters would have to be
2 raised in the proper manner by way of proper motions for consideration;
3 and, again, the Status Conference is not a time for consideration of those
5 So those matters are on the record now and they can be dealt
6 with. But you've elected your own representation, so you have to bring
7 them forward in accordance with the procedures of the Tribunal.
8 And with that, there being no other matters before us, this
9 proceeding is adjourned.
10 Thank you, everyone. Have a good afternoon.
11 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
12 at 3.18 p.m.