1 Thursday, 22 October 2009
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE PROST: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Good morning, Your Honour. Good morning, everyone in and around
9 the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-05-88/2-PT, the Prosecutor versus
11 Zdravko Tolimir. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir, I'd just like to confirm -- oh, we have problems.
14 We'll try new headphones there.
15 Mr. Tolimir, can you hear me now? Okay. Just please let me know
16 at any point in time if you're not receiving the translation or
17 interpretation of the proceedings.
18 The appearances. I note Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Vanderpuye --
19 Sorry, Mr. Tolimir, is there a problem?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is a channel problem.
21 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Do you have the proper channel now?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now it's all right.
23 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
24 Mr. McCloskey; Mr. Vanderpuye; Mr. Mitchell, behind the pillar
25 there; Ms. Stewart; for the Prosecution. Mr. Tolimir representing
1 himself, but I note that Mr. Gajic, his legal adviser, is present with us
2 this morning. Good morning.
3 This is the ninth status conference in the Tolimir matter, the
4 last one having been held on the 25th of June. I believe that all the
5 parties -- I'm sorry, Mr. Tolimir. If you wouldn't mind -- Mr. Tolimir.
6 If you wouldn't mind turning -- yes, thank you.
7 I'm sure all the parties are very familiar with the purposes of
8 the conference, to organise exchanges on the proceedings and to review
9 the status of the case. I anticipate that this will be the last status
10 conference, so hopefully today we can deal with any matters that need to
11 be addressed before the pre-trial conference.
12 Let me begin, then, with trial preparation matters. As you're
13 all aware, there has been a change in the Pre-Trial Bench, with
14 Judge Kwon and Judge Agius no longer part of the bench, and Judge Flugge
15 and Judge Mindua are now on the Pre-Trial Bench. In regard to this
16 issue, I do want to make reference, in particular, Mr. Tolimir, to your
17 submission on the 19th of October and the concerns you've raised about
18 the new composition of the Bench or the fact that there has been a new
19 Bench composed at this stage, but let me reassure everyone that all of
20 the concerns about timing and preparations of this case, along with other
21 general considerations, were taken into account in the decisions on the
22 composition of the Bench, and I can assure both parties that arrangements
23 have been made such that this will not interfere or affect the pre-trial
24 work in this case.
25 With respect to the pending motions, all the filings are in, as
1 you know, and the Trial Chamber expects to deliver decisions on those
2 pending motions prior to the commencement of the trial, and we will be
3 issuing some of those decisions shortly and others in due course. But be
4 assured, Mr. Tolimir in particular, that the Chamber will give all the
5 careful and necessary attention to the motions filed and the submissions
6 made before rendering those decisions, but we are in a position to do
7 that in short order. So I don't think there need be any concern about
9 Now, let me raise with you the start of the trial, itself. I
10 asked that Mr. Cubbon communicate with you earlier, the original
11 proposed -- original proposed date of the 10th of December, because I
12 wanted the parties to be aware as soon as we were aware of what the
13 situation was for the start. However, because of a number of
14 trial-scheduling issues, including the newly-composed Bench, we are
15 anticipating a slight delay in that start date. We are now expecting the
16 pre-trial conference to be scheduled for the 16th of December, with the
17 opening statement from the Prosecution on the 17th of December, and, if
18 necessary, we can use the 18th, but I'll discuss that shortly with
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 Mr. Tolimir, as you may be aware, it is open to you as well to
21 make an opening statement if you choose to do so, which is obviously not
22 a matter you need to decide today, but it would follow after the
23 Prosecution's opening statement. However, what I wanted to make clear to
24 you was, in light of your filing on the 19th, if you do elect to make an
25 opening statement, either as a party or the individual opening statement
1 permitted, and you don't consider yourself ready to do so on the 17th,
2 then the Trial Chamber would give favourable consideration to allowing
3 you to defer your opening statement to when the trial phase continues in
5 And in addition, let me reassure the parties that all that is
6 contemplated for these dates in December is what I have described; the
7 pre-trial conference, the opening statement for the Prosecution.
8 The holidays, Mr. Tolimir, that you have raised, the religious
9 holidays, will be taken into account by the Trial Chamber, in terms of
10 any scheduling. And in terms of the actual evidentiary phase, because of
11 the number of cases running at the moment, I don't anticipate commencing
12 much before the middle to the end of January, in any event, with the
13 evidentiary phase. So the date would be quite close, Mr. Tolimir, to
14 what you had suggested in terms of the calling of evidence. So in those
15 circumstances, I don't believe, Mr. Tolimir, that there are any
16 particular issues that you have to be concerned about, in terms of
17 timing. I think there will be an appropriate amount of time prior to the
18 commencement of the evidentiary phase.
19 Now, just before I discuss the opening statement, do either of
20 you wish to comment on those dates at this stage?
21 Mr. McCloskey?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Madam President.
23 Good morning. We're ready to go.
24 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
25 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any general comments on what I've just
1 related regarding the opening of the trial phase?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to greet everyone.
3 God bless you all. Good morning, Madam President.
4 I have presented my views in writing, in my submission before
5 this status conference. I believe that the dynamics that you have just
6 presented fit into what I asked for, and I believe that, therefore, you
7 would meet my request. I believe that the Office of the Prosecutor would
8 not be opposed to that, either.
9 That is what I wish to say. I hope that my request will be met.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. I think that's fairly
12 clear, then, for all the parties.
13 Mr. McCloskey, I know it may be difficult to assess at this
14 stage, whether you can communicate an approximate length for your opening
15 statement, whether you are able to do that at this stage. If you are,
16 that would be helpful for trial scheduling purposes, but if you're not, I
17 would simply ask you, as we get closer to the date, to communicate that
18 to Mr. Cubbon and to Mr. Tolimir, and we can go on that basis. But if
19 you were in a position, then perhaps you could mention that this morning.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I can mention that. Mr. Thayer will be
21 giving the opening statement. He's working on that and other things as
22 we speak. So it certainly won't be more than a day. I can't imagine --
23 though it's always hard to speak for other counsel. And I had spoken to
24 Mr. Ruez, who was ready to be next, but since that week is no longer a
25 week of evidence, then he'll be ready to go in January as the first
1 witness, just for everyone's knowledge.
2 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. That's very helpful, Mr. McCloskey.
3 And as I say, if you get a more precise indication from Mr. Thayer, then
4 you can simply communicate that to Mr. Cubbon. But I think that knowing
5 that it won't go beyond one day's session is helpful at this stage.
6 All right. We can move, then, to some other matters related to
7 the preparations for the trial.
8 I will raise this -- this will be for the last time, but I wonder
9 if there's been any progress at all on the issue of any agreed facts.
10 We've discussed this at several status conferences, and obviously it's
11 not a matter of compelling such agreement, but I had been trying to
12 encourage that, but I don't know if we've had any success in that regard.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, we haven't. We haven't heard any more
15 response to our initial offers. We can tell you that we do know that the
16 Defence has filed a detailed pre-trial brief, but we can't get it from
17 Registry until it's in the official language. General Tolimir has been
18 able to provide us with a courtesy copy in Cyrillic which we are -- I got
19 last -- yesterday afternoon, which we will be looking at, and I'm sure
20 there are many factual differences set out in that. Mr. Gajic tells me
21 that it is very heavy in facts. So I see factual differences, of course,
22 but I can't tell you we've reached any accommodation, though as soon as
23 we begin reading the Cyrillic, we will have a better idea.
24 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Thank you for that, Mr. McCloskey.
25 I have information from the Registry that they're anticipating
1 the translation of both the brief and the notice by the end of the month,
2 if not slightly before, so that would be sometime next week. So that
3 will hopefully assist as well, in terms of the process. And what I would
4 simply do is encourage you, once you have had an opportunity, as I'm sure
5 you're thinking of, of reviewing the pre-trial brief, to then again
6 engage in some discussions about facts that you do find in there which
7 there may be room for some agreement. And if it is a factually heavy
8 brief, then perhaps there will be some opportunity for that, but I will
9 leave that in the hands of the parties, and obviously you can report, by
10 way of a filing or informally, if you wish, on that matter.
11 So if there's no other comments on the agreed facts at this
12 stage, I will simply move to the issue of disclosure.
13 Mr. Tolimir, you raised the issue in your filing, which was
14 helpful, of the disclosure of the confidential material from other cases,
15 and the fact that you have received only limited material, I believe
16 material that was particularly helpful for the preparation of your
17 pre-trial brief from the Popovic case, but you are awaiting confidential
18 materials from the Krstic, and Blagojevic and Jokic, as well as Popovic
19 case. I have discussed the matter with the Registry, and of course there
20 is quite a volume of material that they're dealing with, and the Trial
21 Chamber did impose -- the Trial Chambers did impose significant
22 conditions that require quite an intensive review of the material, which
23 takes some time. So they are working on it. I'm satisfied they're
24 working very quickly on that matter, and hopefully you will begin to
25 receive portions of that.
1 Mr. McCloskey, I know that the Prosecution indicated they would
2 assist the Registry in terms of identifying confidential material or
3 private material, particularly in the Krstic and Blagojevic and Jokic,
4 given that the cases are completed, and obviously as well in Popovic.
5 And I assume that's being done, that you are assisting?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Ms. Stewart has been communicating with
7 them, helping them identify the confidential materials. And, frankly, we
8 have told them, from our perspective, there's really not much that he
9 can't see. But, of course, with the prior rulings, then, it's important
10 that the Registry do their work. So, yeah, we work very well with them
11 and helping out wherever we can.
12 JUDGE PROST: Okay. So hopefully, Mr. Tolimir, you will have
13 that material very shortly.
14 Is there anything else that you wanted to raise on that
15 particular matter, Mr. Tolimir, in terms of the disclosure of the
16 material? As I say, hopefully it will be with you shortly.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have nothing more to
18 add. I only wish to have the materials submitted to me in a language
19 that I understand, because I am in a situation in which I cannot pay
20 advisers, associates, with the funds allotted to me, so I cannot pay for
21 any translators either. So, please, whatever is translated, may it
22 please be submitted to me in the translated version. Thank you.
23 JUDGE PROST: Certainly I'll endorse that message to the
24 Registry. Whatever is in translated form should certainly be submitted
25 to you in translated form. There will also be audio material available
1 to you that may assist in that process as well, but certainly that can be
2 arranged, anything that is already translated, which should be given to
3 you in that translated form. And so hopefully that will proceed as well,
4 and should there be any difficulties, there will be other opportunities,
5 obviously, to raise the issue with the Pre-Trial Chamber.
6 I don't believe, so far as I'm aware, that there are any
7 outstanding issues on disclosure generally in the case, other than, of
8 course -- and Mr. McCloskey, you're well aware of the continuing
9 obligation under Rule 68, and I'm sure you're keeping that in mind as
10 matters proceed. But is there any other issue on general disclosure that
11 you wanted to raise?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to let you know, as we have told Mr. Gajic,
13 we have been finishing up the last of the Popovic record. We have been
14 endeavouring, as you know, to try to provide them with the entire record
15 of that case, both for Rule 68 purposes and for, of course, general
16 relevancy purposes, and there have also been some recent searches made of
17 various individuals, and that material is being provided within the next
18 week or so. But as for anything outstanding, witness statements, things
19 like that, we are pretty close to being finished, though there's always
20 something out there that we need to get over, and we'll continue to work
21 on that.
22 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Thank you for that. And, yes, it is, to
23 some degree, a continuing process, but as long as there are no particular
25 And I take it, Mr. Tolimir, there's nothing particular that you
1 wanted to raise on general disclosure; that you are receiving the
2 material, as the Prosecution indicated.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President.
4 I have been receiving what had been submitted to me in the
5 language I understand. That's why I'm asking to have materials submitted
6 to me in a language I understand, not in English. I have a limited
7 number of hours that I can spend with my legal adviser, and therefore I
8 need to do a lot of reading on my own, without a translator.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE PROST: Okay, thank you, Mr. Tolimir. And as I indicated
11 previously, we'll continue the process as is. And if there are
12 particular issues, then we will revert to them as they arise.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Madam President, just because of perhaps
15 the nature of the unrepresented situation, I can offer General Tolimir,
16 if he will alert us to any particular English documents, if we have
17 that -- an interest and an understanding in his view of the relevance, we
18 can help -- join in a request to have things translated. Now, to the
19 degree that this is a strategy issue, I understand, but material --
20 UNPROFOR reports, or NIOD records, this sort of thing, we can help get to
21 the -- hopefully the front of the huge line for translation, though most
22 of these -- as you know, most of the materials are in Serbian. But we
23 can help assist in any particular materials to try to bump the queue a
25 JUDGE PROST: Well, thank you for that, Mr. McCloskey, and I
1 would encourage you, Mr. Tolimir, and Mr. Gajic to engage in discussions
2 with the Prosecution. Obviously, strategy is an issue and a concern, but
3 it may be very helpful if there are some key documents that you would
4 like the assistance of the Prosecution in getting prioritized in that
5 regard. So I would encourage you to raise those with the Prosecution,
6 and they can hopefully help and assist in that process.
7 All right. Before I proceed on to other matters which are not
8 directly related to trial preparations, is there any other matter? I
9 understand there may be another matter relevant to trial preparations
10 that at least the Prosecution wishes to raise at this stage.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Madam President.
12 I didn't want to get into it really in any detail. We've all
13 seen the e-mail which I drafted with Mr. Thayer, which describes our
14 upcoming -- which we hope early next week to provide an upcoming motion
15 to amend the indictment. That's always done at this late stage,
16 regretfully, but part of it, as you're aware, is to help make the
17 indictment more clear, as a result of some of the concerns in Popovic and
18 other items that were mentioned. But I -- since we have been talking
19 with the Defence about that, I did want to alert you to it as well, of
20 course. And we will, of course, file it and see what happens.
21 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
22 Yes, the Trial Chamber is appreciative of the notice, and we will
23 obviously simply await the filing of the motion for the amendment of the
24 indictment. As you say, it is always difficult at the later stages, but
25 we will see what the motion brings and the response, obviously, from
1 Mr. Tolimir.
2 Mr. Tolimir, you can certainly -- if you have anything to say,
3 I'll certainly give you the floor, but I believe at this stage we simply
4 will await the filing of the Prosecution's motion and proceed with the
5 matter in the normal course of motion and response. But is there any
6 particular comment you wish to make on the issue of the proposed
7 amendments to the indictment which are forecasted by the Prosecution?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President.
9 I would just like to have this submitted to me in a language that
10 I understand, and that I be given a time-period that is in accordance
11 with the procedure involved so that I may respond to that. Thank you.
12 JUDGE PROST: Okay, thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir, I'm presuming, since the original indictment has
14 been translated, that we can certainly arrange for translation of the
15 proposed amendments as well. I mean, it will be filed in English, and
16 then we will have to ask the Registry to proceed as quickly as possible
17 with the translation of those portions that are proposed for amendment.
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and particularly the indictment is something
20 that we're trying to get a jump on because it's -- it just is an
21 adaptation to some -- you know, to additional facts. So we may be able
22 to get a jump on the indictment so it comes out relatively soon.
23 JUDGE PROST: Okay, thank you.
24 Are there any other issues relating to trial preparations from
25 either of the parties?
1 Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: As I consider your -- what you said earlier and I
3 look at my calender, it would be very helpful if we had a -- and I would
4 request or offer the date of Monday, 25 January, as a starting date.
5 That would give us a week to get back from the holiday and then a week to
6 really gear up our forces, our witnesses, to be able to start on that
7 Monday. That would be past the holidays. It would give us a reasonable
8 holiday after the fourth year of being in trial. And that would solve
9 any issues, I think, with General Tolimir, and it would give me a date to
10 help plan everything to begin. So if that could be a consideration.
11 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. We'll certainly take that submission
12 into account, in consideration, Mr. McCloskey. And as I said, given the
13 trial situation, I think that may well be a realistic aim point, but
14 we'll have to discuss that, and we'll revert on that.
15 Mr. Tolimir, any other -- I'm going to move to a different topic
16 which is related directly to you and the conditions of detention issues.
17 But before I do, is there any other matter you wanted to raise that
18 relates to trial preparations? Now would be a good opportunity for that.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President.
20 I would like to point out to you that I've already asked the
21 Registry for additional funds to finance my Defence team. I have already
22 done so, and I shall do so, and I would kindly ask you to help. Although
23 we have only been paying two legal advisers -- I mean, I haven't even
24 been paying investigators - I, from this cell, cannot investigate on the
25 ground - I wanted to have a legal adviser and a case manager, at least,
1 to be able to follow the entire proceedings with me. So I kindly ask you
2 to indicate to the Registry the problem involved. And I know that you
3 are fully aware of the volume and the complexity of the matter. I know
4 that you were involved in the Popovic et al case, and I hope that the
5 Registrar can see what our needs are, in view of the situation. Thank
7 JUDGE PROST: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. I have been made
8 aware of that particular issue. You asked that the matter be brought to
9 my attention, so I have received the documentation related to it. It is
10 obviously, as is the procedure, the matter rests at the moment in the
11 hands of the Registry and the Legal Defence Division, and I'm going to
12 wait and see what action is taken. I will certainly continue to monitor
13 the situation, and I will certainly convey that it is an urgent matter
14 that has to be given attention. And we'll see, as matters proceed, how
15 that develops, but I am aware of the issue, and I am, yes, well aware of
16 the nature of the case that is involved here. So I will keep that matter
17 in mind, Mr. Tolimir, and we can discuss it further as it progresses, and
18 hopefully we can reach an appropriate agreement on how to proceed in that
20 All right. If there's nothing else relating to trial
21 preparations, and I don't see any indication that there is, let me move
22 to important issues related to the conditions of your detention,
23 Mr. Tolimir.
24 As is normal, I offer the opportunity to go into private session,
25 but I think I know well enough, from our previous status conferences,
1 that it is your preference that all these matters be discussed in public
2 session, so I will proceed on that basis unless you advise me otherwise.
3 I want to deal, first of all, with an issue that, of course, has
4 been of concern to the Trial Chamber, and I know it's been a significant
5 concern for you, Mr. Tolimir, and that is the question of sleep
6 interruption, disturbance of your sleep. We discussed this at the last
7 status conference. You have also filed submissions on the issue on the
8 16th of July, followed by a specific annex which you filed on the 12th of
9 August, which annex was a specialist physician's report on your medical
10 condition and which made recommendations that the continued monitoring in
11 the night was unnecessary.
12 The Registry responded to that submission on the 18th of August,
13 maintaining the position of the medical authorities at the UNDU as to the
14 need for those nightly checks, and as a result of those somewhat
15 conflicting positions, I, after discussions with the Chamber, I had a
16 meeting with the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar to discuss the
17 situation, because it is a situation of great concern to the
18 Trial Chamber, and has been all along. And as a result of that, I sought
19 an additional independent medical report, the Trial Chamber did, which
20 was filed on the 9th of October, and I have been advised that you have
21 received the medical report from Dr. Vermeulen. And in that report --
22 and he is a specialist, a neurologist, and his report concluded basically
23 with recommendations that you should take the medication which has been
24 prescribed for you, that there should be a weekly control of your blood
25 pressure, but that overall, from an examination of all the circumstances,
1 if those factors were met, the blood pressure and the medication, then
2 the doctor would recommend a normal system of observation which would not
3 include nightly checks. That was the result of the third doctor's
5 So the Trial Chamber has reviewed, Mr. Tolimir, all of the
6 medical reports very carefully, and we've paid particular attention to
7 this last report prepared by a specialist, a third party in the matter,
8 who had an opportunity, I believe, to examine all of the material and, I
9 believe, met with you. And on the basis of these reports, in particular
10 that last one, the Trial Chamber is going to place this matter
11 essentially in your hands, Mr. Tolimir. If you are prepared to cooperate
12 with the UNDU medical staff, and very specifically to allow them to check
13 your blood pressure once a week, and take the medication that has been
14 prescribed by all the medical authorities that have looked at your case,
15 as described in Dr. Vermeulen's report, then the Trial Chamber will
16 request the Registry to put in place a normal system of observation which
17 will not involve the nightly checks. If, however, you are not prepared
18 to cooperate in those specific matters that I've just described, then the
19 Trial Chamber will leave it to the UNDU, in particular the medical
20 authorities, to employ what appropriate observation measures they
21 consider to be applicable in those circumstances, which may include the
22 continuation of the half-hour observations at night. It will have to be
23 based on their assessment of the medical situation.
24 I want to stress to you, Mr. Tolimir, that the Trial Chamber
25 remains very concerned at all times about your health and your medical
1 condition. We've looked at the medical reports, though, and we feel as
2 well that you should be guided similarly by those medical recommendations
3 and that you should accept the advice that has been provided by the
4 medical doctors for you, and we're recommending, therefore, that you
5 cooperate in the medical treatment, and as a result we would then be
6 prepared to intervene in terms of the observations. But as I said at the
7 beginning, at the end of the day the matter is now in your hands,
8 Mr. Tolimir. You can choose to cooperate, with the resulting changes to
9 the observation process, or if you don't wish to, then the matter will be
10 left with the UNDU.
11 Do you wish to add any comments on this particular issue,
12 Mr. Tolimir?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 I would like this to be in open session because I always like
15 discussing these matters in open session. So if we're in private session
16 now, could you please issue instructions that we be in open session.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE PROST: No, we've remained in open session. I understand
19 your preference for that, so I have not gone into private session.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Secondly, with respect to what
21 you've just told me, I want to say for the record the following:
22 Under Article 2 of the International Criminal Court for the
23 former Yugoslavia
24 being tried, it is prescribed that persons be prosecuted who have
25 violated Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions, of the Statute. And the
1 Statute also states that it is because of having inflicted grave bodily
2 harm. And you can find all that in the Statute on page 4. That's where
3 all that is set out.
4 Now, I'd like to caution you, as the President in these
5 proceedings, and also I'd like to warn this International Tribunal and
6 this pre-trial conference, that as of the 30th of May, 2007, until the
7 present day, the 22nd of October, 2009, inhumane conduct is being
8 applied, as far as I'm concerned, in my case. The European Conventions
9 forbid that, the European Conventions on Human Rights, and that is if
10 serious mental suffering is inflicted on the individual. And this
11 Tribunal has been cautioned of that several times by me and by the
12 neurologist which the Defence put forward as an expert witness, and
13 indeed the neurologist appointed by the Registrar, in view of his written
14 report. And in that report, he notes that medical supervision and
15 interruption of sleep, waking me up every 30 minutes, is not necessary.
16 When I was brought to the Detention Unit, I was put in a cell,
17 and the guards monitor my cell every 30 minutes, or 48 times within
18 24 hours. They open the window of my cell door and do other things so
19 that my body, whether I'm awake or asleep, reacts to these interruptions,
20 whether they be by sound or light, which the guards use to establish
21 whether I'm alive or not. And the purpose of the medical examination and
22 this deprivation of sleep is to see whether I'm alive.
23 Now, my cells are fine, my body is working properly, but the
24 Registrar wants to know when I'm going to die, and that is in the hands
25 of God. It is only God who knows when I'm going to die and can order my
2 So this kind of medical supervision is detrimental to my health
3 and is a form or torture for me, this deprivation of sleep. And you've
4 just confirmed, with the statement you made, that you're going to
5 continue with that behaviour. This is sanctioned by the United Nations
6 Convention on Torture, and deprivation of sleep is one of those things,
7 and it must not last more than 11 days, whereas in my case it has lasted
8 for two and a half years. And Article 4 of the Convention on Torture
9 states that acts of torture and demeaning behavior and punishment is
10 considered a violation of international human rights, and Article 16 of
11 the Convention makes it incumbent on the signatories that throughout the
12 territory under their control and authority, they should forbid and
13 prohibit all demeaning acts which inflict mental and physical suffering.
14 And Holland
15 should apply the Articles of that Convention.
16 It's not a method of treatment. It just leads to a deterioration
17 of my health. And I have stress-related difficulties, and this was seen
18 by the physician who examined me.
19 I would like to ask this Tribunal to look at the standards
20 prescribed, when it comes to brutal treatment and inflicting mental and
21 bodily harm, and look at the international standards which are formulated
22 in all the international instruments. They are to be found in the
23 universal Declaration on Human Rights, on human rights, the European
24 Convention on the Protection of Human Rights. So any violations against
25 a person's dignity and any conduct that is demeaning for the individual
1 will be punished, and if it is in contravention of Article 3(C) and (D)
2 of the Geneva convention.
3 So I ask you here and now that instruct your services to prepare
4 a detailed report on that, because I don't want to come into conflict
5 with you and have that kind of inhumane behaviour be prolonged in my
6 case. So I'm alive for as long as I react.
7 Now if you want to try me here under the conditions that I have
8 been suffering for two and a half years, I'm not going to be able do
9 that. You can do what you like, but I just ask you to study the
10 standards of international conventions and declarations that give me my
11 human rights.
12 I never forbid anybody to take my blood pressure. That's wrong
13 in your report. I always allowed everybody who wanted to take my blood
14 pressure. Now, instead of medicaments, I drink various teas, herbal
15 teas, and I use prayers, too. And now you wish to impose something else
16 on me. Well, they can take my blood pressure and establish whether I
17 need to take any medicines or not, but I'll have my tea and I'll take one
18 of the medicines they're prescribing, and you'll see what is more
20 And God does not want to see you implement any inhumane behavior
21 towards me, so I'd like you to study this all again. I don't want to
22 have to take this to another court, to another tribunal. I am in this
23 Tribunal, and it is up to the Tribunal to apply by the conventions that
24 have been subscribed to.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir, and let me just deal with
2 it in this manner: The Trial Chamber is certainly aware of all the
3 matters that you have raised. I'm very encouraged to hear that you are
4 prepared -- and if there's a mistake in communicating that information,
5 I'm pleased that you are prepared to cooperate in the taking of the blood
6 pressure, as has been recommended by the doctors. And insofar as the
7 medication issue is concerned, I will ask the Registry to give serious
8 consideration to the fact that you -- to discuss the matter again with
9 you to see if we can come to some form of agreement. And as I've said,
10 if you are cooperating with the authorities, in terms of the treatment
11 that has been recommended by the doctors, I'm going to ask the Registry
12 to take a careful look at the report, the most recent report, as well as
13 the report you submitted, and on that basis I'm going to encourage them
14 to look at those recommendations and to implement the recommendation of
15 the independent expert's report, which called for a normal observation
16 process that will not involve the nightly checks. So I will encourage
17 that, as the result, but on your part I would simply ask for what I take
18 it you're indicating you will do, which is to discuss the matter further
19 with the medical authorities. And I'm confident, Mr. Tolimir, if we
20 approach it from that perspective, we can come to a resolution here which
21 will allow for the normal observation process without the nightly
22 interruptions that you have found so disturbing. So I will take the
23 matter up again with the Registry. As indicated, it will require
24 cooperation on your part, which I take from your comments you're prepared
25 to give, and hopefully by the time the matter -- we meet again, the
1 matter will have been resolved. But I emphasise I do understand your
2 concern about it. The Trial Chamber is very conscious of it, and our
3 intent here, based on the medical reports, is to come to an agreeable
4 situation where the conditions will be improved from your perspective.
5 Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam President, I apologise, but I
7 have to stress that I always cooperated with the doctors, and I have an
8 agreement with the Detention Unit allowing them to have teas brought in
9 to me from my country, and I do drink those teas instead of the
10 medicaments. And I never refused having my blood pressure taken. So I'm
11 always transparent when speaking about my health condition.
12 And the medical treatment that you're talking about does not
13 improve someone's health. On the contrary, it leads to stress situations
14 and mental disturbances because I feel as if I'm in some show, some
15 reality show, Big Brother reality show. Can you imagine you being in a
16 situation like that? And so with your conclusion that you're going to
17 prolong this whole proceeding, you're not going to help me in prolonging
18 my agony. And I have reached an agreement with the Detention Unit and
19 with the physicians on the manner of treatment for my condition, and that
20 is teas. Whenever they came in to take my blood pressure, I never
21 refused, so I don't know where you get that from, and I have to mention
23 So you're just prolonging my statement of agony by continuing
24 this procedure, but I don't need anything else. I've received everything
25 that I need, and it took me two years for me to be accorded the right to
1 be able to drink those teas and get them into the Detention Unit. So
2 this is an alternative form of medicine. I don't know why you don't
3 accept this and why you give greater importance on tablets than you do on
4 herbal teas.
5 And, of course, I believe in God, and if you believe, you will be
6 healed. So please take that on board. Don't deny my faith, and I'm sure
7 that God will help heal me, and I will live as long as God wishes, not a
8 day longer, not a day less. So if I want to live and if God wants me to
9 live, then I will. If I have greater faith in medicines than I do in
10 God, then I would take them, but I have more faith in God, so please
11 don't deny me my religion and my faith and my convictions, and Article 4
12 of the instructions for the Detention Unit allow for that. I don't know
13 why the doctors are trying to negate that Article 4, where religious
14 freedom is accorded.
15 So before the start of trial, I need to have a good night's rest
16 for at least a month and not for you to seek compromise solutions. I
17 don't need compromised solutions, just sleep.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir.
20 Well, I think the positions are very clear, and I hope I've made
21 myself clear on behalf of the Trial Chamber. I will discuss the matter
22 again with the Registry, but I emphasise again, Mr. Tolimir, we have to
23 be guided as well by the medical experts and the medical advice that's
24 been provided, and that's what we're going to do. So I will discuss the
25 matter again with the Registry, and, as I say, I'm glad to hear you have
1 been cooperating and that may just have been a miscommunication.
2 As to the medicament issue, however, I reiterate the
3 Trial Chamber is going to be guided by the medical advice we receive from
4 medical experts. And so I will seek to achieve a solution, but it will
5 require some cooperation on your part as well.
6 I'm going to leave that matter, then, Mr. Tolimir, and I'm going
7 to move to one final issue in this regard.
8 I'm sorry, Mr. Tolimir, go ahead.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd just like to ask you to respect
10 the conventions and international standards on my rights, because you're
11 the Court here, you make decisions, but don't make decisions on the basis
12 of somebody else's opinion if you're not going to take on board my
13 opinions about my own health situation. Thank you.
14 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir, and let me be clear. We
15 look at all of the medical information that we have, and certainly we've
16 always considered and the Trial Chamber will continue to consider what
17 you have put forward in your written submissions and here orally as well.
18 But we have to be guided as well by the medical information. But
19 certainly we are taking into consideration what you have said, your
20 position regarding the -- as you know, we've spent considerable time
21 discussing the issue of your request for the herbal teas, so certainly
22 your position on the matter is also a factor that we take into account.
23 So we'll certainly do that.
24 I will then move to the final issue in this area, unless you have
25 other particular matters, Mr. Tolimir, that you want to deal with. But
1 I think we can leave that particular matter for the moment. This is the
2 question of a notice which you filed on the 30th of July regarding the
3 use of physical force for identification of -- for the purpose of
4 identification measures being taken from you.
5 On the 5th of August, 2009, the Registry filed a submission in
6 response to your notice in which you complained regarding the manner
7 used -- the physical force used to obtain finger-prints and a photograph.
8 The Registry response noted the procedure required by Rules 80(B) and
9 80(1) of the Rules of Detention which requires a report of such matters
10 initially to the commanding officer and then a subsequent review process
11 through the Registry and the President. The Registry's submission also
12 makes reference to the Seselj Appeals Chamber decision in which it was
13 confirmed that the processes -- the remedies available must be exhausted
14 before the matter should be considered by a Trial Chamber.
15 You filed a response to that -- to the Registry's submission on
16 the 25th of August, arguing for a different interpretation of the
17 application of Rules 80(B) and 80(1).
18 The Trial Chamber has considered all of the submissions, your
19 response included. We have reviewed as well the Rules, and have
20 determined that the Rules are very clear as to the procedure to be
21 followed in the case of complaints about treatment, and that those
22 complaints must be directed initially to the commanding officer and, from
23 there, through the Registry, to the President.
24 We've also had regard to the decision of the Appeals Chamber in
25 the Seselj matter in which they affirmed that it was necessary for all
1 available remedies to be pursued prior to any intervention from the
2 Trial Chamber. And, therefore, on that basis, the notice which you
3 filed, which the Chamber is classifying, in essence, as a motion, will be
4 dismissed, as it is for you to pursue the remedies accorded under the
5 Rules which would begin with a complaint initially to the commanding
6 officer, and then the review process set out therein. So on that basis,
7 the Trial Chamber will not intervene in this matter at this time, and you
8 may pursue the other remedies which are available.
9 Those were all of the matters that I wished to raise today. Do
10 any of the parties have any other matters that they wish to deal with?
11 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any additional matters that you wanted
12 to raise?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President.
14 I want you to hear my opinion on this issue. You have stated
15 your views.
16 JUDGE PROST: No, Mr. --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I reached an agreement with the
18 former --
19 JUDGE PROST: I'm sorry, Mr. Tolimir, but the previous issue was
20 based on a submission you had made. I've had responses from the
21 Registry, and the Trial Chamber has given a ruling. You did make your
22 position very clear in the submissions that you made, so I would suggest
23 you bring the matter to the commanding officer's attention, Mr. Tolimir.
24 But we're not going to revisit the decision at this time. But you can
25 pursue the matter with the commanding officer.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want to state my opinions on your
2 assessment of the matter. You're now assessing the matter. You've
3 said -- had your say, but I want to give my opinion about all of that,
4 what you've just said. I have the right to do so because I am not
5 satisfied with the way in which --
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're going to be objecting at this point. I
7 don't think we can run a trial where each side comments on the ruling of
8 the Court afterward. And I just hate to get involved, but we'd be here
9 forever if that occurs.
10 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey, but -- I appreciate the
11 comments, but on this matter, Mr. Tolimir, that is the case. This is a
12 ruling by the Trial Chamber on a notice that you submitted, and it is not
13 the case that you have an opportunity to subsequently express your
14 opinion regarding a matter. You filed a notice, the Registry responded,
15 which was the appropriate party in these circumstances. In other cases,
16 it may be the Prosecution. You responded to that Registry submission.
17 We gave you a full opportunity to be heard, therefore, and the
18 Trial Chamber has ruled, so I will not hear your opinions on the
19 Trial Chamber's ruling. That's the case in this instance, and it will be
20 the case as this trial proceeds. So once the Trial Chamber has ruled,
21 and we've had this issue before, that's the end of the matter. If you
22 wish to take a review process, you are certainly entitled to do so, in
23 accordance with the Rules. In this case, your first avenue on this
24 matter is the commanding officer of the UNDU, and after that you may take
25 the review process through the Registry to the President. That's it on
1 that matter, Mr. Tolimir. Thank you.
2 If there are no other distinct matters from either of the
3 parties, that was all I wished to raise.
4 Mr. McCloskey, do you have any additional matters?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Madam President.
6 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
7 And, Mr. Tolimir, unless you have a different matter to raise.
8 I'm taking it you have no additional matters to raise today.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. I do. I have not
10 received the decision that you are telling me about, I haven't received
11 it, and I wanted us to resolve it in this discussion. Now, if you wish
12 to adhere to procedure, may I have your decision in writing, your ruling
13 in writing, and I will take a review process, because the measures
14 applied to me are outside the legal frameworks of the proceedings.
15 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, I'll take that request under
16 consideration. You have the oral ruling. If you're referencing the
17 Seselj decision, then Mr. Gajic I'm sure can provide you with a copy of
18 that decision. It's in the Registry's submissions.
19 So as there are no additional matters, I will be -- we will bring
20 this status conference to a conclusion, and I would anticipate the next
21 appearance -- Mr. Tolimir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you consider this to be an oral
23 decision and you are not going to allow me to say anything, well, you
24 have to provide a written submission -- a written decision so that I can
25 respond in written form, and not to respond to what was written --
1 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Tolimir, I take that request under
2 consideration, and that is the end of that particular matter. Thank you.
3 You've been advised on the situation. That's the end of the matter.
4 And no further matters being raised by the parties --
5 Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's something else.
7 I want you to tell me in the decision, in that decision of yours,
8 whether somebody has the right to take biometric information from me if I
9 don't agree.
10 JUDGE PROST: The procedure here is clear. If you have a matter,
11 you must raise it in accordance with the Rules. You can discuss the
12 matter with your legal adviser.
13 That's the end of matters for today. This status conference is
14 adjourned, and I anticipate the next appearance will be the pre-trial
15 conference on the 16th of December.
16 Thank you, everyone. Good morning.
17 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
18 at 9.56 a.m.