1 Friday, 24 November 2006
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, bon jour. Could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Milorad Trbic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Trbic, good morning, to you. I just want
11 to make sure you are receiving interpretation.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And the Prosecution is Mr. Vanderpuye
14 and Ms. Soljan, and for the Defence it's Mr. Piletta-Zanin assisted by --
15 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [interpretation] Madam Elisa Krahenbuhl. The
16 name in writing will be given to the court reporter later on.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a special Status Conference that we have
18 convened during which we will discuss -- we will give a resume of the
19 latest developments in the case, which are in themselves the reasons for
20 some concerns that we have that we will share with you and also hopefully,
21 if he's prepared to discuss matters with us, later on in due course with
22 the accused himself.
23 We will stay in open session for a while, and then when we address
24 ourselves to certain matters that require us to be in closed session, then
25 we'll conduct the rest of the business in closed session.
1 You will all recall that a few months ago on the 26th of June of
2 this year the Trial Chamber, who was then -- which was then differently
3 composed, ordered the severance of this case against Mr. Trbic, the case
4 against Mr. Trbic from that of the other seven co-accused in the so-called
5 Srebrenica 2 trial. It's Prosecution versus Popovic et al. Pretty soon
6 after, and that's on the 14th of July, we issued a confidential decision
7 granting the Defence a request for certification of the severance decision
8 that I mentioned already. On the 20th of June, the duty judge issued a
9 confidential order granting the Defence a request to suspend the time
10 limits concerning these appeal proceedings until further order. The
11 suspension remains in force. I'm referring to the duty judge in the
12 Appeals Chamber, and that was Judge Schomburg, as you will recall. That
13 decision to suspend the time limits is still valid.
14 Before we had even decreed the severance of the case, the Office
15 of the Prosecutor had filed a motion for the referral of Mr. Trbic under
16 Rule 11 bis of our Rules to be tried in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was
17 on the 4th of May. Six days later, on the 10th of May, the matter was
18 referred to -- this matter was referred to the Referral Bench by the
19 President of this Tribunal, and on the latest development that we have
20 is -- goes back to a couple of days ago, 22nd of November, 2006, when the
21 Referral Bench issued an order for further submissions on the referral
22 request and Scheduling Order for hearing. Basically, the Referral Bench
23 notes that questions have been raised by the Pre-Trial Chamber seized of
24 these proceedings, the pre-trial proceedings, relating to the mental
25 health of the accused and that the Referral Bench wishes to obtain
1 submissions from the parties and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 on the provisions of Bosnian law, or the law of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 addressing an accused's possible lack of fitness to enter a plea and to
4 stand trial, and also on the compatibility of the legal system of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina with Rule 11 bis (B) under these conditions.
6 I will stop here for a moment, because from our experience here,
7 we usually note that while counsel for the accused to have received a copy
8 of such an order, such a decision, relatively straight away upon -- or
9 soon after filing, it's not usually the case with the accused who requires
10 first to have the order or the decision translated into his own language.
11 So first thing that we want to ensure ourselves of, make sure of, is
12 whether Mr. Trbic has received or has been notified with -- served with a
13 copy of this decision in his own language.
14 Perhaps either you, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, or Mr. Trbic, directly
15 can -- I don't know if you -- I suppose you have discussed this with him
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you. The accused is not
18 aware of the decision for a very simple reason. I myself was travelling
19 when the decision arrived on my desk. I saw Mr. Trbic very early
20 yesterday morning, so I myself had not been aware of this decision when I
21 saw him, and I did not have the time it took to have it translated. So he
22 didn't see it in his language. A brief summary might, therefore, be
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. This was the brief summary. I can, for
25 your benefit, Mr. Trbic, read out slowly the --
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's better, because we've got very limited
3 time and we need to continue with the other case. I think you will
4 certainly have an opportunity to try and explain to the -- to your client
5 the decision of the Referral Bench. But basically it's what I noted just
6 a few minutes ago, that the Referral Bench is moving, and it has
7 highlighted to us and to you, and to you, of course, Mr. Piletta-Zanin,
8 that the mental health of your client is a real issue that needs to be
9 addressed, and I'll come to that later on.
10 Now, you will recall in particular -- particularly you, Mr.
11 Piletta-Zanin, and also Mr. Trbic, that during the Status Conference of
12 the 15th of September, which -- over which I presided, and I think
13 Ms. Soljan was here but not you, Mr. Vanderpuye, the accused chose to make
14 some statements spontaneously. He stated that he did not have any
15 problems at the Detention Unit. He also stated that his state of mental
16 and physical health was stable and good, and that attempts to obtain
17 medical expertise on this matter were unnecessary and unjustified. He
18 also stated that he wished his case to be referred to the authorities of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina under the procedure of our Rule 11 bis, and that
20 all other requests were unnecessary. He added that he had spoken to
21 Mr. Piletta-Zanin about this for a long time and was aware that the
22 referral matter was not yet decided but that it was still pending before
23 the Referral Bench. He added that he did no longer stand by his previous
24 statements and requested that these be ignored or no longer considered.
25 And last but not least, he stated that he was not bothered by the issue of
1 disclosure of his identity in the media and that he did not have any
2 problems at the Detention Unit in relation to that.
3 In the past months, on a regular basis we have been asked to
4 continue authorising or advise the President about authorising, continuing
5 to authorise the health of Mr. Trbic each time for a period of 30 days,
6 and the last request has been -- goes back to a few days ago, rather
7 almost a month, to the 31st of October, and that kind of monitoring order
8 is still in force.
9 I am now proceeding to give some details about matters relating to
10 the issue of whether the accused is fit, medically fit, to enter a plea
11 and to stand trial.
12 You will recall that months ago we ourselves had asked the
13 Registrar to appoint a psychiatrist to examine the accused. The Registrar
14 appointed a psychologist first, who gave us -- came forward with a report
15 which, for whatever it was worth, and it was worth everything that one
16 could expect from a psychologist, we accept it, but the report itself
17 indicated that the matter should be studied further, the accused should be
18 examined further by a fully fledged professional psychiatrist. The
19 Registrar appointed a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist examined the accused
20 with what was available. He came out with an assessment which raised
21 doubts as to the mental capacity of the accused to stand trial; however,
22 also made it clear that this was not a time assessment. The assessment
23 was based on the condition of the accused at the time and would be need --
24 would be needed -- would need to be reviewed from time to time until there
25 was -- there came a stage when a final assessment could be reached.
1 This was happening at a time when the Prosecution was not aware of
2 the fact that it was happening, and it was then decided that there was no
3 point in hiding this from the Prosecution any further. It was being done,
4 of course --
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm being advised by my colleagues that
7 perhaps it would be better if we go into private session, and I have
8 absolutely no objection to that. So we continue in private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 30-44 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I say it's a pity that you have decided not
14 to cooperate with us, Mr. Trbic, in spite of our efforts to make you
15 understand that this is in your own interest. I'm sure that when you are
16 back in the Detention Unit, in your cell, you will have time to think
17 about this. If you come to the conclusion -- if you change your mind,
18 will you please let us know? And it will help us immensely.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will most certainly
20 not change my mind. There is no need for that. Everything I have said
21 holds true. That is indeed my opinion.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank everyone. I thank you,
23 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, team members of the OTP team, and there will be a
24 subsequent Status Conference in due course. I can't tell you exactly
25 when, but within the [microphone not activated] of the Rules.
1 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
2 at 10.12 a.m.