1 Tuesday, 4 December 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Mitar Vasiljevic.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Groome, we obtained from Mr. Domazet
9 yesterday an agreement that because he was not in a position to call his
10 experts, that the Prosecution case in reply could proceed and -- but he
11 said he had not received any statements. Can you help us, what is going
12 to happen?
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not sure who made such an agreement.
14 JUDGE HUNT: I don't know about an agreement. We received an
15 agreement from Mr. Domazet. Your case in reply is due to start.
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, let me first state for the record my
17 recollection of the events of the last couple of weeks. The week before
18 last, Mr. Domazet notified myself, and I believe the Chamber, that his
19 case would be finishing early. I spoke with your legal officer and asked
20 would you like us to try to have the case start as soon as possible after
21 he finished, and I was told yes.
22 Last week, Mr. Domazet notified us that he could not have Dr.
23 Stojkovic until the 10th of December. At that point, I told the
24 investigators to cease the attempts to get the two or three witnesses I
25 thought I could produce this week and to move on to other important
1 preparation for the rebuttal case. I believe yesterday is the first time
2 now that the Prosecution was notified that the Court wishes to change the
3 order of the trial as provided for in the Rules. Unfortunately, I am not
4 prepared, just having returned myself last night, to produce witnesses
5 today or I don't believe even for the remainder of this week.
6 I can speak with the investigators and we can make every effort
7 possible to try to accelerate the production of witnesses. Might I
8 suggest that I think the best way that the Prosecution can expedite the
9 conclusion of this trial is to focus this week on the psychiatric report
10 which we just received yesterday, to begin to prepare rebuttal for that,
11 and as well as some of the rebuttal witnesses, I will have to speak to and
12 travel to see, some to convince to come and some because they've never
13 been interviewed before. They are recently discovered. But may I suggest
14 to the Court that perhaps the quickest way for the Prosecution to present
15 a tightly-focused and short rebuttal case would be to prepare for it in
16 advance of simply just working helter-skelter to bring witnesses to the
17 Hague as soon as possible. As I said to the Court, the Prosecution
18 rebuttal case will under no circumstances be longer than a week, and I am
19 quite sure that it will be substantially less than a week, but I will make
20 every effort to try to conclude the Prosecution rebuttal case as soon as
22 JUDGE HUNT: But you still haven't answered my question,
23 Mr. Groome, whether you were told yesterday or any other time that we
24 expected you to start immediately. We would have expected you to have
25 some statements. Now, have you no statements from any of these
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, one of the witnesses will be a witness
3 that has already testified and Mr. Domazet already has the statements of
4 that witness.
5 JUDGE HUNT: And is the evidence to be given in reply to the
6 Defence case in that statement?
7 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then what is the point of this? You know the
9 rules: You want to call a witness, you give a statement.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the majority of the Defence witnesses, I
11 was provided absolutely no statement, perhaps half a sentence or at
12 most two sentences regarding the -- what the Defence witnesses were going
13 to testify to.
14 JUDGE HUNT: I have already criticised Mr. Domazet almost
15 continuously about his lack of preparation but that doesn't excuse the
16 Prosecution, which has vastly greater resources.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not sure that the Prosecution has as
18 much resources as the Court believes. If the Court wishes me to provide
19 statements of all the witnesses, there are a number of newly discovered
20 witnesses, they have never been interviewed by the Prosecution. That will
21 obviously increase the amount of time if the Court is requiring the
22 Prosecution to go out, interview them, take sworn statements and produce
23 them prior to their testimony.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Nobody said anything about a sworn statement.
25 MR. GROOME: Or any statement, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then how is Mr. Domazet to be prepared to meet
2 your case in reply?
3 MR. GROOME: I will provide Mr. Domazet all the information that I
4 have and any notes that I may take when I interview these witnesses.
5 JUDGE HUNT: But why hasn't it been done already? If I may say
6 so, Mr. Groome, and I have to say this, if we were able to have your
7 services here, and I leave aside the problem of last week, but if we could
8 have had your services full-time, I am sure that you would have done
9 this. I cannot believe that anybody who is experienced in running a case,
10 who knows they are going to get a right of reply on a number of issues
11 which were raised for the first time in a case, that they would not be
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I understand that you publicly
14 criticised me yesterday and I would like to chance to read that transcript
15 and respond to that.
16 JUDGE HUNT: I said that we did not have your full-time attention
17 here because it is well known that you are involved in another case.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm involved in two other cases and two
19 of them are before you, Your Honour, and I think you've always known that
20 I've been involved in --
21 JUDGE HUNT: Please, Mr. Groome, don't try to avoid the issue.
22 I'm not talking about cases coming up for trial in this Trial Chamber.
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, this Court has had my full attention.
24 We have worked full days for most of the -- since the trial has started.
25 The Prosecution brought its case or presented its case in less time than
1 originally estimated to the Chamber. I think I've done everything
2 possible to meet the Court's concerns about time in this matter. I
3 apologise that I was not able to be here for the last two days but that
4 was unavoidable. I've made every effort to handle this case as
5 expeditiously as possible. I would -- and I would like the opportunity to
6 go back and be able to state with more specificity the efforts that I've
7 made in that regard, but I've done everything to try to expedite despite
8 the Defence -- late notice on a number of items, to expedite copies of
9 x-rays, to do all sorts of things to help expedite this case, despite the
10 late notice that the Prosecution was given on a number of issues. I would
11 take issue with the Court's criticism that the Court has not had my full
12 efforts or full attention in this matter.
13 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I've already said we understand the
14 problems that arose for you personally at the end of last week and I
15 criticise you not at all in relation to that. But the Milosevic case has
16 taken, I am sure, more of your time than could possibly be warranted in a
17 case like this where everybody knew that because of the log jam of cases
18 which are about to start next year, we have not got the time to let this
19 case run.
20 Now, leaving aside everything that you have done, and we readily
21 concede that you've got the Prosecution case through expeditiously, and
22 we're very grateful for that, but nevertheless, with a constant stream of
23 issues arising during the course of the Defence case, which arose because
24 the Defence had not properly been prepared to cross-examine your witnesses
25 and to raise the issues, I would have expected counsel to be ready to run
1 a reply case.
2 Now, you've got to be very careful about this. You keep on
3 talking about newly-discovered witnesses. The evidence can only be given
4 in reply to matters raised for the first time in the Defence case. You
5 don't have a complete open slate to run any issue you like in a case in
7 MR. GROOME: I'm well aware of the limitation of the case in
9 JUDGE HUNT: Well, I have some difficulty in seeing how you are
10 going to get in the evidence of a number of apparently lay witnesses on
11 issues which have been raised for the first time in the case -- in this
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would submit the greatest delay in
14 this case is the psychiatric defence which was raised for the first time
15 last week and I've yet to read the report. Even if I were able to put on
16 all of the rebuttal witnesses starting today for the remainder of it, I
17 would certainly need -- the Court would have to give me sufficient time
18 to have my expert examine the report.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Nobody's expecting you to respond to a report that
20 was given, at the earliest, last weekend. You are running a red herring
21 there. Nobody would expect you to be able to meet that case. I'm talking
22 about the factual issues. And there are a few factual issues which have
23 arisen for the first time in the Defence case which were not put to your
24 witnesses and which should be put to your witnesses. Those are the
25 matters I would have expected you to be ready to run.
1 MR. GROOME: The Court must also recognise that these witnesses
2 are in a different country, it's not simply a matter of sending the
3 investigator out to pick them up. I had them making preparations to have
4 some of them available this week, but based on misrepresentations
5 regarding Dr. Stojkovic and the Court's agreeing to allow him to extend or
6 keep his case open until the 10th or the 11th of December, it seemed at
7 that stage that it was impossible for the Prosecution to call any of its
8 rebuttal witnesses before the new year, and that's why I told the
9 investigators to prepare those witnesses for the 7th of January or the 9th
10 of January, the first day back.
11 JUDGE HUNT: This Tribunal recognises, for example, that an
12 accused person should not be required to start his case until the
13 Prosecution case is finished and that is because there are certain rights
14 which arise at the end of the Prosecution case. But there is no such
15 demarcation between the Defence case and the case in reply, and I have
16 been in a number of cases where the Prosecution has started its case in
17 reply because of problems the Defence has had. It maintains the right to
18 reply to anything they may lead after the Prosecution case or the
19 Prosecution witnesses have been called. If it arises during the case,
20 they can bring those witnesses back. But we are under enormous pressure
21 in this Tribunal to start six cases next year and that was planned upon
22 the assumption that this case would be finished, and we simply do not have
23 the courtrooms. We can't even go to Utrecht because that courtroom is
24 being used for the appeal in the Lockerbie matter. So there is nowhere we
25 can go and we've got to get this case finished and I -- nobody suggested
1 that you could just sit back and wait for Dr. Stojkovic to come along.
2 MR. GROOME: Well, then I apologise for misunderstanding the
3 Court's statements last week for the practice in the Tribunal of not
4 adhering to the rules as far as the order of trial is concerned. I was
5 unaware that it was the practice of the Tribunal to begin a rebuttal case
6 in the middle of the Defence case.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then where are we going to go next?
8 MR. GROOME: Well, if the Court wishes, I will try to see if I
9 can have those witnesses brought up. I would think the earliest I am
10 going to be able to bring them up here is next Monday, the 10th. One of
11 the remedies that the Court said that it would permit, based on the late
12 psychiatric notice, was the re-opening of the defendant's
13 cross-examination on the psychiatric evidence. I will read that report
14 today and advise the Court whether I would be applying to reopen the
15 cross-examination of him based on that report and I will make every effort
16 to try to expedite the examination of the accused by our psychiatric
17 expert, and some of the other issues that have arisen to the work with due
18 diligence to get those matters completed as soon as possible so that the
19 Prosecution is ready to present its rebuttal case as soon as we begin
20 again in the new year.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Have you served the report yet of your expert on the
23 MR. GROOME: On the -- sorry, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE HUNT: On the x-rays.
25 MR. GROOME: I am scheduled to go and meet with that expert one
1 day this week, and he has not completed his report but I will have that
2 hopefully by the end of this week.
3 JUDGE HUNT: I'm not criticising you about that because we
4 still -- I have not yet seen the Defendant's one and it is an issue which
5 has been running the whole of this year, so Mr. Domazet, with all due
6 respect to him, should hang his head in shame in relation to the lateness
7 of that report. But you've now got it so, if I may say so, that's a
8 matter that you should pay some attention to because it is probably one of
9 your biggest issues in the case, I should think.
10 MR. GROOME: I recognise that, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Right. Well, let's see what Mr. Domazet's got to say
12 about the progress of Dr. Stojkovic.
13 What do you want to do with him? Are you going to seek to have a
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as Dr. Stojkovic
16 is concerned, he has informed me that he is simply unable to make himself
17 available as a witness before mid-December, so I will try to have him
18 available on the first working day in January. The other thing is I can
19 forgo this witness. I don't see any other solution.
20 JUDGE HUNT: That's on the 9th of January, you say you can have
21 Dr. Stojkovic here. What about Dr. Jovicevic, what are you going to do
22 about him?
23 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour. [Interpretation] I was not able
24 to find Dr. Jovicevic. He's not in Uzice. I don't know exactly where he
25 is at the moment. However, I will try in the following days to see
1 whether I can secure his presence as well. In the meantime, I will
2 provide the medical certificate concerning him, but I think that it would
3 be very good if I am -- if I can manage to secure his presence as a
4 witness as well, the thing we discussed yesterday.
5 JUDGE HUNT: But is he able to travel to The Hague?
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] According to what we discussed
7 recently, no. If the operation goes well, he will be able to travel at
8 the beginning of January. Otherwise, I would inform you in due time of
9 the necessity to organise a videolink.
10 JUDGE HUNT: When you say "due time," Mr. Domazet, as I understand
11 it, they need three weeks' notice in order to organise this so it may be
12 necessary to start that in train now because there's no way we can get a
13 videolink before next Tuesday. So you better make up your mind about that
14 one and start the train of actions that are required to get a videolink up
15 also for the 9th of January.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE HUNT: In the meantime, you can produce the medical
18 certificate as you wish.
19 Well, now, Mr. Groome, does that mean we now do nothing until next
21 MR. GROOME: Well, Your Honour, I mean, the Prosecution has plenty
22 of work to do.
23 JUDGE HUNT: I'm talking about the Trial Chamber. We also have
24 plenty of work to do but we're meant to be doing it in court.
25 MR. GROOME: Well, Your Honour, I fully expected to have a Defence
1 case to meet or to cross-examine the witnesses. I don't see how I can
2 answer the question of what the Trial Chamber should do. I've already
3 explained the situation.
4 JUDGE HUNT: I'm asking when are we going to resume in court? I
5 thought that was fairly clear but I'll say it directly.
6 MR. GROOME: I will read the Defence psychiatric report this
7 morning and, by noon, I will advise your legal officer whether I will be
8 seeking to reopen the cross-examination of Mr. Vasiljevic. I would ask
9 for the afternoon to prepare that cross-examination if I was going to
10 reopen it. I will also, if the Court wishes, I will reopen the
11 preparations to try to have the -- some of those rebuttal witnesses
12 brought to The Hague and I will keep the Court posted regarding what the
13 prospects are of having them here as soon as possible and advise the Court
14 when that might be.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Well, you see Mr. Domazet's expectations about
16 Dr. Stojkovic are becoming less and less hopeful. We're now talking about
17 the middle of December, which is far too late for us because next Tuesday
18 is our last sitting day and we are sitting on Tuesday. In case you were
19 not here when I announced it, despite the Milosevic hearing, we have been
20 granted permission by security to continue to use this courtroom.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just to clear up what the Court is
22 perceiving as my divided attention, this is my primary attention. It's
23 never been divided and it will not be. As long as this case is on trial,
24 the Court will have me, it can be assured that I will never be taken away
25 to work on any other case, including the Milosevic case.
1 JUDGE HUNT: We're very grateful for that assurance but it has not
2 been our perception, unfortunately.
3 MR. GROOME: I would then ask the Court please to state with more
4 particularity because I believe that I have given my full attention to
5 this trial and would take issue with any -- or would like a chance to
6 respond to any feeling that the Court might have regarding how my
7 attention has not been fully directed towards this trial.
8 JUDGE HUNT: I merely said that had been our perception. I'm not
9 challenging what you have said. Our perception has certainly not been
10 that you have had your full attention to this case because one does
11 understand what has been going on in that other case and the time that has
12 been devoted to it, and I am happy to accept your assurances that our
13 perception was wrong, but I am just telling you that that has been our
14 perception to date.
15 MR. GROOME: I would like to respond to specific instances if the
16 Court can make them aware to me.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I don't understand why you don't listen
18 to what you are seeking to respond to. I said I am happy to accept your
19 assurances that our perception was wrong.
20 MR. GROOME: Okay, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Do you still persist in asking for specific details?
22 MR. GROOME: I guess not, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Well, will you let us know if you are
24 able to cross-examine the accused tomorrow? Then we'll certainly be here
25 to do it. Thursday, unfortunately, as we have already said is not
1 available. Friday is available and so are Monday and Tuesday. If you can
2 bring any witnesses of factual issues along and give Mr. Domazet at least
3 some sort of a summary of what they are going to give evidence on, by all
4 means do so because I think that we have to get rid of whatever witnesses
5 we can.
6 The Prosecution's rights are fully protected. If anything
7 happens in any of Mr. Domazet's still uncalled witnesses, then you have a
8 right to reply to it, but I want to make it clear because sometimes I have
9 a terrible feeling that the Office of the Prosecution has a different idea
10 about what a case in reply is to what I understand it to be, but it must
11 be limited to matters which have been raised by the Defence in the course
12 of its case for the first time which it should have raised with your
13 witnesses in the Prosecution case.
14 Very well, then. Well, then we will now have to adjourn unless
15 there's something more that anybody wants to raise.
16 Mr. Domazet?
17 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Trial Chamber I could have started a lot earlier than
19 we thought to use this courtroom. I'm sorry that you've had this early
20 start but it was, unfortunately, a muddle-up in the registry which led to
21 it, which was compounded by further problems last night, and I'm grateful
22 that everybody was able to get here, notwithstanding the short notice they
23 were given by the registry. Very well, we will adjourn until further
25 -- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
1 sine die at 9.25 a.m.