1 Thursday, 20 November 2008.
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The Accused Zupljanin entered court]
5 [The Accused Stanisic appeared via videolink]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.59 p.m.
7 JUDGE PROST: Good afternoon everyone. Madam Registrar, could
8 you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This case number IT-08-91-PT the
11 Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
12 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much. Can I check first of all,
13 Mr. Zupljanin, can you hear me, are you receiving interpretation in a
14 language that you understand?
15 THE ACCUSED ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] I hear you loud and
16 clear, Your Honour, and yes I am receiving interpretation.
17 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. Please let me know if at any point in
18 time you are not. I understand Mr. Stanisic is appearing via videolink
19 from Belgrade. Can you hear me in Belgrade?
20 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE PROST: And you're receiving interpretation --
22 Mr. Stanisic is receiving interpretation in language he understands?
23 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. May I have the appearances, please.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour, my name is Tom Hannis and
1 Karen Beausey and our case manager, Crispian Smith.
2 JUDGE PROST: Thank you and good afternoon to you all.
3 For Mr. Zupljanin.
4 MR. VISNJIC: Thomas Visnjic attorney at law.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Good afternoon Your Honour, Pantelic co-counsel
6 for Zupljanin.
7 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. And in Belgrade, with Mr. Stanisic? We
8 have a picture now.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Slobodan Cvijetic --
10 yes, sure.
11 JUDGE PROST: Thank you and good afternoon to you all of you as
12 well. The purpose of today's hearing is twofold, really. This is the
13 first status conference in the present case as a result of the decision
14 of the Trial Chamber ordering joinder of the cases against Mr. Stanisic
15 and Mr. Zupljanin, and as a result we have had prior status conferences,
16 11, for Mr. Stanisic in the previous indictment and one initial
17 appearance and one further appearance from Mr. Zupljanin in the previous
18 indictment as well.
19 So this is the first status conference, as I say, on that joint
20 indictment, and obviously for the normal purposes of a status conference,
21 any exchanges on issues for trial preparation as well as checking on
22 issues related to the accused condition of detention and conditions
24 But as well, this afternoon and this is the first matter I'd like
25 to deal with, in light of the decision of the Trial Chamber on the 23rd
1 of September, we allowed for the joinder and as well amendments to the
2 indictment, and resulting from those amendments were new charges and
3 therefore we need to have in essence a further appearance this afternoon
4 for the purpose of taking pleas in relation to the operative indictment.
5 And that was filed on the 29th of September 2008. Those pleas will
6 relate only to the new charges which have been permitted by the Trial
7 Chamber's ruling.
8 So if I could proceed to that immediately. Perhaps we'll deal
9 first of all with Mr. Stanisic in Belgrade. Both accused of course have
10 the right to have the new charges read out to them, if they wish. So
11 I'll begin, Mr. Stanisic or counsel, does he wish to have the new charges
12 read out or is he prepared to waive the reading?
13 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] No need to read them.
14 MR. CVIJETIC: Your Honour, my client is familiar with the
15 indictment and there is no need to have them read out.
16 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much. I will proceed then first of
17 all with the pleas on those new charges in relation to you, Mr. Stanisic.
18 For your alleged responsibility under Articles 7 (1) and 7 (3), two crime
19 sites have been added under count on persecution, the unlawful detention
20 in the Batkovic camp in the municipality of Bijeljina and an alleged mass
21 killing on a bridge in Kotlina in the municipality of Gacko.
22 Mr. Stanisic, how do you plead to count 1 as it now stands?
23 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.
24 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. Further, the said alleged mass killing
25 on a bridge in Kotlina in the municipality of Gacko has also been added
1 under -- yes, I'm sorry, counsel.
2 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise Your Honour, my client cannot hear
3 so could we fix it?
4 JUDGE PROST: Oh, sorry. Thank you for bringing that to my
5 attention. You are not receiving sound or you are not receiving
6 interpretation? One moment, Mr. Stanisic, we appear to have a problem
7 here in The Hague.
8 THE ACCUSED ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving
9 Mr. Stanisic's sound.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE PROST: We'll try this once again. We've recorded a plea
12 in relation to count 1 already, Mr. Stanisic. How do you plead to count
13 2 as to now stands?
14 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Now Mr. Zupljanin is indicating that he is
16 receiving sound and translation. But now the Prosecution may have some
17 difficulty. No, they are fine. Okay. So everyone apparently is
18 receiving. And thank you again for bringing that to my attention.
19 Mr. Stanisic, similarly, relation to count 3 and count 4 as they
20 both now stand, it is the same alleged mass killing which has been added
21 as a crime site. To those two counts, how do you plead?
22 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. Registrar, you may note the not guilty
24 pleas entered to counts 1 through 4 on behalf of Mr. Stanisic.
25 Mr. Zupljanin, and since you are here, if you could please stand
1 for the pleas in your case.
2 [The accused Zupljanin stands up]
3 JUDGE PROST: First I should verify, does he wish to have the
4 charges read to him, the indictment read, or is he prepared to waive the
5 reading of the indictment, counsel?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PROST: I take it that means no to my first questions which
8 was --
9 MR. VISNJIC: The first question, yes.
10 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Zupljanin, for your alleged responsibility
11 under Articles 7 (1) and 7 (3) two crime sites have been added under
12 count 1 on persecution, the unlawful detention at the Ljubija football
13 stadium in the municipality of Prijedor and at the prison in Sanski Most
14 in the municipality of Sanski Most. Mr. Zupljanin, how do you plead to
15 count 1 as it now stands?
16 THE ACCUSED ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Not guilty, Mrs. Prost.
17 Not guilty on this count of the indictment or any other for that matter.
18 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. And in relation to the alleged
19 mistreatment of detainees at the football stadium and at the prison in
20 Sanski Most, they have also been added under counts 5 to 8 relating to
21 torture, cruel treatment, and inhumane acts. I will deal with these as a
22 group, Mr. Zupljanin, given your comment, so in relation to counts 5, 6,
23 7 and 8 as they now stand, how do you plead?
24 THE ACCUSED ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Not guilty. Not under
25 any of the counts.
1 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, you may be seated.
2 [The accused Zupljanin sits down]
3 JUDGE PROST: Registrar, could you please note the not guilty
4 pleas on counts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 for Mr. Zupljanin.
5 All right. We'll proceed then to the second item that I have
6 noted, Mr. Hannis if I could turn to you at this stage in relation just
7 to one pending motion. On the 17th of November counsel for Mr. Zupljanin
8 filed a motion challenging the form of the indictment. A similar motion
9 has already been filed by Mr. Stanisic and replied to. The Trial Chamber
10 is inquiring whether the Prosecution might be in a position to file the
11 response perhaps within a shorter time limit than is normally the case.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we would request to have the full time.
13 This Defence motion asks for extended word limits, there's 3800 words,
14 it's substantial, we feel like we need the full amount of time to reply.
15 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Hannis, that's understandable and it
16 is of course an important motion, so we felt it appropriate to make the
17 inquiries, but given your submissions, you will have the normal time
18 period in which to file your response.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE PROST: If I could just get a bit of an update. I know
21 that there was a discussion at the 65 ter meeting yesterday on the
22 subject of disclosure. I'd just like to confirm some points on the
23 record to make sure that disclosure is proceeding appropriately.
24 Obviously with respect to Mr. Stanisic there has been disclosure
25 under 66(A)(i) completed quite a while ago. I understand that disclosure
1 has now also been completed under 66(A)(i) in relation to Mr. Zupljanin.
2 Is that correct?
3 MR. HANNIS: That is correct, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PROST: And, counsel, can you confirm that, just for me on
5 the record? This is in relation to Rule 66(A)(i).
6 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Supporting materials.
7 JUDGE PROST: Supporting materials have been provided.
8 Okay. Now with regard to 66(A)(ii), I understand that the bulk
9 of the disclosure has been completed, but there are some statements which
10 are outstanding. Mr. Hannis, perhaps you could just confirm for me as to
11 the state of that disclosure.
12 MR. HANNIS: That is correct, Your Honour. What is outstanding
13 are witness statements for a handsful of protected witnesses for whom we
14 have delayed disclosure measures in place. And there is a possibly that
15 we may be adding some witnesses in light of very recent investigation.
16 But we haven't even filed a motion yet to amend our witness list, but if
17 and when we do, we'll disclose that material promptly.
18 JUDGE PROST: Okay. That's fine. Any comments on that?
19 MR. VISNJIC: Not for the moment.
20 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Thank you. I'm certain that I don't need to
21 remind Mr. Hannis of his obligations under Rule 68. I'll just make
22 mention that it's there and obviously there is the ongoing obligation at
23 all times to disclose materials that fall within that rule.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the videolink
25 microphone please be switched off. We can't hear the speakers in the
1 courtroom, thank you.
2 JUDGE PROST: I'm hoping that you've heard that in Belgrade so
3 you can make that adjustment and keep the microphone off unless you need
4 to turn it on to respond. Thank you.
5 Now, the subject of agreed facts is something I did want to
6 mention, again I know it was discussed yesterday at the status
7 conference. The Trial Chamber is very interested and would like to
8 encourage all the parties as much as possible to try and narrow down the
9 issues in the case and try and come to agreement on those facts on which
10 there is agreement, and therefore no necessity to add to the trial
11 evidence relating to matters in which the parties can agree.
12 And it's our view that that is of great importance to try and
13 keep this proceeding very focused on the important issues. So I know
14 that there have -- are renewed discussions with counsel for Mr. Stanisic,
15 and I'm -- the Trial Chamber is very encouraged to hear that, and we
16 would like you to make efforts from both sides to agree on facts not in
18 I know that the position of the team for Mr. Zupljanin and the
19 fact that you are in a -- that the file is newer than it is in the case
20 of Mr. Stanisic, but I do want to emphasize that while of course time
21 will be allowed for trial preparation, the Trial Chamber does want there
22 to be a sense of movement and a sense of urgency to preparing and I'm
23 certain counsel is aware of that. And it might benefit you at this stage
24 just simply to have some participation in the discussions that are going
25 on, because it will allow you to have a sense, at least, of what some of
1 the agreed facts in issue or at play are. And so I would again, since
2 all the parties are present when you have those opportunities, if you can
3 take the opportunity to discuss potential agreed facts, appreciating, I
4 appreciate what was conveyed, and it was conveyed to me by my senior
5 legal officer, as to the state of preparations and the difficulties that
6 you face at this stage, but I'm simply asking if you can at least engage
7 in some preliminary discussions with both counsel for Mr. Stanisic and
8 the Prosecution, I think that would be useful. Any comments on that,
9 Mr. Visnjic?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if invited we shall
11 certainly take part.
12 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Well, I think -- Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: They will be invited, Your Honour, and as I
14 indicated yesterday. I had a very positive experience with both
15 Mr. Visnjic and Mr. Zecevic in our past two years in the Milutinovic
16 case. I'm optimistic that we will be able to reach agreement on a number
17 of things.
18 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much. Thanks to all of you and I'm
19 sure that will be the case as well.
20 And I believe that was -- those were the only matters that I felt
21 it necessary from this position of the Trial Chamber to raise today,
22 however, aside from of course I will address the accused in relation to
23 conditions. But before that, are there any issues -- perhaps I'll turn
24 first to the Prosecution. Are there any issues that the Prosecution
25 wishes to raise today, bring to the Trial Chamber's attention.
1 MR. HANNIS: Not that I can think of at the moment, Your Honour.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PROST: And Mr. Cvijetic in Belgrade, are there any matters
6 that you wanted to bring to my attention this afternoon?
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Nothing to raise by our Defence
8 for the time being, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PROST: Okay. Thank you very much. While I have you, I'll
10 do that in that order. Mr. Stanisic, any health matters that you wish to
11 bring to my attention this afternoon? Anything you wanted to convey?
12 THE ACCUSED STANISIC: [Interpretation] Nothing to report for the
13 time being, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PROST: Fine. Thank you. I'm glad to hear that.
15 Mr. Zupljanin, do you have any matters you wanted to bring to my
16 attention in terms of either health issues, and if you do, and you wish
17 to discuss them in private session, we can certainly do that, or any
18 matters you want to bring to my attention regarding the conditions of
19 your detention?
20 THE ACCUSED ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Mrs. Prost, I have two
21 questions, rather two issues. Firstly, tomorrow is a great day for my
22 family and for me, St. Archangel Michael, which is our family feast day.
23 I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very good holiday to all
24 those celebrating and much joy while celebrating it.
25 Secondly, I've been facing a lot of difficulty with my computer.
1 This has been a difficult problem which has made it impossible for me to
2 work on my defence to the extent I would have liked to. Before the start
3 of this session, however, my lawyers have informed me that the computer
4 issue will be dealt with over the following days. It will be to my great
5 satisfaction if a solution arrives as soon as possible, Monday at the
6 very latest, thank you very much.
7 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. Well, I hope that that problem is
8 resolved and I can understand that that is a significant problem in terms
9 of trial preparation. So, Mr. Visnjic, if the problem continues and you
10 feel the need to have the assistance of the Trial Chamber to the extent
11 that is necessary, but I'm certain you can work that out with the
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour. We were
14 contacted by the Registrar this morning. I think at some point next
15 week, the problem will be resolved. The problem being about the
16 following: Mr. Zupljanin was unable to receive any materials served on
17 him by the Prosecutor because of insufficient memory on his computer.
18 And now he will hopefully be fully able to join in his own Defence and
19 keep providing instructions to us in terms of what to do next. Thank
21 JUDGE PROST: Certainly. Thank you for bringing that to my
22 attention. As I say, I'm sure that the problem will be fixed and you can
23 proceed with trial preparations.
24 Well, if there's nothing further then from any of the parties,
25 this status conference is adjourned. Thank you and good afternoon to
2 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
3 3.21 p.m.