Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 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

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 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

23     generally.

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

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 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

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 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

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 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.

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 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

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 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

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 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

17     dispute.

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

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 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.

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 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.

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 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

12     Registry.

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

20     you.

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

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 1     everyone.

 2                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

 3                            3.21 p.m.