1 Wednesday, 12 November 2014
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellant Zupljanin not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.01 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good afternoon, everybody.
7 I noticed that appellant Zupljanin is not present, so this is the
8 first procedural matter that we have to deal with.
9 Mr. Krgovic, are you aware of the reason why Mr. Zupljanin is not
10 present today?
11 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, he had some personal things to do, so
12 he signed a waiver and agreed that this Status Conference can be
13 continued without his presence.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the waiver here with you?
15 MR. KRGOVIC: He -- he signed it. And he said he will not come
16 during today or --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you speak to him?
18 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And he confirmed exactly --
20 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Krgovic, just to inform you because, as
23 you can imagine -- and you were in Popovic and you know that this has
24 happened several times before in Popovic with several of the accused in
25 that case, in that trial. I am being reminded by Madam Registrar here
1 that in such cases, the Detention Unit will not obtain a waiver from the
2 accused. It's an initiative that you have to take together with him. In
3 other words, he needs to sign a waiver to you, and then you forward it to
4 the Registrar. It's -- unfortunately, when it is a personal reason like
5 the one your client has today, it's not something that the Detention Unit
6 can -- is authorised to deal with. Okay?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: Understood, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So please make sure that you procure this waiver
9 that you -- has been conveyed to you verbally and, in the meantime, we
10 can proceed because I take your word for it.
11 Unless there is an objection on the part of the, Prosecution
12 which I wouldn't think there would be.
13 MS. BAIG: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you. I will do my best, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic. So having dealt with that,
17 I can now start with the proper procedure of this Status Conference.
18 Let's start with appearances. Could I now please have the
19 appearances of the parties, starting with the Prosecution.
20 MR. FADEM: Good afternoon, Your Honour, everyone in the room.
21 My name is Luke Fadem for the Prosecution, accompanied by Senior Appeals
22 Counsel, Laurel Baig, and Case Manager, Colin Nawrot.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much.
24 Appearance for Defence of Mr. Stanisic.
25 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
1 everyone in and around the courtroom. Representing Mr. Stanisic this
2 afternoon, Stephane Bourgon from Canada.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 And appearance for Mr. Zupljanin.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon
6 everybody in the courtroom. Dragan Krgovic appearing for Zupljanin
7 Defence today.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Now another formality. Mr. Stanisic, I want to make sure that
10 you are able to follow the proceedings and understand them.
11 THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I can follow.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much.
14 So this Status Conference is called pursuant to our Rule 65 bis
15 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Rule 65 bis, paragraph (B)
16 requires a Status Conference to be convened within 120 days after the
17 filing of a Notice of Appeal and, thereafter, within 120 days after the
18 last Status Conference. The reason is to allow any person in custody the
19 opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto, including the mental and
20 physical condition of that person.
21 In the present case, the parties filed their notices of appeal on
22 13th May 2013. The first Status Conference was held on
23 4th September 2013. The second, third, fourth Status Conferences were
24 held on 11 December 2013, 9th April 2014, and 24th July 2014
1 Today's Status Conference is the fifth in this case and was
2 scheduled pursuant to an order issued by me on the 1st of October, 2014
3 which was amended on the 17th of October, 2014 changing the time.
4 Let me start with perhaps the most important part of this
5 Status Conference. It relates to the detention conditions and health of
6 the two appellants. So I would like to inquire in the status of the
7 detention conditions and health situations of each one of you,
8 Mr. Stanisic, and, Mr. Krgovic, you on behalf of your client
9 Mr. Zupljanin.
10 Mr. Stanisic, if you have any concerns in relation to the
11 conditions of your detention or your state of health, I would invite you
12 to raise them now, and if you would prefer, this discussion can take
13 place in private session.
14 THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing to say.
15 For the time being, everything is bearable.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's good news.
17 Mr. Krgovic on behalf of Mr. Zupljanin.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: Mr. President, I spoke with my client. We have no
19 complaints about anything.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
21 We can proceed now with the second -- and you, Mr. Bourgon, you
22 wouldn't like to add anything on what your client said. Okay.
23 We can then proceed with the next -- the second equally important
24 part of the Status Conference; namely, the one dealing with recent
25 procedural history.
1 Before we turn to any issues the parties may wish to raise, I
2 will now outline the recent procedural history of this case. Even though
3 this information is known by the parties, one of the purposes of a Status
4 Conference is to inform the public outside the Tribunal of what is
5 happening in any particular case. In setting out the procedural history,
6 I will focus on the decisions rendered since the last Status Conference
7 held on the 24th of July, 2014, as well as on any pending motions.
8 To the extent necessary, I will also recall filings prior to the
9 last Status Conference.
10 As a preliminary matter, with regard to the composition of the
11 Appeals Chamber seized of the present appeal, I recall that on the 22nd
12 of September, 2014, the President of the Tribunal appointed Judge Khalida
13 Rachid Khan to replace Judge William Sekule on the Bench.
14 Next, I note that the additional briefing in this case was
15 concluded after our last Status Conference. In accordance with the
16 timetable for supplemental briefing, which was set out in decisions
17 issued on 14th April 2014 and amended by decision of the 2nd of May,
18 2014, appellants Stanisic and Zupljanin filed additions to their appeal
19 briefs on 26 June 2014. The Prosecution filed a consolidated response on
20 18th July 2014, and Mr. Zupljanin filed his reply on 25th of July, 2014,
21 and Stanisic filed his reply on the 29th of July, 2014.
22 In a related matter, by motion filed on the 31st of July, 2014,
23 the Prosecution requested leave to file a surreply to Mr. Zupljanin's
24 reply to the Prosecution's consolidated response. The Prosecution sought
25 to respond to Mr. Zupljanin's new argument in his rely concerning the
1 alleged late filing of the Prosecution's consolidated response of
2 18th July 2014. The Appeals Chamber declared the -- however, considering
3 that Mr. Zupljanin withdrew his argument on the 31st of July, 2014, the
4 Appeals Chamber declared the Prosecution motion moot in a decision issued
5 on the 30th of October, 2014. In the same decision, the Appeals Chamber
6 also accepted Mr. Stanisic's late reply as validly filed.
7 Following the last Status Conference, the Appeals Chamber also
8 issued a decision on 24 July 2014 dismissing Mr. Stanisic's motion for
9 reconsideration of the decision issued by the Appeals Chamber on the 2nd
10 of April, 2014. In the April decision, the Appeals Chamber had dismissed
11 Mr. Stanisic's motion for mistrial and Mr. Zupljanin's motion to vacate
12 the trial judgement.
13 Further, as Pre-Appeal Judge, I rendered a decision on the 3rd of
14 September, 2014 granting a Prosecution motion filed confidentially on the
15 6th of June, 2014, which had requested a public redacted version of a
16 decision issued by the Trial Chamber in this case.
17 Finally, on the 25th of August, 2014, Mr. Stanisic and
18 Mr. Zupljanin filed a joint motion seeking expedited adjudication of
19 grounds of appeal, 1 bis and 6. The Appeals Chamber dismissed the motion
20 in a decision issued on the 22nd October, 2014.
21 Turning now to the motions currently pending before this Appeals
22 Chamber, I recall that on the 9th of September, 2014, Mr. Stanisic filed
23 an application pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure and
24 Evidence, seeking admission of additional evidence on appeal. The
25 Appeals Chamber will render its decision in due course.
1 That concludes my summary of the recent procedural history of
2 this case.
3 I -- unless there are comments from either Prosecution or Defence
4 counsel, I proceed to the next part of today's Status Conference, which
5 is issues raised by the parties.
6 At this point, I would like to ask the parties whether they have
7 any other issues that they would like to raise.
8 I start with the Prosecution.
9 MR. FADEM: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Our sole issue would be, to the extent possible, that the Court
11 grant us as much advance notice as possible of when the appeal hearing
12 may take place, and the Defence may be in accord with that.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Bourgon, for Mr. Stanisic.
16 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I have no issues to
17 raise on behalf of Mr. Stanisic today.
18 Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 And, Mr. Krgovic, on behalf of Mr. Zupljanin.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. We don't have any issue
22 to raise.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
24 Basically we are finished. However, once you have raised the
25 issue of the possible date of the hearing, and since the last Status
1 Conference that we had, I had promised you to -- to update you, more or
2 less. The situation hasn't changed much. The problem that I have, as
3 Presiding Judge in charge of preparing the preparatory document in
4 preparation for -- for the hearing, is -- is basically staff-oriented.
5 As you know, we are facing problems with the staff leaving or staff
6 losing their job. I can't give you details because -- except that I can
7 confirm to you that that as vice-president in charge of staffing, I am
8 continuously, almost on a day-to-day basis, dealing with this problem
9 together with the Chief of Staff and also with the president, and
10 hopefully we should be in a position to secure all the staff that we need
11 to move forward. At the moment, I can basically tell you that we have
12 lost a little bit of ground, and I think we -- we have to gain a little
13 bit of ground to be able to meet the target that I had set in the
15 Originally my plan was to have the hearing towards the end of
16 March. That is probably almost certainly not going to be possible.
17 However, we are working hard, my staff and also the additional staff that
18 I hope to get towards the end of the year or the beginning of next year,
19 that should make it possible for us to fix the hearing not much later
20 than the end of March. We could be talking of April or we could be
21 talking of May. So the earliest, I would say, the beginning of April or
22 mid-April, the very earliest, and that is not optimistic. The latest, I
23 suppose, would be towards the end of May, and that is highly optimistic.
24 However, I have in mind to let you know well in advance. I mean,
25 more or less, towards the end of January or February, we should be in a
1 position to know, more or less, whether it will be April or May.
2 There is drafting taking place already. I can't say that it is
3 in an advanced stage, but it's not as bad as I had anticipated due to the
4 lack of staff basically that I have.
5 So, any further comments? Okay. But I will let you know at
6 least month and a half, if not two months ahead, when it's likely that --
7 but it is very unlikely that it will be March. Very unlikely.
8 MS. BAIG: Sorry, Your Honour, just to point out that the period
9 of May, we have two very big deadlines in the Prlic case. So to the
10 extent that it could be closer to two months' notice, that would really
11 give the Prosecution a better opportunity to plan the staffing, because
12 we have issues on our side as well.
13 We're grateful for your assistance in that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Baig. I will just try to do my
15 utmost -- my best, my very best. Thank you.
16 So unless there are further comments, this brings us to the end
17 of this -- of today's Status Conference, which now stands adjourned.
18 Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
20 at 3.21 p.m.