Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 60

1 Wednesday, 28 January 2004

2 [Further Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 11.53 a.m.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could you please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

8 IT-03-72-I, the Prosecutor versus Milan Babic.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.

10 First of all, good morning to everyone in this courtroom and also

11 to those who are assisting us just outside this courtroom.

12 Mr. Babic, can you hear me in a language you understand?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Babic.

15 May I have the appearances for the Prosecution first.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honours. For the

17 Prosecution, Ms. Bauer, Ms. Walpita, and my name is Hildegard

18 Uertz-Retzlaff.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, madam.

20 For the Defence?

21 MR. MUELLER: Good morning, Your Honours. Mr. Robert Fogelnest,

22 co-counsel, Mr. Danilo Cirkovic, case manager, and Peter Michael Mueller.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Yesterday we have heard a guilty plea on Count 1

24 entered by Mr. Babic, and the Chamber has taken a short while to consider

25 that guilty plea. We have considered whether the guilty plea has been

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1 made voluntarily, whether the guilty plea was informed, whether the

2 guilty plea was not equivocal, whether there was a sufficient factual

3 basis for the crime and the participation of you, Mr. Babic, in that

4 crime.

5 This Chamber accepts your plea. It is a plea entered on Count 1

6 only, but on the basis of the plea agreement the Chamber expects the

7 Prosecution now the plea has been accepted to withdraw Counts 2 and

8 following.

9 Could you confirm that.

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution withdraws

11 the other counts in the indictment.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, we'll deal with that in a more

13 formal way in the days to come, but the Chamber gives its consent to the

14 withdrawal of the other counts.

15 That means that only Count 1 remains at this moment on which the

16 Chamber will decide.

17 And may I invite you, Mr. Babic, to stand.

18 [The accused stands up]

19 Mr. Babic, this Chamber finds you guilty on Count 1 of the

20 indictment issued on the 6th of November, 2003, persecutions on

21 political, racial, and religious grounds, a crime against humanity

22 punishable under Articles 5(h) and 7(1) of the Statute of this Tribunal.

23 The Chamber adds to it that this crime was within the objective of the

24 joint criminal enterprise of which you were a co-perpetrator.

25 Please be seated.

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1 [The accused sits down]

2 The next steps to take is to instruct the registrar to set a day

3 for sentencing. The registrar will do so after having consulted the

4 Chamber. A provisional schedule for that has already been discussed. I

5 do understand that the parties would agree on a sentencing hearing on the

6 1st and 2nd of April and the filing of sentencing briefs on the 22nd, if

7 I'm not mistaken, of March.

8 I'd just like to seek confirmation by the parties that two days

9 for a sentencing hearing would be sufficient. The 1st and the 2nd of

10 April is a Thursday and a Friday, and the Chamber would avoid to have to

11 adjourn on Friday in the afternoon and to continue Monday morning. So,

12 therefore, I'd like to hear from the parties how much time they would

13 need for the sentencing hearing and the presentation of the evidence they

14 would like to present at that moment.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, for the Prosecution -- the

16 Defence and the Prosecution have actually identified two joint witnesses

17 and -- which is one for the witness -- the victim's impact and the other

18 one is actually the investigator who dealt with Mr. Babic. These are the

19 two witnesses that we have identified. The Prosecution would not present

20 any more witnesses. We would file a few 92 bis witnesses from the crime

21 base.


23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That's all. So these two witnesses, it's

24 hard to estimate it right now, but I think it would only take about one

25 session.

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1 JUDGE ORIE: One session for the witnesses. Of course, 92 bis,

2 would there be any request for cross-examination for these 92 bis

3 statements?

4 MR. MUELLER: I don't think so, Your Honour.


6 MR. MUELLER: I don't think so, Your Honour.

7 May I add to that?

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.

9 MR. MUELLER: I find myself in a very difficult position to

10 predict how much time we would like to have and we would need. But

11 let's -- let me say it the other way around. I would think that we

12 should not exceed two sessions as envisaged by this time schedule. And

13 if you are satisfied with that message, then I would appreciate it for

14 the time being, because I'm really not ready yet to tell you precisely

15 what we envisage. And my personal idea is that it cannot be excluded

16 that we have to approach Prosecution again and say there is a witness

17 which we would like to present to the Tribunal, and in case of we try to

18 do that, perhaps as a joint witness.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That means that for the time being there's no

20 necessity to schedule for more than two days. And as the parties have

21 been aware of in this case, that sometimes if needed a scheduling order

22 can be changed or amended. But then I'd like to hear from the party who

23 wishes to take more time to give notice well in advance so that the new

24 scheduling order could be issued.

25 Yes, Mr. Mueller.

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1 MR. MUELLER: Thank you, Your Honour. Of course we will stick

2 with that.


4 MR. MUELLER: And it's a matter of self-understanding that as far

5 as we know something, we will communicate that to the Tribunal, of

6 course.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.

8 Is there any other issue at this moment that the parties would

9 like to raise?

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I just want to mention that we

11 had actually this morning filed a joint motion with the materials that

12 you requested yesterday.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I --

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And that's all. Thank you.

15 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has received copies of that material,

16 although not with the formal confirmation of filing, but orally we were

17 informed that they were filed. And it would -- oh, I see now that

18 there's the confirmation of the filing as well. But under the present

19 circumstances, the Chamber looked into the materials. We have perhaps

20 not read every single letter of it, but we got an impression. And when

21 we asked to present this material, it was already in the back of our

22 minds that it might well serve for sentencing as well.

23 Any other issue to be raised?

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.


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1 Defence?

2 MR. MUELLER: No, Your Honours.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We then stay adjourned and in due course a

4 scheduling order, presumably for the 1st and the 2nd of April, will be

5 issued.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.03 p.m.