Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 103

1 Friday, 19 August 2005

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

6 JUDGE ESER: Madam Registrar, would you call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. This is case number

8 IT-04-82-PT, the Prosecutor versus Ljube Boskoski and Johan Tarculovski.

9 JUDGE ESER: Thank you very much. First of all, I would like to

10 welcome everybody to the Status Conference.

11 [Microphone not activated]

12 JUDGE ESER: -- the defendants are unable to understand the

13 proceedings in their own language or at least a language which they

14 understand.

15 Mr. Boskoski, everything okay?

16 THE ACCUSED BOSKOSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.

17 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Tarculovski?

18 THE ACCUSED TARCULOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.

19 JUDGE ESER: Thank you. Now appearances for the accused. From

20 Mr. Boskoski who is representing --

21 MR. GODZO: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour. For Mr. Ljube

22 Boskoski, for the accused Boskoski, attorney Dragan Godzo from Ohrid.

23 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Tarculovski.

24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] For the accused

25 Mr. Johan Tarculovski, Your Honour, Antonio Apostolski, attorney.

Page 104

1 JUDGE ESER: Appearances for the Prosecution.

2 MR. SMITH: Good afternoon, Your Honour, Bill Smith for the

3 Prosecution with Anees Ahmed as trial attorney and Salla Moilanen as case

4 manager.

5 JUDGE ESER: Thank you very much. Now, perhaps, before we come to

6 the issues I would like to explain why we have come together in a public

7 meeting so the public should know what the purpose of this meeting is.

8 The initial appearances were held on the 1th of April, 2005 for

9 Mr. Boskoski and the 18th of April for Mr. Tarculovski, and the Trial

10 Chamber is the required person to Rule 65 bis to hold a Status Conference

11 within 120 days after the initial appearance. That would be the case now.

12 To organise exchanges between the parties as to ensure expeditious

13 preparation for trial and to allow the accused to raise issues in relation

14 to his mental and physical condition.

15 In preparation of the Status Conference, a Rule 65 ter Conference

16 took place yesterday, August 18. I have been fully briefed about the

17 discussions that have taken place during that conference, so you may be

18 aware that I have read the transcript and so we don't have to repeat

19 everything what has been discussed between the parties and Mr. Von Hebel

20 yesterday.

21 The first point I would like to address are outstanding motions.

22 With regard to Mr. Boskoski, you brought in a Defence challenge to the

23 form of the indictment. You have already been told that this -- the

24 decision of the Trial Chamber is almost finished. As of now, I think it

25 will be issued on Monday. So there is nothing to be done in this respect

Page 105

1 so far.

2 We have another motion, both by Mr. Boskoski and Mr. Tarculovski,

3 for further protective measures. As you may be aware, the decision was

4 issued on August 17, so it should be at your disposal in the meantime. Is

5 that the case?

6 MR. GODZO: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I still have not received

7 the decision. Since the 16th of August, I am travelling, and in my locker

8 where I receive my mail it has not been distributed still.

9 JUDGE ESER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Godzo -- Mr.

10 Apostolski. I'm sorry.

11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have not received

12 this decision as well, possibly because I was travelling since the 16th.

13 I'm here in The Hague and this is why we have not the confirmation that it

14 has been received.

15 JUDGE ESER: Was it received by the Prosecution?

16 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour. We received it late yesterday. We

17 can provide our friends with a copy after the hearing.

18 JUDGE ESER: Anyway, it should be on the way. If it's not yet in

19 your lockers, perhaps you will find it when you get back.

20 The next issues we have to deal with are the issues of disclosure.

21 One has to do with Rule 66(A)(i). Pursuant to this rule the Prosecution

22 has already made available to the Defence for both accused in a language

23 both accused understand copies of all the supporting material which

24 accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought. This was done on

25 the 2nd of May, 2005. I think this point has been discussed in the 65 ter

Page 106

1 Conference yesterday. So from my point of view there is no need for

2 further discussion in this respect.

3 Is that the case? Thank you.

4 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE ESER: Thank you. I saw some nodding from the Defence.

6 MR. GODZO: [Interpretation] Yes. No objection. We are fine.

7 JUDGE ESER: Now, with regard to Rule 66(A)(ii) which deals with

8 witness statements which have to be made -- have to be disclosed by the

9 Prosecution before -- in a certain time before the trial starts. At this

10 point we have been informed that we already deliberated with regard to

11 length of the trial, and I have been made aware of the various problems,

12 practical problems, you see. So from -- at this point of time, I would

13 not like to make a fixed -- give a fixed date, because this date for the

14 start of the trial is also somehow important for the time of disclosure.

15 So at this point the Trial Chamber will not fix a completion date for Rule

16 66(A)(ii) disclosure, but, and I would like to make this very clear, but

17 imposes on the Prosecution an obligation to all resources available in as

18 speedy as possible completion of the disclosure under this provision in

19 light of the need to prepare for trial at the earliest possible moment.

20 Now we come to Rule -- disclosure with regard to Rule 68. And

21 perhaps to explain it to the public, Rule 68 is quite important for the

22 Defence, because there is an obligation on the Prosecution to make the

23 Defence aware of the material which may be of exculpatory or mitigating

24 character, and for this reason the Defence should be in a position to take

25 notice of this early enough to use it for their clients.

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Page 108

1 Again here we have the problem that a disclosure date depends on

2 the beginning of the trial, and since we at this point we do not have a

3 date fixed yet, I would only say more or less the same what I already told

4 I with regard to 66(A)(ii). At this point the Trial Chamber will not fix

5 a completion date for Rule 68 disclosure but imposes on the Prosecution

6 the obligation to put all resources available in as speedy as possible

7 completion of the disclosure under this provision in light of the need to

8 prepare for trial at the earliest possible moment.

9 Now, are there any other matters which either party wants to raise

10 on the subject of disclosure apart from what has already been discussed at

11 this Rule 65 ter Conference? So what I mean is everything what you have

12 already told yesterday in the meeting does not need to be repeated here,

13 only if there are any new aspects which might be brought to the awareness

14 of the Trial Chamber.

15 I see no need for this. Then I may perhaps address the tentative

16 trial schedule.

17 You will remember that yesterday the Senior Legal Officer

18 presented to you the hope or the desire of the Court to start with the

19 trial as speedy -- as soon as possible. Now, you have been made aware,

20 there are -- at this moment there are still too many uncertain and at

21 present unknown factors to allow for proper scheduling. For this reason,

22 we will not put a fixed date on you. However, it is not to be excluded

23 that this case will have to start at trial at some point at the end of the

24 year. The Court is very much aware of all the work that still needs to be

25 done to make the case ready for trial. Nevertheless, I am not convinced

Page 109

1 that a trial by the end of the year would not be feasible at all.

2 Therefore, the Pre-Trial Judge want to make it clear in order to both

3 parties now without specific deadlines that a maximum of resources have to

4 be put to this case in order to proceed with the highest expediency

5 possible. I would like to give you a reason. The accused are entitled to

6 a fair trial within a reasonable time. The parties owe it to the accused

7 who are in the pre-trial detention to make use of any opportunity that may

8 arise to get the case started in trial as soon as reasonably possible.

9 And perhaps to explain it to you once more, as you have been made

10 aware there might be a chance to start the trial at the end of November or

11 the beginning of December. Now, if this time is missed, the alternative

12 is not that you may start in March or April. The alternative may be that

13 if this point is missed that the trial may start to a much later date.

14 That's the problem, because there are quite some changes. So it's not --

15 it's certain that there may be a possibility to start a new trial at the

16 end of November, beginning of December, and you have also been informed

17 that because of some arrangements in the courtrooms and so on that the

18 beginning of the trial would not be a very speedy step, but what would be

19 necessary is to start. And for this reason, I really would like to urge

20 you to go to work, so to say, as soon as possible or even to put a lot of

21 emphasis in it.

22 Now, as soon as a better picture emerges from the various factors

23 that are yet uncertain and unknown, there may be a need for a new Rule 65

24 ter Conference and a Status Conference in order to further discuss with

25 the parties how to prepare this case for an early as possible start. So I

Page 110

1 hope it has become clear what our intention is. Not the least with regard

2 to the accused we would like to start as soon as possible and try to --

3 not to miss a chance if it is -- will be presented or maybe available at

4 the end of the year.

5 Are there any further comments? That seems not to be the case

6 or --

7 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, if I may just a couple of brief comments.

8 Your Honour, the Prosecution gives Your Honour the utmost assurances that

9 it will be working as fast as it can to ensure a fair and expeditious

10 trial for the two accused. Obviously the concerns raised yesterday was in

11 relation to the fairness of the trial and the amount of time for

12 disclosure and translation. However, on Your Honour's point about if it

13 was such the case that the trial may possibly start, say, late November,

14 early December, we discussed with the Senior Legal Officer some

15 possibilities of using the Rule 71 procedure of taking perhaps depositions

16 for those few days that are available and still the Trial Chamber or the

17 legal officer receiving evidence which would not in fact delay the trial

18 in substance at all; however, the possibility of being able to provide the

19 pre-trial brief and other exhibits and witness summaries at some date

20 closer towards when the trial can start in earnest, perhaps -- apparently

21 about five days a week. I would strongly ask that be considered in this

22 instance, and that may be able to achieve the serious concerns the

23 Prosecution have about the fairness of the trial if it starts -- if it

24 does start very quickly, and obviously the even more serious concerns

25 raised by the Defence in relation to their ability to prepare for trial.

Page 111

1 It would be creative and obviously the Prosecution are always looking for

2 ways in which we can expedite these matters and -- but I think it would

3 possibly -- a possible solution that would alleviate the problems for all

4 parties if that was to come about.

5 JUDGE ESER: Any comments from your side to this or would you join

6 what has been said by the Prosecution?

7 MR. GODZO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Regarding the time

8 needed before the -- before scheduling the start of the trial and the time

9 that Defence needs to prepare for the trial, yesterday at the conference,

10 65 ter, I have presented my position that the time needed to prepare the

11 defence will be longer than the -- will take longer than the date you

12 presented, and that too early start of the trial can have consequences to

13 the right of the accused to have a fair trial since objectively we need

14 more time to prepare for the defence.

15 And I confirm that there is an excellent cooperation with the

16 Prosecutor's party. We have been submitted all the necessary materials

17 supporting the indictment, but objectively the Defence needs more time to

18 be able to study them, analyse them, and Defence also needs to prepare its

19 evidence for the trial.

20 Due to these reason, we maintain that the time we needed to

21 prepare for the trial is as we expressed yesterday.

22 JUDGE ESER: So what we will do is that we take into consideration

23 what has been proposed by the Prosecution with regard to Rule 71, and we

24 will also take into consideration what has been proposed from your side,

25 and as soon as there is a new situation, when we have clearer indications

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Page 113

1 about the situation of the court in general, we will come back to this.

2 Now, are there any other matters the parties want to address? If

3 this is not the case, I would like to ask the defendants whether they have

4 anything to bring in with regard to their state of health or the condition

5 of detention.

6 Mr. Boskoski, would you like to -- on your behalf your Defence

7 counsel to say?

8 THE ACCUSED BOSKOSKI: [Interpretation] I respect my Defence

9 counsel. I respect this Court. I respect the Prosecutor's office. I

10 have proven it in the past four years of my intense cooperation with the

11 Tribunal. But I think that regarding my health status, I myself can only

12 answer and the competent doctors possibly. But for the moment I can say

13 that I don't have any health problems, except that I'm -- I'm for a year

14 already been submitted to a psychological torture which started with the

15 Rastanski Lozja staged case and culminated with the acquittal in the first

16 instance, and this torture is reflected also throughout my stay here.

17 That is a psychological torture on me, on my family, against my family,

18 and against my Macedonia. So from this viewpoint, since health is a broad

19 notion, I think that regarding the psychological component of it, I feel

20 constant pressure due to a single reason.

21 Not only am I guilty [as interpreted], Your Honour, but I'm now

22 shocked from the statements that already some trial is being scheduled. I

23 continue to believe that there is not a single element to start a trial.

24 Not only I believe it. We have sufficient evidence to support it. And in

25 the recent days I by accident stumbled on documents that shocked me. And

Page 114

1 we will submit them in the forthcoming period.

2 There has been a confusion regarding the dates. My cooperation as

3 a minister of foreign affairs with the distinguished Madam Carla Del Ponte

4 started on the 20th of November, 2001, which means two months after the

5 events in Ljuboten. The Tribunal has already been in Macedonia and by the

6 government's decision and in agreement with the Tribunal we have

7 intensified the cooperation and we started discovering the crimes

8 perpetrated in Macedonia, and this is why I'm shocked when I'm reading

9 that instead of the date 20th of November and instead of the dates in 2001

10 they are transferred into 2002, and certainly the Prosecutor's office has

11 been misled when they say that our cooperation started. The case has been

12 taken in -- deferred in May 2002 while Ljuboten case has been deferred

13 in -- or opened in January 2002, two months after the Ljuboten offence

14 when there has been no post-mortem, no exhumation. The bodies of the

15 killed people in Ljuboten have been -- not been found, and I regret loss

16 of their lives, as I will loss of any life. These are my objections.

17 I made a connection between my health problems and this part which

18 creates for me a special agitation when I hear that as early as Monday and

19 that the start of the trial date is being discussed, a process that should

20 take place before this Court. I think that absolutely I am innocent and

21 there is no need of any process, and we will be able to convince the

22 Prosecutor's office soon having in mind the Defence material that --

23 Defence evidence we have which is indisputable and firm. Thank you.

24 Thank you, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Boskoski --

Page 115

1 MR. GODZO: May I speak.

2 JUDGE ESER: I want you to make you aware of the problems of this.

3 I didn't want to interrupt.

4 MR. GODZO: Excuse me. I ask you for permission to speak. I

5 noticed one mistake in the record. In the second paragraph of the accused

6 statement it is -- it was written -- that is one mistake. It is not "I am

7 not guilty," Your Honour. It is written the opposite, which is --

8 JUDGE ESER: Which line is it in.

9 MR. GODZO: I don't have on my screen now so I cannot tell you.

10 But it is second paragraph --

11 JUDGE ESER: Can you just make sure that will be corrected. Can

12 you give me the line? I don't have it now.

13 MR. GODZO: It's not on my screen.

14 JUDGE ESER: Is it on your screen?

15 MR. GODZO: It's not at this moment on my screen because it has --

16 THE REGISTRAR: Its align 9:22.

17 MR. GODZO: Can you change it? I think it misses one crucial --

18 yes, thank you very much.

19 JUDGE ESER: Line 22. Yes, of course it will be corrected. Thank

20 you very much.

21 Mr. Tarculovski, would you like to say something with regard to

22 your -- with regard to your health and the condition of the detention? So

23 that's not the place to make please this or that way, go that direction.

24 THE INTERPRETER: His microphone is not on.

25 JUDGE ESER: Would you please repeat. We didn't hear what you

Page 116

1 said.

2 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry but I cannot hear the defendant.

3 Your Honour, I can't hear the defendant.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Now it is better.

6 JUDGE ESER: That's better.


8 JUDGE ESER: Please continue.

9 THE ACCUSED TARCULOVSKI: [Interpretation] I want to say that my

10 health condition is all right and that I have no comments on the

11 conditions in the detention.

12 JUDGE ESER: Thank you very much.

13 I -- the Trial Chamber wishes to advise both of the accused that

14 Rule 85 of the Rules of Detention provide a complaint procedure which may

15 be used to raise issues that occur while in detention. So I just wanted

16 to make you aware of these rights.

17 There seems to be no other issue to be raised now. That means the

18 Court now stands adjourned. Thank you very much.

19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

20 at 2.45 p.m.