Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Tuesday, 30th March, 1999

2 (Open session)

3 (The Appellant entered court)

4 --- Upon commencing at 10.09 a.m.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Good morning. The

6 translators can hear me? Can everyone hear me?

7 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Tadic, can you hear

9 me?

10 THE APPELLANT: (No response)

11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Can you hear me,

12 Mr. Tadic?

13 THE APPELLANT: Yes, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, this morning you

15 will observe that the Appeals Chamber is sitting with

16 one member short. Judge Wang is indisposed. Now, we

17 have the authority of the President to sit this morning

18 for certain limited purposes. We are sitting, really,

19 in the main appeal brought by Mr. Tadic and the

20 cross-appeal brought by the Prosecution.

21 As an incident in that case, a certain issue

22 has arisen, and that has been the subject of an order

23 made by the Chamber dated, I think, 10th February,

24 1999. That is the immediate basis upon which we have

25 assembled here today.

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1 We have received notification from Mr. Vujin

2 that he cannot be with us today, and he is asking for a

3 deferment of the proceedings. I shall return to that

4 matter in a moment. Meanwhile, I will ask interested

5 parties who are here to indicate their appearances.

6 First, the Office of the Prosecutor.

7 MR. YAPA: May it please Your Honours, I

8 appear with Miss Ann Sutherland for the Prosecutor as

9 an interested party.

10 MR. ABELL: May it please Your Honours, I

11 appear as an interested party, Mr. Tadic. My name is

12 Anthony Abell.

13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, I have referred to

14 Mr. Vujin's motion. Has a copy of the motion been put

15 in the hands of the interested parties?

16 MR. YAPA: Yes, Your Honours.

17 MR. ABELL: Yes, Your Honours.

18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would I be right in

19 supposing that, in the particular circumstances, there

20 is no objection to the principle of his motion?

21 MR. YAPA: Your Honour be pleased, if Your

22 Honour's question is as to whether we have objection

23 for the postponement of the hearings, we have no

24 objection, because Mr. Vujin is, as it were, the main

25 actor in the proceedings, he is the respondent, so his

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1 presence is very necessary.


3 MR. ABELL: On behalf of Mr. Tadic, may I say

4 this, that whilst I appreciate, as does he, the

5 particular circumstances, namely, the situation in the

6 former Yugoslavia at the moment which he mentions in

7 his motion, and we understand that situation, and we

8 therefore don't object to an adjournment, but I feel it

9 right, whilst I'm on my feet, to point this out, that

10 under Rule 77, this Tribunal, under (F), having

11 initiated proceedings, can call upon the person, "after

12 affording such person an opportunity to appear and

13 answer personally or by counsel, the Chamber may, if

14 satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, find the person to

15 be in contempt of the Tribunal."

16 In other words, the person does not have to

17 be present for the contempt proceedings to go ahead

18 provided he has been offered the opportunity to

19 attend. That being said, given the particular

20 situation that exists in the former Yugoslavia at the

21 moment, it would be hardhearted, on behalf of Mr. Tadic

22 or, no doubt, any other interested party, to object to

23 the postponement.

24 Before I sit down, lest silence suggest that

25 what he says in his motion is unchallenged, the third

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1 paragraph in his motion, which refers to "constant

2 pressures on potential witnesses," that is in no way

3 agreed with or accepted on behalf of the interested

4 party Dusko Tadic; and the next paragraph, I say no

5 more than this, it is inflammatory and perhaps has no

6 place in a legal motion.

7 Unless I can assist further ...

8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Mr. Abell.

9 There is a reason, which would be apparent to you, why

10 I suppose that neither interested party had any

11 objection to the principle of the motion. I take it

12 that particular averments in the motion are open for

13 discussion if and when the time comes.

14 You have raised an issue which I believe has

15 been under consideration both within and outside of the

16 Tribunal. As to the extent, if any, to which the

17 Tribunal has competence to try people in absentia, I

18 think in respect of what may be called "substantive

19 offences," it is agreed that the Tribunal has no such

20 competence. The question is whether that principle, by

21 extension, applies to incidental proceedings relating

22 to contempt of court and whether, in particular, the

23 Rule which you have brought to our attention has that

24 effect and, if it has that effect, whether it has that

25 effect competently.

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1 So those are matters which I think we may

2 reserve an opinion on and proceed immediately on the

3 basis of your more limited acceptance, that in the

4 specific circumstances of the case, there is no

5 objection to the motion being granted.

6 Do I take it that the Prosecution agrees

7 also?

8 MR. YAPA: Yes, Your Honour, we do agree.

9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well then, the next

10 thing is, to what date, if any, the matter should be

11 adjourned. The Bench is disposed at this time to do

12 this, to adjourn the matter for the 26th, 27th, 28th,

13 and 29th of April, but to do so provisionally in the

14 sense that on or before 12th April, the Bench will

15 review the situation and issue an order indicating more

16 definitively whether we shall proceed on those dates or

17 whether any further adjournment would be granted.

18 We would ask this, that the Registrar send a

19 copy of the transcript of this morning's proceedings to

20 Mr. Vujin as well as to interested parties. They

21 would, in any event, receive the transcript, but we do

22 this out of an abundance of caution with a view to

23 ensuring that there will be no need, which I believe

24 will be understood, for the Appeals Chamber to issue

25 any order dealing with these matters specifically.

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1 Would members of the Bar like to say anything

2 further? Have I overlooked some point?

3 MR. ABELL: No, thank you, Your Honour.

4 MR. YAPA: No, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: It's all right? The

6 court stands adjourned.

7 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

8 10.20 a.m., to be reconvened on Monday,

9 26th April, 1999, at 10 a.m.