Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Friday, 22 February 2008

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [The accused entered court]

 4                          --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.

 5            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Good afternoon, everyone.

 6            I should start by asking the Registrar to announce the case.

 7            THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.

 8            This is case number IT-05-87/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vlastimir

 9    Djordjevic.

10            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you so much.

11            Now, I wish you welcome.  Welcome to the parties, welcome to

12    Mr. Djordjevic, welcome to everyone in and especially around the

13    courtroom.  We are here today to have the second status conference,

14    because it was 120 days since we were here last.  And as you know,

15    according to the Rules, we are required to check up on how you're doing,

16    Mr. Djordjevic, and how the case is progressing, by having a status

17    conference every four months.

18            We have, on the agenda today, just a few points to raise. The --

19    Mr. Djordjevic, can you hear me in a language ...

20            THE ACCUSED:  [No interpretation]

21            THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the accused, please.

22            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  There is no translation in Serbian for the

23    accused Djordjevic.  Something is not --

24            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  I shall ask the court

25    officer and the interpreters to make sure that the accused can follow us

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 1    in a language that he understands.

 2            THE ACCUSED:  Okay.

 3            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Do I understand that you are now able to follow

 4    us, Mr. Djordjevic?  Thank you very much.

 5            I should then, for your benefit, just repeat what I just said;

 6    namely, that according to our rules, to the Rules of the Tribunal, we are

 7    required to meet every four months for the Chamber to check up on how you

 8    are doing and how the proceedings against you are progressing, and for you

 9    also to address any concerns directly to the Pre-Trial Judge, if you have

10    any concerns to raise.  This is why we have these status conferences.

11            We have for today just a few points on the agenda.  Most of them

12    deal with disclosure, and I think I would like to take those issues right

13    away, to embark on these issues right away.

14            The issue of pending motions has been resolved, in the sense that

15    there were a couple of motions from other co-accused to access into your

16    file, and equally you had requested access to the material in some other

17    files.  All of these decisions have now been -- all of these motions have

18    now been dealt with, and I think that there are no further issues in

19    relation to the issue of access to material.

20            My staff has just reminded me that I still need to ask for the

21    appearance of the parties, and I apologise for that.  So I would like the

22    Prosecution to present itself.

23            MR. STAMP:  Thank you, Your Honours.

24            I'm Chester Stamp, and with me is Patricia Neema, and our case

25    manager here today is Mr. Iain Reid.

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 1            Thank you very much.

 2            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Stamp.

 3            And for the Defence?

 4            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  For the Defence, the lead counsel, Dragoljub

 5    Djordjevic, and then the co-counsel, Mr. Veljko Djurdjic, and legal

 6    assistant Ms. Marie O'Leary.

 7            Thank you.

 8            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic.

 9            As I said, we have no more issues in relation to access to

10    material.

11            Then, Mr. Djordjevic, your counsel also filed two preliminary

12    motions, one on the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and one on the form of

13    the indictment.  The first of these preliminary motions has been dealt

14    with, and you may already be aware of the result.  We decided to deny that

15    motion or to dismiss it.  As for the other motion relating to the defects

16    in the form of the indictment, the problem that is coming up in relation

17    to this motion is that the trial against you was originally, as you know,

18    a part of a trial against a number of other co-accused, Mr. Milutinovic

19    and others.  If the fairness of the trial has to be respected, I believe

20    that we shall have to proceed in the trial against you on the same

21    conditions as the trial that is currently pending against Mr. Milutinovic.

22            This may imply that we should not amend or require the Prosecution

23    to seek amendment of your indictment in any way, because we will have to

24    then proceed with a trial against you on exactly the same terms as the

25    terms applied in the trial against Mr. Milutinovic and others.  This is

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 1    why, although there may be reasons to actually seek amendments of the

 2    indictment and improvement of some of the issues of the form of the

 3    indictment, although I may have good reasons to do so, I still may have to

 4    stay away from that possibility in order to ensure that the trial against

 5    you is conducted on terms that are not different in any way from the terms

 6    of the Milutinovic trial.

 7            But let us see how this issue appears once the judgement has been

 8    rendered in the Milutinovic trial.  Only when the Trial Chamber has

 9    completed its proceedings and rendered its judgement will we be able to

10    assess whether there is room for altering the indictment against you, and

11    I have therefore suggested that the Trial Chamber -- or the Pre-Trial

12    Judge, that is, myself, that I will seek to resolve this issue no later

13    than three weeks after the judgement in the Milutinovic case.  So as soon

14    as that judgement has been rendered, we will immediately have a look again

15    at your indictment, and if there is room for any amendments, we will have

16    them made very quickly.

17            As far as disclosure is concerned -- Mr. Stamp?

18            MR. STAMP:  I'm wondering, Your Honour, if the agenda or the way

19    in which you intend to conduct these proceedings would --

20            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I -- sorry.

21            MR. STAMP:  I'm wondering if I may interpose something here, since

22    you're moving on to something else, or if I should await all of your

23    comments before seeking --

24            JUDGE HARHOFF:  What do you have in mind?

25            MR. STAMP:  It's in respect to the comments you made about the

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 1    timing of a decision on the motion of the Defence on the form of the

 2    indictment.

 3            At the status -- at the Rule 65 ter decision discussions

 4    yesterday, at that meeting I had indicated that there was some uncertainty

 5    about when we could expect a judgement in the Milutinovic case, and I have

 6    reflected upon what I said and have had discussions with other persons

 7    involved in that case, and it is probably unlikely that we could expect a

 8    decision in that case in a time frame that would enable the Court -- or

 9    this Trial Chamber to abide by the schedule I see at items 8 and 9 of the

10    work plan.  It might well be that a judgement in the Milutinovic case

11    might not be granted -- not might well be; it is probable that it will not

12    be rendered before those dates.  So I wish to bring that to the Court's

13    attention that perhaps that --

14            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Stamp.  I think we shall revert to

15    that issue when we get to points 8 and 9 on my --

16            MR. STAMP:  All right.

17            The other comment I wanted to make, to tell the Court, that the

18    Prosecution in this case had intended to apply to amend the indictment.

19    We were hoping to have the judgement or the decision on the form of the

20    indictment first, before we made an application -- but we do intend at

21    some point in time to make an application, and this would be base of the

22    experience that we have had in the Milutinovic case.  And on the basis of

23    that experience, we believe that perhaps an amendment to the indictment in

24    some areas, not necessarily in the issue as to mode of liability, but as

25    far as some of the incidents that are named are concerned, may well be

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 1    more illustrated -- may advance the ability of the Trial Chamber to do

 2    justice in the case.

 3            So I just give notice that that is something the Prosecution is

 4    considering, and to some extent that might well depend on the timing of a

 5    decision on the form of the indictment.

 6            Thank you very much for allowing me to interpose here, Your

 7    Honour.

 8            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Stamp.

 9            My suggestion would be that we seek -- you may sit -- that we seek

10    to raise this issue in a 65 ter meeting quite soon, where we can sit down

11    with the Defence and evaluate or assess the areas in which it might be

12    possible to call for an amendment of the indictment at this early time,

13    but I will get back to you both, both the Prosecution and the Defence, on

14    this issue when we have had a chance to look at it again.

15            Mr. Djordjevic, do you have anything to add to what Mr. Stamp has

16    made known to us?

17            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  Not for now, Your Honour.

18            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.

19            Now, as far as disclosure is concerned, I understand that the

20    supporting material has, even a long time ago, been handed over to the

21    Defence in a hard copy and in a language that the accused understands, so

22    that's not an issue any longer.  But as far as the issue of hard copies

23    was concerned, an exchange of letters has been held between the parties in

24    which your Defence counsel, Mr. Djordjevic, has asked that you be provided

25    with a hard copy of all the supporting material and the statements that

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 1    will follow according to Rule 66(A)(ii).

 2            We were also informed that you had been given a small computer in

 3    the Detention Unit, but that there was a problem because you were, at

 4    present, not able to fully use that computer.  We therefore inquired with

 5    the Detention Unit whether it was possible to provide some training for

 6    you, and I have been informed by the UNDU that there is a computer support

 7    clerk available in the prison and that the person is able to teach you the

 8    basic steps to use the computer and how to open the CDs and the DVDs that

 9    you get from the Prosecution.

10            I also understand that there was a course offered to the detainees

11    and that each of the detainees who wished to avail themselves to this

12    course were required to sign up for the course.  I don't know if you have

13    done so, but if you have not, I strongly invite you to sign up for the

14    course and to make yourself available to the teaching that is offered in

15    the UNDU so that you can use the computer and open the CDs that are

16    provided to you.  It's much, much easier to handle things by way of a

17    computer than it is to have a lot of paper stored in your room at the

18    Detention Unit, and I'm sure that you will, with some practice, be able to

19    appreciate the advantages of using a computer.  So I warmly and strongly

20    encourage you and invite you to make use of this option.

21            In relation to the issue of disclosure of witness statements from

22    witnesses that are going to be called at trial, of course, this does in

23    some respects depend on which witnesses the Prosecution, in the end,

24    decides to call - not until then, of course, will it be possible to say

25    exactly which statements they should give to you - but as I did yesterday

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 1    in the 65 ter meeting, I will repeat again here in open court that I

 2    invite and encourage the Prosecution to make available to Mr. Djordjevic

 3    and the Defence statements of witnesses whom you already at this time will

 4    know for sure that you will call at trial, so that the Defence can start

 5    working on these statements as soon as possible.

 6            I also understand that there was an issue of the Defence getting a

 7    number of DVDs from the Prosecution, and we witnessed yesterday that an

 8    exchange was made.  And I don't know if, in the meantime, you,

 9    Mr. Djordjevic, if you have had the time to check whether these new DVDs

10    that you got can be opened.

11            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  Yes, Your Honour, we checked all DVDs, and

12    it's all right now.  Thank you.

13            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I'm relieved to hear this and thank the

14    Prosecution for providing the new materials.  And should it ever happen

15    again, that the DVDs cannot be opened, then please do not hesitate to

16    contact Mr. Stamp or Mr. Hannis right away, or the case manager, so that

17    you can have the problem resolved.

18            The next issue is the issue of disclosure of exculpatory material,

19    and this, as you may know, Mr. Djordjevic, is an obligation that is

20    incumbent on the Prosecution.  It's an ongoing obligation, so as soon as

21    the Prosecution discovers that it has material that might be exculpatory

22    for you, it has the obligation to immediately provide this information to

23    you.  So no time limit can or should be set for this.  This is an

24    obligation that applies to the Prosecution at all times.  But there is one

25    thing that will facilitate this process, and that is the extent in which

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 1    the Defence is able to identify, search -- or key words by which searches

 2    can be made for exculpatory material.  This is not something that can be

 3    done at this moment, probably, because it takes time for the Defence to

 4    get accustomed to the case and to get into the case, and not until the

 5    Defence counsel has had a chance to really go through all the material

 6    will you be able to identify key words that will then enable the

 7    Prosecution to search for further exculpatory material.

 8            But this is something that really requires a close cooperation

 9    between the parties.  You may already at this point have been made aware

10    of certain key points that you want the Prosecution to apply in its search

11    for exculpatory material, and so I would imagine that you, every now and

12    then, contact the Prosecution and ask for searches to be made on these

13    issues, rather than waiting to the end and coming up with all of your key

14    words, then you might want to discuss this with the Prosecution and have

15    them make searches every now and then as soon as you have discovered new

16    key words that you wish to you to apply.  I guess this is the sensible way

17    of getting around the searches.

18            Each of the parties will, at trial, present expert witnesses, and

19    each of the witnesses will present expert reports, and I imagine that the

20    Prosecution will be able to, fairly soon, to identify the experts that

21    they wish to bring at trial.  And I would ask them to identify their

22    expert witnesses and to submit the reports of these expert witnesses

23    before 15th of March of this year, and I hope that the Prosecution is

24    ready and willing to do so.

25            Can you confirm that, Mr. Stamp?

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 1            MR. STAMP:  Yes, Your Honour, we are in a position to abide by

 2    that order.

 3            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  That sounds good.

 4            And then as we get closer to trial, we will expect to see lists of

 5    witnesses and motions filed under Rule 92 bis and 92 ter and 92 quater,

 6    but I think we should not set any time limit for this at this moment.  It

 7    is simply too early and the trial is too far away for us to handle this

 8    with any degree of precision.  So let us wait until we get closer to the

 9    beginning of the trial, and we can then set deadlines for submission of

10    these motions.

11            The same goes for the attempts to identify facts adjudicated in

12    previous trials.  Of course, the first trial -- the first judgement that

13    we will look into is the Milutinovic judgement, and not until that has

14    been rendered will we be able to see a motion in regard to taking judicial

15    notice of facts that have been adjudicated in that judgement.

16            Finally, the issue of alibi, according to Rule 67 of the Rules, if

17    the Defence intends to present the defence of alibi on behalf of

18    Mr. Djordjevic, the Defence will be requested to do so no later than two

19    weeks before the Prosecution's pre-trial brief so that we can give the

20    Prosecution a bit of time to respond to such a claim for alibi.

21            And this is where we come to the points 8 and 9 on the work plan.

22    We had anticipated, in the Chamber, that the trial could possibly start

23    sometime in the fall of this year; October, November, December. And if

24    that were so, we would then ask the parties to present their pre-trial

25    briefs a couple of months ahead of that, so that we would expect the

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 1    Prosecution to submit its pre-trial brief sometime in July and the

 2    Defence, respectively, to file its pre-trial brief sometime in August.

 3            Now, Mr. Stamp, you just suggested that we may be speaking of

 4    something that we have not understood fully, so will you please enlighten

 5    us as to what the prospects are for the rendering of the judgement in

 6    Milutinovic?

 7            MR. STAMP:  From this side, it is really a matter of estimation. I

 8    think the Chamber itself could indicate when it is likely that a judgement

 9    could be rendered.

10            What I can say is that in discussion with counsel in the

11    Milutinovic case, we were seeking a period of two to three months from the

12    end of the hearing.

13            JUDGE HARHOFF:  And when do you have the end of the hearings in

14    Milutinovic?  Sorry?

15            MR. STAMP:  No, I was saying we were having discussions, and in

16    that discussions we were seeking of the Chamber a time frame of two to

17    three months from the end of the reception of evidence to the closing

18    brief of the parties.  So if the evidence -- if the trial, in terms of the

19    evidence, ends in March or April, we were speaking about June, and I'm

20    sure the Chamber would need some time, in a case that has gone on for two

21    years at a very hectic pace, to deliver its judgement.

22            So the judgement, it is my estimation, and I can only estimate, is

23    unlikely to be rendered in the first half of this year.  It is probably

24    going to be rendered after the 1st of July.

25            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Yes, I fully agree, and this was also the premise

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 1    on which our estimation was based.  When I said that the earliest possible

 2    time the trial against Mr. Djordjevic could start would be sometime in the

 3    fall, that corresponds and coincides, actually, with your assessment.

 4            MR. STAMP:  We were thinking that perhaps it might be -- it might

 5    present us some difficulty to go ahead with a pre-trial brief without

 6    having had the benefit of the decision on the form of the indictment.  We

 7    were of the view that the indictment itself should be settled before we

 8    reach that stage, not only in terms of any alteration that might have to

 9    be made, having regard to the decision itself, but also how the Court

10    would receive and deal with any application -- or [indiscernible] that you

11    expect to make to amend the indictment.

12            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.

13            I was under the impression, when we had the meeting yesterday,

14    that you would prefer the Chamber to pursue the line that we have taken so

15    far, that is to say to simply wait, but I now hear you saying that you

16    would actually wish to see a decision on the form of the indictment

17    earlier than that.  If I had not misunderstood, then, this is a slightly

18    new version of the Prosecution's view --

19            MR. STAMP:  Yes.

20            JUDGE HARHOFF:  And I fully respect that, and I think upon your

21    call, we will then revisit our decision to postpone the decision on the

22    form of the indictment and maybe actually hand down a decision pretty

23    soon, because, you see, if the indictment won't change much anyway, then

24    there is no reason to wait.  Then we might as well say, well, the

25    indictment stands as it stands, because Mr. Djordjevic should be tried on

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 1    the same conditions as Mr. Milutinovic and the other co-accused in that

 2    case, so we'll just simply confirm the indictment as it is now, and then

 3    only perhaps open for a review if that is called for by the -- upon

 4    delivery of the judgement in Milutinovic.  And if you think this is a wise

 5    approach, and I have much sympathy for that, then I think this is what

 6    we'll do.

 7            Mr. Djordjevic.

 8            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  By your permission, Your Honour, I will

 9    continue in B/C/S, if I may.

10            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Absolutely.

11            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  Okay.

12            [Interpretation] Your Honour, personally I believe that apart from

13    the trial -- to the right of a fair trial, each accused has the right to

14    stand trial within a reasonable period of time.  Since this accused was a

15    part of the same indictment with the other accused in the Milutinovic

16    case, and concerning the right he has you mentioned, to be tried under the

17    same conditions as the other accused were, and especially having in mind

18    the fact that the Prosecutor, up to the tiniest detail when forwarding all

19    of the documents supporting the indictment against Milutinovic et al,

20    which was subsequently broadened to include our accused, Mr. Djordjevic,

21    the situation is, in my opinion, that the Prosecution, as of that moment

22    and in relation to the so-called "Kosovo case," which is Milutinovic et

23    al, has definitive and detailed knowledge concerning Mr. Djordjevic

24    himself.  Therefore, it is my position that the Prosecution can do that

25    straight away.

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 1            This Defence has no such information, and by being forced to wait,

 2    we will be put in a position not to be able to execute our tasks with due

 3    diligence, unless the Prosecutor is going to submit all of the material

 4    within a reasonable time.  That is why I believe, first of all respecting

 5    the right to have a trial held within a reasonable time and the right to a

 6    fair trial, the Prosecution could have already amended the indictment

 7    pertaining to Mr. Djordjevic.  There will be nothing new after the

 8    Milutinovic judgement, I believe, at least not on the Prosecution side.

 9            Thank you.

10            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Whether or not the judgement in Milutinovic will

11    allow for amendments of the indictment against Mr. Djordjevic still

12    remains to be seen, but I hear both parties being in agreement of the

13    Chamber handing down a decision on the form of the indictment upon your

14    motion, Mr. Djordjevic, and if this is correctly understood, the Chamber

15    will proceed to issue its decision to respond to your motion.

16            Mr. Stamp.

17            MR. STAMP:  Yes, Your Honour, I would agree that that is the

18    position.  But to clarify, I just point out that having regard to the

19    dates here, it is the position of the Prosecution -- the recommendation of

20    the Prosecution that it is best if the indictment is settled before those

21    dates, and that is all I wish to point out to the Court.

22            JUDGE HARHOFF:  That is obvious, so we'll proceeding accordingly.

23            And we will then, if needed, be able to review the dates that we

24    have suggested for submission of the pre-trial briefs, once we have issued

25    the decision, but I thank you both for your willingness to go along this

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 1    line and for your submissions in this respect.

 2            I think this pretty much brings us to the end of what I had on my

 3    agenda, except for one thing, and that is to address the issue of your

 4    health, Mr. Djordjevic.  I wish to know if you are in good health and

 5    shape and if you have any concerns that you wish to raise with me at this

 6    moment concerning your conditions of detention.

 7            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have nothing to say

 8    about the Detention Unit.  My conditions are the same as the others.

 9            As for the use of the PC, I am really not capable of learning

10    anything, and I believe that I should be able and should be allowed to

11    work with papers, because that is the only way I can actually peruse all

12    the material and be able to respond to any motions.

13            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.

14            I'm happy to hear that you are at least in good health.  As far as

15    the provision of hard copies is concerned, I think your Defence counsel

16    will provide you with the hard copies of the things that the Prosecution

17    is not required to submit to you in hard copy, according to the Rules.  So

18    whatever the Prosecution has to give to you in hard copy, it will give to

19    you in hard copy, and the rest will then be provided by your Defence

20    counsel.

21            Now, in order to make life easier also for your Defence counsel,

22    it would be a big help for your Defence counsel and thereby also for me or

23    for the Chamber if you could learn how to use a computer.  It's not that

24    difficult, and I'm sure you will have great fun in learning how to do

25    this.  So in your own interests and in the interests of your Defence

Page 42

 1    counsel, and thereby in the interests of the Chamber, I would, again as I

 2    said, encourage you to pick it up and to take the training that can be

 3    offered and can be arranged for you in the Detention Unit.  You probably

 4    don't need more than, I don't know, five, ten, maybe to fifteen lessons

 5    with a computer teacher in the Detention Unit, and then you will be fully

 6    capable of using your computer.

 7            If the parties do not have any other issues to raise, and I wish

 8    to ask the parties if this is so, the Prosecution, do you have anything

 9    else?

10            MR. STAMP:  Sorry.  Nothing to raise.  Thank you, Your Honour.

11            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.

12            Mr. Djordjevic.

13            MR. D. DJORDJEVIC:  No, Your Honour.  Thank you.

14            JUDGE HARHOFF:  In that case, we can conclude this status

15    conference, and we will meet again in about four months' time.  And I'll

16    let you know, through my staff, who can suggest new dates for the next

17    meeting.

18            Thank you very much.  This meeting is adjourned.

19                          --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

20                          3.12 p.m.