Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2109

 1                           Thursday, 12 March 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  Good afternoon.  Do I understand that there is a

 6     matter you wish to raise, Mr. Djurdjic?

 7             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  This time

 8     there is something that I would like to ask the Trial Chamber in view of

 9     the holidays coming in April.  As you well know, Easter is a religious

10     holiday celebrated across Serbia; however, it falls a little later as

11     compared to the rest of Europe and Christendom.  This year Good Friday

12     falls on the 17th and the Easter Monday on the 20th.  Therefore, I would

13     like to ask the Chamber to make sure that those two days will not be

14     working days and that we shall not be sitting on those two days.  Thank

15     you.

16             JUDGE PARKER:  That appears to be a week later than the

17     Christian, Western Good Friday and Easter Monday, the Eastern Orthodox is

18     this year a week later.

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] You are entirely right,

20     Your Honours.

21             JUDGE PARKER:  I wonder how counsel are seeing the progress of

22     the case and how we will be placed by then, as both you're here,

23     Mr. Stamp, and Mr. Djurdjic.  Have you given any thought to the rate of

24     progress we are making?

25             MR. STAMP:  I have, your --

Page 2110

 1             JUDGE PARKER:  You're the lucky man first, Mr. Stamp.

 2             MR. STAMP:  I rose quickly because I have very little to say.  We

 3     have given thought to it but to be precise in our calculations I couldn't

 4     do it off the bat.  I think we are making very good progress, and a lot

 5     would to some degree depend on the Court's decision in respect to the

 6     92 bis application.  Of course the Court might want to hear more evidence

 7     before finally deciding on that, but I think by the end of

 8     March/early April we should be approaching halfway in number of the

 9     witnesses or we should have passed halfway in number of witnesses who are

10     65 -- who are 92 ter witnesses or live witnesses.  However, some of the

11     more, shall I say, involved witnesses might take a little bit longer --

12     are yet to come.  But in a general -- my general position is that we are

13     making very good, if not excellent, progress.  Thank you, Your Honours.

14             JUDGE PARKER:  The Chamber is a little more concerned than you

15     are I think, Mr. Stamp.  We felt, as everybody knows, we had a slowish

16     start for a number of reasons, and we have been improving in our

17     progress.  But we are now at the 20th witness, and I think your list

18     exceeds or will now exceed 120 witnesses, which means we are a long way

19     from even halfway.

20             The 92 bis decision is imminent.  Not a great deal of difference

21     will be made on the outcome of that decision one way or the other,

22     really.  It just saves some time in examination-in-chief.  There will be

23     some few witnesses for no cross-examination, but it's not going to

24     transform the length of the case in a major way.  So what I think

25     pre-trial was seen as a trial that might end in eight or nine months is

Page 2111

 1     looking like a trial that will last much longer than that.  Is that

 2     something entirely astray from your understanding?

 3             MR. STAMP:  Yes, Your Honour.  If -- and it's really a matter for

 4     discretion of this Court.  If we have to call all the witnesses for

 5     cross-examination, it would take -- probably longer than that -- not

 6     probably, it certainly would be longer than that.  I think on this side

 7     we have to make efforts to stay within the time that we indicated we

 8     would if we're allowed to call these witnesses for cross we should

 9     utilise the time we use for the orientation exercise and there may be

10     additional questions -- well, we should optimise that time as much as

11     possible.

12             JUDGE PARKER:  Can we say so for Ms. Kravetz is here and

13     Mr. Neuner receive our gold stars for keeping to time.  So there's a

14     little room for you to improve there, Mr. Stamp.

15             MR. STAMP:  Indeed, indeed, Your Honours.

16             JUDGE PARKER:  Very well.  Okay, thank you.

17             Mr. Djurdjic, time, have you given any thought to this at this

18     stage?

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour.  First and

20     foremost, it is not that I necessarily wish to side with the Prosecutor;

21     however, since the early pre-trial stage, specifically the month of

22     September, I think Mr. Stamp has been talking about a time that was much

23     longer than the Pre-Trial Judge was prepared to allow for.  The time is

24     simply too short to have a fair trial.  On a number of occasions,

25     Mr. Stamp for that very reason submitted motions that were obviously not

Page 2112

 1     approved.  So it is quite obvious that some sort of a time schedule had

 2     been drawn up by this time.  I do not think the time specified is

 3     realistic; nevertheless, I am exceptionally happy with the pace of the

 4     trial itself.  As a result, the Defence has no objections in terms of the

 5     way the trial has been run so far; quite the contrary in fact.  We do

 6     wish to take this opportunity to express our satisfaction.

 7             As for the motion to have those two days reserved for

 8     celebration, I did this on purpose today just in order to stay in keeping

 9     with the general dynamics and in order to avoid any technical issues that

10     might turn up or any potential obstacles to the work of the Chamber.

11     This might even help us to work even more efficiently in the future.  We

12     for our part shall try to work as efficiently as possible and address no

13     more than the essential issues; nevertheless, that depends to a large

14     extent also on the OTP and the way they will be going about having their

15     92 ter statements admitted and what they will single out as appropriate

16     subjects for cross-examination.  The example that springs to mind is the

17     two witnesses who are victims, Saranda and Fatos Bogujevci, and that

18     could have been wrapped up much sooner had it not been some statements

19     that were appearing that were interesting for the OTP, so issues kept

20     cropping up leaving us with no choice but to raise further issues on

21     cross.  Thank you very much.

22             JUDGE PARKER:  Well, the Chamber is concerned that some

23     cross-examination so far have gone longer than was really necessary.  I

24     think the tendency is for things to improve, but the important things in

25     the trial, if they're focused on, I think cross-examination could still

Page 2113

 1     be shorter.  As a simple example, for most witnesses we are not likely to

 2     pay any attention to the early education and experience of a witness

 3     because those things in most cases are not going to be of any relevance

 4     to our consideration of the evidence of a witness.  So it could be

 5     possible, for example, to leave entirely alone for most witnesses, if not

 6     all, the question of the early education and early experience of the

 7     witness.  Now, I just use that as one example that comes to mind.

 8             We are, though, I think encouraged by what you have said,

 9     Mr. Djurdjic, and also Mr. Stamp, that each of you are feeling encouraged

10     that the rate of progress is becoming satisfactory and is even improving.

11     Thank you for that.

12                           [Trial Chamber confers]

13             JUDGE PARKER:  We will give some consideration to your proposal,

14     Mr. Djurdjic, and as soon as our position is clear, we will let you know,

15     and we'll try to do that in good time for you to make travel and other

16     arrangements.  Thank you.

17             If the witness could now be brought in.

18             Closed session.

19                           [Closed session]

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22                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,

23                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of

24                           March, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.