Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3911

 1                           Monday, 4 May 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

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

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  Good afternoon.  Mr. Stamp, I hear you may have

 6     some news for us.

 7             MR. STAMP:  Good afternoon.  Thank you very much, Your Honours.

 8     Yes.  I have unhappy news.  Sadly, the witness scheduled for today and

 9     tomorrow, Zarko Brakovic has had to be hospitalised today and is now

10     being subjected to some tests for suspected appendicitis, and he is

11     certainly not available for this afternoon, I'm told.

12             I did try to get an update from the Victim and Witnesses Unit

13     through our investigators just before I came to court.  There is no

14     update.  Last information is that he was sent for tests, and therefore he

15     will not be available.  I think it would be unlikely that he'd be

16     available for the rest of the day.  It is possible that the tests might

17     be negative, in which case he might be available sometime tomorrow.

18             The witness who we had scheduled to be in on Thursday -- sorry,

19     on Wednesday, Mr. Fred Abrahams, will not be available -- we can bring

20     him forward a bit, but he will not be able to start until sometime

21     tomorrow afternoon if he's brought forward.  As a matter of fact that

22     would be a stress for him, but he has indicated that he would be prepared

23     to start then.  He is an international who has travelled a long distance

24     to get here and is also somebody who is -- who has always cooperated with

25     the efforts of the OTP.

Page 3912

 1             There were, for this week, some civilian witnesses.  These are

 2     the Kosovo Albanian crime base witnesses who are -- who are usually the

 3     persons we'd want as reserve witnesses, because they normally will

 4     have -- or be prepared to spend some more time here, but there -- there

 5     was a problem with them, I am told.  The national office for -- for visas

 6     in the Netherlands has been closed since sometime last week, and the

 7     Victim and Witnesses Unit is not able to get any visas for them to get

 8     them here to stand in reserve, at least for the beginning of this week.

 9     They will be available at the end -- well, not at the end, but I'm told

10     they would be available from the middle of the week and will be in

11     reserve for -- to testify after Mr. Abrahams is completed.

12             So in those circumstances, Your Honours, there is no witness

13     available to testify today.

14             JUDGE PARKER:  Yes.  Well, things of that nature will undoubtedly

15     occur.  There seems little point in us having everybody stand by in the

16     off chance that this witness, (a) might not be diagnosed with

17     appendicitis; (b)might thereby be available and able to give evidence.

18     Because if the man is in hospital, I think it must be expected that even

19     if his problem is not appendicitis, he will still have a problem.

20             MR. STAMP:  Indeed.

21             JUDGE PARKER:  That brings us then to tomorrow.  If the witness

22     in the hospital is available, all will be well, but that you will not

23     know until late today or first thing in the morning.

24             MR. STAMP:  Indeed, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE PARKER:  If he is not available, Mr. Abrahams, from what I

Page 3913

 1     gather, would be available at the earliest during the afternoon, not at

 2     the beginning of the afternoon.

 3             MR. STAMP:  Indeed, Your Honour.

 4             JUDGE PARKER:  When is he expected to arrive?

 5             MR. STAMP:  He's here.  He has arrived in The Hague, but he needs

 6     to prepare himself.  He has -- he's coming from afar, I think.  He's a --

 7     he's one of the senior analysts for Human Rights Watch, so he travels

 8     from great distances.  I can't say precisely where he's coming from, but

 9     he needs at least a day to acclimatize and prepare himself to testify.

10     His testimony in the last two cases that he appeared in this Tribunal

11     were in excess of four days each.

12             JUDGE PARKER:  He should not be that time with us in view of his

13     extensive previous cross-examination, but some time will be necessary

14     with him, obviously.  And we cannot expect anything from the victim

15     witnesses until late in the week, perhaps Thursday afternoon or Friday.

16             MR. STAMP:  From the -- the crime-base witnesses, I think they

17     will be available on Wednesday, or they could be made available on

18     Wednesday or Thursday.

19             JUDGE PARKER:  That would seem to be unlikely Wednesday because

20     Mr. Abrahams will be here and in the course of evidence.

21             MR. STAMP:  They would be in reserve, of course, but they would

22     be available.

23             JUDGE PARKER:  Perhaps Thursday.

24             MR. STAMP:  Yes.  Yes, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Stamp.

Page 3914

 1             MR. STAMP:  Thank you, Your Honours.

 2                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 3             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic, is there some matter you would like

 4     to assist us with?

 5             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 6     Unfortunately, I cannot help.  This is an extraordinary situation.  I

 7     just wanted to contribute an explanation.

 8             We were informed by the OTP last week about the testimony of

 9     Brakovic, and there was also a schedule for his testimony and also for

10     the testimony of Mr. Abrahams.  The same goes for the two witnesses that

11     were scheduled to testify after the 11th.  However, we were able to

12     complete the testimonies of these evidence -- these witnesses last week,

13     so now the Defence is not prepared for the reserve witnesses that we

14     anticipate.

15             I would like the OTP, that is Mr. Stamp, to tell me which

16     witnesses we're talking about in terms of future reserve witnesses so for

17     us to be able to prepare.  Also, I would like to do the following:  If

18     Mr. Abrahams starts testifying tomorrow, if possible that he testify in

19     the afternoon, because we were focused on Mr. Brakovic.  So if possible,

20     we would like not to start before 2.15 p.m. tomorrow if Mr. Abrahams is

21     ready to testify at that time.

22             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.  Fortunately it would

23     seem for your own preparation the delays caused by the condition of

24     Mr. Brakovic will enable you to be ready to deal with the future

25     witnesses.  If -- if it is the case that Mr. Stamp has not already

Page 3915

 1     informed you of the factual witnesses who will be available in reserve

 2     late in the week, I'm sure he will do so when we rise, and that he will

 3     continue to keep you advised of the reserve witnesses as we progress

 4     through the trial.

 5             In the Chamber's view, Mr. Stamp, if it is the case that

 6     Mr. Brakovic is not available tomorrow morning, and that seems unlikely

 7     in view of the message I've just been given which suggests that he's in

 8     considerable pain at this moment, if he's not available for the time we

 9     had planned to sit tomorrow, which was midmorning, not at 9.00, then we

10     will commence sitting at 2.00 p.m., not 2.15 but 2.00 p.m., to hear the

11     evidence so far as it can proceed of Mr. Abrahams.  And we will have two

12     sessions of an hour and a half.  I'm afraid I had made commitments in the

13     expectation that the session would finish by 5.00 tomorrow, so we won't

14     be able to have the full three and three-quarter hours of a normal

15     session, but we will be able to have three hours.  We will then continue

16     that programme with Mr. Abrahams.

17             MR. STAMP:  Your Honour.

18             JUDGE PARKER:  That is subject to the availability of

19     Mr. Brakovic.  If contrary to expectations he is available in the morning

20     for the time that we had set, we'll hear Mr. Brakovic and then go to

21     Mr. Abrahams.  I think the realistic expectation must be that we will not

22     be able to hear Mr. Brakovic because of his health, and we will therefore

23     commence at 2.00 tomorrow to hear Mr. Abrahams.

24             MR. STAMP:  Very well, Your Honour.  Thank you.  May I just say,

25     Your Honours, for the record and for the benefit of my friends in the

Page 3916

 1     court, that in accordance with an earlier ruling by the Trial Chamber,

 2     the reserve witnesses will be the next witnesses on the schedule.  We

 3     give the witnesses two weeks in advance.  So the reserve witnesses for

 4     this week would be the coming witnesses for next week will be brought

 5     forward, unless we have to insert a witness who was not notified.  I just

 6     would like to advise the parties or the Defence that the reserve

 7     witnesses are the next succeeding witnesses according to the schedule.

 8             JUDGE PARKER:  Well, that's helpful, and it will be helpful, I'm

 9     sure, to Mr. Djurdjic if you can maintain that practice, and thank you

10     for that.

11             I'm afraid, regrettably to the process of the trial, we must now

12     adjourn.  If the witness Brakovic is available, we will resume tomorrow

13     at 10.00.  If the witness is not available, we will resume tomorrow at

14     2.00.

15                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.30 p.m.,

16                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day

17                           of May, 2009, at 10.00 a.m. or 2.00 p.m.