Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Friday, 22 August 2008

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.

 6             JUDGE POCAR:  Good morning, everybody.

 7             Mr. Registrar, can you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honour, good morning everyone

 9     in the courtroom.  Case number IT-98-29/1-A, The Prosecutor versus

10     Dragomir Milosevic.

11             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.

12             May I have now have the appearances first for the Prosecution.

13             MS. BAIG:  Good morning, Mr. President.  Laurel Baig for the

14     Prosecution.  I'm assisted by Manuel Eising co-counsel and case manager

15     Alma Imamovic-Ivanov.

16             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.

17             Now for the Defence.

18             MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.  I'm

19     Branislav Tapuskovic, a lawyer from Belgrade.  I represent Dragomir

20     Milosevic, and I have my co-counsel with me, Branislava Isailovic, a

21     lawyer from Paris.

22             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.

23             Mr. Milosevic, can you follow the proceedings correctly in a

24     language that you understand?

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Yes, I

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 1     can.  Everything is in order, everything is okay.

 2             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.

 3             So this is a Status Conference called in accordance with Rule 65

 4     bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.  As is known, a Status

 5     Conference has to be convened within 120 days of the filing of an

 6     information of appeal and thereafter within 120 days after the last

 7     Status Conference.  And the primary purpose of a Status Conference is to

 8     allow any person, who is in custody pending an appeal in this case, the

 9     opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto, including the

10     conditions, in particular the condition of detention of that person.

11             The previous Status Conference in this case was held on

12     29 April 2008, and the order scheduling today's hearing was issued on

13     9 July 2008.

14             So, first, I would like to inquire into the status of the

15     accused's conditions and situation, and we turn to the Defence first to

16     counsel, but also later to Mr. Milosevic himself, if he wants to -- if he

17     has any concern in relation to the detention condition, to his status of

18     state of health.

19             MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

20             I can say that according to my information - and I visited the

21     accused yesterday - he has no medical problems or any requests in that

22     request, unless something has changed since yesterday.  You can ask him,

23     but in any case, there are no issues to be raised at this moment.

24             JUDGE POCAR:  I thank you.

25             May I ask Mr. Milosevic if he confirms what counsel has just said

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 1     or if he has any other query.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I should confirm because Tapuskovic

 3     said everything correctly.  However, there was a time when I complained

 4     about some problems with regard to the conditions and also when I filed

 5     my appeal, and I also raised the issue of my eyesight.  Mr. Tapuskovic

 6     knows it well.  This has been established before this Trial Chamber.  My

 7     condition is known.  This is a big handicap because I -- I've lost sight

 8     in one eye; however, this does not change my situation at all.  But when

 9     I address the Appeals Chamber, asking them to look at the problem, in

10     light of the fact that I need time to study the indictment, to analyse

11     it, and to see what is important for me, the answer that I got was that

12     the allegation about my eyesight had not been corroborated by medical

13     findings.

14             There is a doctor in the detention unit, and he knows everything

15     about my condition.  There are places where this can be verified.

16     However, the claim still stands that I am not telling the truth which in

17     this case, at this moment, I am bothered by my situation and I cannot

18     accept somebody implying that I am insinuating or fabricating things.

19     This is not my practice.  This is not my behaviour.

20             Therefore, I would like to supplement or correct what

21     Mr. Tapuskovic has said, and I'm trying to deal with this concrete issue.

22     My general medical condition is what Mr. Tapuskovic has told you.

23     However, every person's health contains a number of nuances and details

24     which do not portray the general situation but a very specific situation,

25     and this is what I'm trying to say.

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 1             Second of all, when it comes to the condition in the detention

 2     unit, the conditions are standard and normal.  I know that there has to

 3     be a perfect order in an institution like this, that everything has to

 4     function in keeping with the detention rules.  However, there are some

 5     turning points there as well, which has given me to think that some

 6     messages or some treatments are being channelled in this case towards me.

 7     However, since these are minor matters, details, or maybe a little errors

 8     on the parts of the organs that are involved in the service, I am not

 9     going to dwell upon these changes, and I'm not going to explained

10     specific case because this was not a major case.  But there are, indeed,

11     some things that to me personally don't look as having been done

12     correctly.

13             So much from me, but to finish this, I would like to say that my

14     effort, my attempts to study the first instance chamber's decision -- I

15     said indictment, but I have been corrected.  I wanted to look at the

16     judgement and all of its details, but it has not been easy, it has not

17     been possible.  And what remains is something that I have to or I must

18     accept, but the way I perceive it is that there has been injustice

19     towards me, or a certain degree of injustice, at least.  I'm not saying

20     that everything is incorrect, but things have not been done the way they

21     should have been done.  But I know from other cases and from practice

22     that in some casings as many as 45 days have been left for that.

23             However, when it comes to that, there is nothing further that I

24     want to say.  I don't want to highlight this or have this being

25     interpreted as my reaction or as my complaint.  What I was supposed to

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 1     say before there Court, I did.  If I'm right, then fine; if I'm not

 2     right, my only intention was to provide my opinion.

 3             I would like to thank you, Your Honour.  This is what I wanted to

 4     say to you today.

 5             JUDGE POCAR:  I thank you, Mr. Milosevic.

 6             Well, as to the questions you have raised about your health, as

 7     you know, it's up to your counsel now.  According to the rules of

 8     detention, any detainee may raise a complaint to the commanding officer

 9     or his representative any time, and in case of unsatisfactory response,

10     can make a complaint to the registrar who will inform the president.

11             Now, you did it here at the Status Conference, and I take it --

12     you don't have to file a written complaint of course.  I take what you

13     have said as an expression of unsatisfaction about certain things in the

14     detention unit, and we'll look into that.  I will look into that with the

15     registrar, with the commanding officer, and I will take care of what you

16     have said.

17             As to your problem of eyesight and the time you need for that

18     reason, to look into documents, that will be, of course, taken care of

19     again.  I understand that I may have had a little time to look yourself

20     into the Judgement, but your counsel had plenty of time to look into it.

21     And if there is anything that after your reading, thorough reading of the

22     Judgement changes what has been submitted in the briefs, in the appeal,

23     of course, you're entitled to bring a motion to the Appeals Chamber in

24     order that the Appeals Chamber may take new information, that new

25     submission duly into account.

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 1             Now, let me perhaps recapitulate the history of this appeal.  We

 2     have the an appeal of the Prosecution which was filed 31st of

 3     December 2007, and the appeal brief came in on the 30th of January, 2008.

 4     The Defence response brief and the Prosecution reply brief were filed

 5     respectively on 6th and 12th August.  So the briefing for the

 6     Prosecution's appeal, which is limited to question of sentencing, is now

 7     complete.

 8             As to the appeal raised by the Defence, the notice of appeal was

 9     filed on 11 January 2008; and pursuant to my decision, taken in

10     February on the 20th of February, the Defence was permitted to file its

11     appeal brief within 15 days of his receipt from the registrar of the

12     official B/C/S translation of the Trial Judgement.  The appeal brief was

13     filed in time on 14 August, 2008.

14             Now, pursuant to the Rules, the Prosecution may file its

15     respondent brief within 40 days of filing of the Defence appellate brief;

16     and, again, pursuant to the Rules, the Defence is then entitled to file

17     its brief in reply within 15 days of filing of the Prosecution respondent

18     brief.

19             After the expiration of this time-limits for filing, I assume

20     that the Defence appeal briefing will also be complete, and the Appeals

21     Chamber will decide how to proceed on the case and when setting date of

22     hearings; and, of course, the parties will be immediately notified of any

23     action that will be taken by the Appeals Chamber.

24             Now, at this point, having recapitulated quickly and briefly the

25     recent procedural history, I would like to ask the parties whether they

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 1     have any other issues that they would like to raise at this time.

 2             Is there anything for the Prosecution?

 3             MS. BAIG:  No, Your Honour.

 4             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.

 5             May I turn to the Defence.  Is there any issue that the Defence

 6     would like to raise at this juncture?

 7             MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, there are no

 8     new issues to be raised.

 9             Obviously, as Defence counsel appearing for Mr. Milosevic, I

10     would just like to highlight one thing with regard to the deadlines.

11     These are preclusive deadlines that have to be complied with, but I

12     believe that there should be understanding for his request to be given a

13     reasonable deadline in view of his health condition to give him time to

14     look at the details of the Judgement.

15             The only thing he received in his language was the indictment and

16     the next one was the Judgement, and he expected to be given more time to

17     look at the Judgement, to be able to provide his suggestions to his

18     Defence counsel.  We have had enough time to prepare the appeal and we

19     did what we could, but I believe that we should have respected his health

20     condition and give him some more time to look at it, to provide

21     suggestions.  You have just told him that there may still be room for him

22     to exercise that right, and for him to be given that possibility.

23             This is the only issue that I wish to raise at this point, Your

24     Honour.

25             JUDGE POCAR:  Thank you.  As I already have said, there were

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 1     certain deadlines given for submitting the briefs that were already

 2     extended deadlines as compared with the Rules.  But as I told, there

 3     is -- as I told Mr. Milosevic, there is no preclusion for him to continue

 4     to look into the Judgement; and if should any change any amendment be

 5     made to the submissions that have been made, there is no preclusion for

 6     the Defence to submit a motion and bring in new elements or drawing the

 7     attention of the Chamber to new elements for the Defence of the

 8     Appellant.

 9             So I don't think I have to set any deadline for that, but

10     certainly the fact that the appeal brief has been submitted on

11     14 August does not preclude any motion, subsequent motion.  Of course, it

12     would be for the Chamber to consider that motion and to see whether it is

13     justified and whether it brings any new elements.  Whether any new

14     elements are to be brought, there is no difficulty in that respect.  I

15     want to restate it here.

16             Is there any other issue that we should deal at this stage?

17     Probably not, because we still don't have all the briefing for the

18     Defence appeal.

19             If there is no other matter to be dealt with, I think we can

20     adjourn.  I thank the parties for their attendance and call the hearing

21     to a close.

22             The hearing is adjourned.

23                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

24                           9.54 a.m.