Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Thursday, 27 September 2001

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

6 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, will you

7 please call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is case number IT-01-48-I,

9 the Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Sefer Halilovic.

10 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] I would like the two parties

11 to introduce themselves, please.

12 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my name is Carla

13 Del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor. With me is my colleague Carl Koenig. Thank

14 you, Mr. President.

15 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] And for the Defence, please.

16 MR. BALIJAGIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, my

17 name is Faruk Balijagic. I'm an attorney, the only and lead Defence

18 counsel for the accused Sefer Halilovic at this stage of the proceedings.

19 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

20 Mr. Halilovic, are you able to follow the proceedings in a

21 language you understand? Can you hear me, Mr. Halilovic? Can you hear

22 me? Are you able to follow the proceedings in a language you know?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you. Yes, I am able

24 to follow the proceedings in my language, and I do understand.

25 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Will you please give us your

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1 name. Spell your name for us, first and last name, age, your occupation.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My name is Sefer, S-e-f-e-r,

3 Halilovic, H-a-l-i-l-o-v-i-c. I was born on the 6th of January, 1952. I

4 am living in Sarajevo. And until now, I was Minister in the government of

5 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] This is your initial

7 appearance before this Tribunal. This formal occasion is essential, and

8 on this occasion, you will be able to hear all the charges made against

9 you by the Office of the Prosecutor.

10 Have you received the indictment in your own language?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received the indictment

12 in my language.

13 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Have you understood the

14 content of the indictment?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't fully understood the

16 indictment.

17 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] But have you understood the

18 charges against you? Have you discussed them with your counsel?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand that I am accused and

20 charged. I have talked to my Defence counsel, but I have not understood

21 the indictment.

22 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Do you wish the indictment to

23 be read out to you in its integrity [sic] at this hearing? This is your

24 right, but you are also entitled to waive that right. Do you wish the

25 indictment to be read out to you in full?

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1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I waive the right to have the

2 indictment read out to me because I have read it.

3 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] I therefore take note of the

4 fact that you have waived that right.

5 We are now going to proceed with the initial proceedings, which

6 is -- and the major point of these proceedings, that is your pleading,

7 guilty or not guilty. You're able to tell us now whether you wish to

8 plead guilty or not guilty, unless you wish to do so later, within a time

9 period of 30 days. So we are going to read the counts against you, and

10 you will tell us whether you plead guilty or not guilty.

11 Madam Registrar, will you please read out the counts.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Count 1, murder --

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do wish to plead now.

14 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Once you have heard the

15 charges, you will then plead guilty or not guilty.

16 THE REGISTRAR: Count 1, murder, a violation of the laws or

17 customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal

18 and recognised by Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions, and

19 Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

20 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] How do you plead, guilty or

21 not guilty?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On behalf of merciful God, I declare

23 that I am not guilty.

24 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] I take note, Mr. Halilovic,

25 that you plead not guilty of this count.

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1 Madam Registrar, will you take note of that, please.

2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, I wish to

4 remind you of your obligations under Rule 66(A)(i) of the Rules of

5 procedure and Evidence, that is the disclosure of the supporting material

6 within 30 days.

7 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We have

8 already -- we already have the supporting material attached to the

9 indictment, which is ready to be served on the Defence counsel after the

10 hearing. I should like to specify that we do not have the complete

11 translations into all the languages of the Tribunal - because, as you

12 know, we always have that problem - but we shall do our best to have the

13 translations within 30 days.

14 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Translation into the language

15 of the accused? They will be ready in 30 days?

16 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Yes, all of it. We already have a

17 part of it translated, but within 30 days, we should be able to provide

18 the complete translations of all the documents.

19 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] I take note of that. Thank

20 you.

21 I should now like to address the Defence counsel, to remind you of

22 Rule 72(or rule 62[sic])that preliminary motions may be filed within 30 days.

23 Mr. Balijagic, you have 30 days for filing those preliminary motions.

24 MR. BALIJAGIC: [Interpretation] Honourable Court, I take note of

25 that, and I should like to notify Your Honour that both I and my client

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1 will fully cooperate with the Tribunal, because we hold the -- attach the

2 greatest importance to the establishment of the truth, whatever it turns

3 out to be.

4 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

5 Please sit down, Mr. Halilovic.

6 [The accused sits down]

7 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] I wish to underline that this

8 case has been assigned to Chamber III and the Pre-Trial Judge will be

9 named shortly.

10 Defence counsel, is there anything that you wish to raise at this

11 stage of the proceedings? I'm talking to you, Mr. Balijagic. Do you have

12 any points to make?

13 MR. BALIJAGIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on this occasion, I

14 have nothing further to add. Once I have received the supporting material

15 attached to the indictment, I will address Your Honours in written form.

16 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, do you have

17 any points to make at this stage?

18 MS. DEL PONTE: No, Mr. President. I just wish to welcome the

19 statement regarding cooperation between the Court and the accused and his

20 Defence counsel.

21 JUDGE FASSI FIHRI: [Interpretation] Before adjourning, I wish to

22 thank the interpreters and the technical staff for their invaluable

23 cooperation. The hearing is adjourned.

24 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned

25 at 3.15 p.m.