Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Tuesday, 4 April 2000

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 4.20 p.m.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Appeals Chamber is

6 now in session.

7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the

8 case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Your

10 Honour. This is case IT-95-10-A, the Prosecutor versus

11 Goran Jelisic.

12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Jelisic, you are

13 present in court, and can you hear me?

14 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] [No audible

15 response]

16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you. Then shall

17 we take the appearances for the Prosecution.

18 MR. YAPA: May it please Your Honours. I'm

19 Upawansa Yapa, appearing for the Prosecutor, with

20 Mr. Christopher Staker.


22 MR. GREAVES: May it please Your Honour. My

23 name is Michael Greaves. I am co-counsel on behalf of

24 Goran Jelisic. He is also represented by leading

25 counsel, Mr. Veselin Londrovic.

Page 2

1 Your Honour, I have one question which I

2 would like to raise before I sit down, and it is this:

3 As Your Honours will know, my leading counsel does not

4 speak either of the official languages of the Tribunal

5 and has been assigned on that basis. He and I do not

6 have a common language. Throughout the proceedings

7 before the Trial Chamber, the learned Judges of the

8 Trial Chamber allowed us to have present, sitting with

9 us at counsel's bench, an interpreter, Mrs. Meliha

10 Zivkovic. Could I ask Your Honours that you extend the

11 same courtesy to us on this occasion and on future

12 occasions when we have to appear before you? Otherwise

13 it makes it very difficult for my leading counsel and I

14 to communicate together about important matters.

15 [Appeals Chamber confers]

16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Motion granted.

17 MR. GREAVES: I'm most grateful to Your

18 Honour. May she come into court. She's sitting in the

19 public gallery.

20 [The interpreter entered court]

21 MR. GREAVES: I formally introduce to Your

22 Honours Mrs. Meliha Zivkovic.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Good afternoon, Your

24 Honours.

25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You're fully organised

Page 3

1 now, Mr. Greaves?

2 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much, yes.

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then I would refer to

4 the Scheduling Order recently made, which appointed

5 today as the day on which we would be holding this

6 Status Conference.

7 This Status Conference, as you know, is being

8 held pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure

9 and Evidence of this Tribunal. The Rule was adopted at

10 the Twenty-First Plenary last November and it came into

11 force on the 7th of December, 1999.

12 The text, in relevant part, reads: "The

13 Appeals Chamber ... shall convene a status conference,

14 within one hundred and twenty days of the filing of a

15 notice of appeal and thereafter within one hundred and

16 twenty days after the last status conference, to allow

17 any person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to

18 raise issues in relation thereto, including the mental

19 and physical condition of that person."

20 So the purposes of this meeting are, broadly

21 speaking, twofold: one, to afford an opportunity to

22 Mr. Jelisic, speaking either directly or through his

23 counsel, to make any representations concerning his

24 appeal, the conditions of detention, et cetera; and

25 secondly, to update him on the situation as regards his

Page 4

1 appeal.

2 Now, then, Mr. Greaves, would you like to

3 take the floor? Is there anything in particular that

4 you would like to say to us?

5 MR. GREAVES: Yes. There's one matter that

6 we would like to raise, which is causing us some

7 difficulties, and it's this:

8 As Your Honours will know, the whole of the

9 trial record was certified as being relevant for the

10 purposes of the appeal by the Registry. We have made a

11 request to the Registry for the copies of the

12 videotapes of the proceedings before the Trial

13 Chamber. The Registry has agreed that we can have

14 those items but has said that it's going to take about

15 six months to produce them.

16 I understand from the Registry that it

17 involves something like 70 individual videotapes of the

18 proceedings. I'm somewhat surprised that it's going to

19 take six months to carry out the copying exercise of 70

20 videos. One knows only too well that in the commercial

21 world such things are done in an extremely quick amount

22 of time. I appreciate that there are rather more

23 restricted facilities available here, but I'm still

24 somewhat surprised that it's going to take that long.

25 The point is this, and I referred to this

Page 5

1 earlier on: The transcripts are produced in the two

2 official languages of the Tribunal, English and

3 French. I have access to both of those; I have both

4 sets on both CD-ROM and in hard copy. The transcript

5 is not produced in the languages of the former

6 Yugoslavia, and so the only document or item that my

7 learned leading counsel can use effectively as a

8 transcript is the videotape recording of the

9 proceedings. That's the only access he has in his

10 language to what took place. Of course he's got his

11 notes and of course he's got some assessment from me of

12 what is in a particular passage in the transcript, but

13 it very much hampers his work as leading counsel not to

14 have a transcript.

15 The alternative is to have the tape so that

16 he can go back, following his notes, to use the tapes

17 to assist him in his preparation of matters that are

18 going to be part of the grounds of appeal in this

19 case.

20 What I'm asking Your Honours to do is to

21 encourage the Registry to speed up the process of

22 producing copies of the tapes of the proceedings, and

23 if I could ask Your Honour to use, as it were, your

24 good offices to pass on that encouragement and

25 persuade, perhaps, the Registry to come up with a

Page 6

1 different time scheme for producing copies of the

2 tapes, then we would be most grateful.

3 If we've got that as soon as possible, then

4 that avoids any risk of further motions for extensions

5 of time that might be consequent upon any delay in

6 receiving those items.

7 [Appeals Chamber confers with legal

8 officer]

9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Perhaps the Bench better

10 hear from the Prosecution and then from the registrar.

11 Mr. Prosecutor, do you wish to make a

12 contribution?

13 MR. YAPA: It is a short comment that I would

14 like to make, Your Honours.

15 We were not aware of this problem or the

16 request that had been made to the Registrar, and it

17 deals with a technical problem that has been mentioned

18 by the Registrar, about the time that they will take to

19 prepare the tapes.

20 There is one matter which we are -- we do not

21 know what the technical side of it is. There may be

22 instances when some of the witnesses who testify, the

23 protected witnesses, I do not know whether providing

24 the tapes will have a bearing on the position of such

25 witnesses.

Page 7

1 That is the submission that I wish to make,

2 but, of course, it's a matter entirely in the

3 discretion of Your Honours' court as to the order that

4 Your Honours will make to the Registrar. I thank you.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. I appreciate that,

6 Mr. Yapa. Now, we will hear from the --

7 Mr. Greaves.

8 MR. GREAVES: I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm

9 not entirely clear what the problem over witnesses is.

10 Both my learned friend and I, and indeed Mrs. Zivkovic,

11 were present throughout the trial. We heard all the

12 witnesses and, indeed, are entitled to hear what they

13 said for the purposes of appeal. So I'm not entirely

14 sure what the problem that my friend is raising is. Is

15 he saying that the Registry shouldn't hear what was

16 said or the technical people shouldn't hear what was

17 said? I think we should be clear on exactly what the

18 problem that is being raised is.

19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Yapa, would you

20 clarify that.

21 MR. YAPA: Yes, Your Honour. My concern was

22 this: We have had previous instances when tapes were

23 made available to Defence counsel, that is, in

24 Celebici, certain tapes were made available. But there

25 was an order made that the tapes not be taken off the

Page 8

1 Tribunal's premises because of the orders made with

2 respect to protective witnesses. The tapes would be

3 going out of the Tribunal, out of the premises, so that

4 was the concern that I had.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You mean the chain of

6 custody would have been broken?

7 MR. YAPA: It would be. It would be, Your

8 Honour. It is part of the record of the Registry.

9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is that within your

10 contemplation, Mr. Greaves?

11 MR. GREAVES: Well, if the Registry wants to

12 pay for both my learned friend and I to be here for an

13 extended period of time, sitting in the Defence room

14 watching videotapes, then of course that would be

15 perfectly okay, but it's going to cost an awful lot of

16 money if we have to be here in order to look at the

17 tapes. That's the first point.

18 The second point is that the appellant

19 himself is entitled to have copies of his own trial,

20 and he of course is not going to be allowed sitting in

21 this building, rather than the UN Detention Centre.

22 He, of course, has also heard the same things that

23 we've heard.

24 The second [sic] thing is this: The things

25 which can be found on the tapes can also be found on

Page 9

1 transcripts, and of course transcripts are frequently

2 taken back to the former Yugoslavia by Defence counsel,

3 and realistically Defence counsel can't be expected to

4 work under those circumstances.

5 I have some knowledge of what happened in the

6 Celebici case because, of course, I was involved in

7 that case as well, and so I followed what has happened

8 in the appeal. I don't know what the rationale behind

9 the decision to order they don't go out of the building

10 was. I understand that tapes were procured in that

11 case for one particular purpose involving an allegation

12 about one of the Trial Judges, and it may be that it

13 was felt right that that, for the time being, should be

14 a matter that was kept within the building. I haven't

15 heard that the reason why the tapes were not allowed

16 out of the building was to do with protected

17 witnesses.

18 But in my respectful submission, it's wholly

19 unrealistic to expect leading counsel to live in The

20 Hague in order to watch videos, to prepare the

21 defence -- the appellant brief. That, I think, is

22 hopelessly unrealistic, in my submission.

23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Greaves, this is all

24 under the assumption that the Registry will not be in a

25 position initially to give you a copy of the tapes. Is

Page 10

1 that it?

2 MR. GREAVES: Yes. The letter that was

3 written to us said it would take approximately six

4 months.

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Six months. Well,

6 perhaps we better hear from the Registry.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour,

8 I will try to be as exhaustive as possible on this

9 particular issue.

10 The first thing I would like to say

11 concerning the Celebici videotapes, this was a very

12 special request that was made in a very particular area

13 of the trial, and the access to the videotapes -- it

14 was an edited version of the videotape, it was not what

15 we can see right now on our screens. It was a

16 videotape of pictures taken by camera 3, the camera

17 which only films the Judges, and indeed the request was

18 formulated regarding one particular Judge. The

19 videotapes of this camera number 3 are highly

20 confidential material, which is under no circumstances

21 allowed to leave the Tribunal, which is the reason why

22 these videotapes can only be seen within the premises

23 of the Tribunal. So that closes the issue on the

24 Celebici videotapes.

25 As for other videotapes, we have no problems,

Page 11

1 as far as communicating trial videotapes are concerned,

2 even if there are some confidential matters raised

3 during the trial. We resort to the code of ethics of

4 the lawyers and we always -- we are always ready to

5 communicate videotapes to the counsel who are part of

6 the trial. But indeed it takes us a lot of time

7 because this request has been formulated not only

8 within this particular case but also for a number of

9 cases and for a great number of accused.

10 So we have envisaged another solution, which

11 would be much quicker, much more efficient, I suppose,

12 and which would maybe calm the fears of the Prosecution

13 as far as protecting protected witnesses is concerned,

14 and that would be to communicate an audiotape, a B/C/S

15 audiotape, to the Defence. It would be much quicker.

16 And I don't know if the Defence agrees to this

17 proposal, but if it does, maybe this would be the ideal

18 solution.

19 [Appeals Chamber confers with legal

20 officer]

21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, Mr. Greaves, you

22 have heard what the registrar has had to say.

23 Apparently we need not burden ourselves with the

24 special problems that arose in Celebici. We've heard a

25 reference to camera number 3. I believe with some

Page 12

1 ingenuity I shall manage to locate it, if I tried, but

2 I am not confident.

3 As for the rest, the registrar has suggested

4 ways and means by which an attempt could be made to

5 expedite the provisioning of the required material to

6 you. Would that be satisfactory to you, if the

7 registrar were to do his best? We certainly would

8 encourage him.

9 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, could I have just

10 a moment, without any discourtesy, to confer with my

11 leading counsel please.

12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, of course.

13 MR. GREAVES: I'm grateful.

14 [Defence counsel confer]

15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, Mr. Greaves do

16 forgive me for averting my attention away from you.

17 MR. GREAVES: Not at all. I was taught that

18 one waited for the Judge, the Judge did not wait for

19 counsel.

20 Your Honour, the position is this: With a

21 reservation which I would like to explain, we would be

22 prepared to accept that proposition which has been made

23 by the Registry. We would want to reserve the right to

24 ask for particular sections of the trial to be made

25 available to us on videotape. I'm sorry. I'm told

Page 13

1 there's no translation in B/C/S at the moment. It's

2 now present. I'll repeat what I've said.

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Has it been corrected

4 now?

5 MR. GREAVES: We would like to reserve the

6 right to make a request to the Registry for particular

7 periods of the trial, which are matters which we need

8 to look at to see what they look like in terms of how

9 the trial was conducted, reserve the right to request

10 specific parts, but obviously limited parts of the

11 trial on videotape as opposed to on audiotape.

12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Registrar, would

13 that present any particular difficulties to you?

14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Not at all,

15 Your Honour. But I would like to call everyone's

16 attention on two issues. First of all, these

17 audiotapes are never redacted, so we have to take very

18 specific measures when we deal with audiotapes, so I

19 warn the parties about this. And as for the

20 videotapes, I also ask of the Defence counsel that they

21 be patient when they turn to us to ask for those types

22 of tapes.

23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Greaves, I take it

24 that you're agreeable to those two reservations.

25 MR. GREAVES: I hope Mr. Dubuisson knows me

Page 14

1 well enough to know that I'm a reasonably patient

2 individual, and that he can have confidence in that.

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Very good. So I take it

4 that concludes your representations today.

5 MR. GREAVES: That is the only matter that I

6 wanted to raise today. Of course, Your Honour can

7 invite the defendant -- the appellant, I'm sorry, as to

8 whether he has any things he wants to raise. But those

9 are the only things I want to raise today.

10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So I turn to the

11 appellant himself.

12 Mr. Jelisic, you have heard what your counsel

13 has said.

14 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes, Your

15 Honour.

16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. He wisely wishes

17 to let you have an opportunity to speak directly to the

18 court. Do you have any particular representation to

19 make?

20 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] I will be

21 very short, Your Honours. There are absolutely no

22 problems in the detention unit. The conditions are

23 very good and the guards are very correct. And as far

24 as I'm concerned, my days are reduced to sorrow,

25 remorse, and a sense of guilt. That is all I have to

Page 15

1 say. And shame.

2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Court has listened

3 to you with care and understanding, and what we shall

4 try to do is move the proceedings forward as fast as we

5 could to assist you to compensate for the situation in

6 which you find yourself. What we can do, we shall try

7 to do.

8 You may sit, Mr. Jelisic.

9 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] If possible,

10 I would just like to add one more thing.

11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I was under the

12 misapprehension that you had concluded your statement.

13 There is something that you would like to add. Please

14 do.

15 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] I just wanted

16 to add that the administration has provided me with the

17 medical aid. I also am working in the laundry room.

18 So I am very active throughout the day. And I thank

19 you for your concern.

20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you. You may now

21 sit, Mr. Jelisic.

22 [the Appellant sits down]

23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That is, I'm assuming

24 you have now concluded whatever it is you wish to say;

25 is that right?

Page 16

1 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Yes, that is

2 right, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, then, it remains

4 for me just to mark the position at which we have

5 arrived. As I understand it, the briefs of the parties

6 are to be filed by the 15th of May, this year;

7 thereafter, respondent's briefs are to be filed by the

8 14th of June; and thereafter any briefs in reply are to

9 be filed by the 29th of June.

10 Now, we have heard an allusion to the

11 possibility of certain requests being made, and I'm not

12 in a position, naturally, to say whether those requests

13 will be made, but assuming that no requests are made,

14 we shall be in a position to hear this case in

15 September or shortly thereafter.

16 So that is the position of the Appeals

17 Chamber for the moment. We are in the hands of the

18 parties, but we are ready, willing, and able to go,

19 subject to any requests that you may have on either

20 side, whether by way of extension of time or for some

21 other purpose.

22 Now, perhaps I should add this, just to put

23 it on the record: that as you know, Judge Wang Tieya

24 was an original member of the Appeals Chamber, but he

25 was replaced on 22nd March this year by Judge Pocar,

Page 17

1 who is on my distant left. So that is the composition

2 of the Chamber as amended on that date, by order of the

3 President of the Tribunal.

4 [Appeals Chamber confers]


6 MR. GREAVES: I'm sorry to rise again and

7 raise something. I wonder whether it would be

8 possible, really for the assistance of counsel on

9 forward-planning, to identify a provisional date, and I

10 say "provisional," for the next Status Conference that

11 has to be held under Rule 65 bis.


13 MR. GREAVES: That enables one to plan

14 carefully when one has to be back in The Hague.

15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I understand you to be

16 meaning this: that under the Rule, there is a maximum

17 time period of 120 days, but obviously it could be

18 shorter than that. Is that what you were asking?

19 MR. GREAVES: Yes, and so if we could

20 identify a provisional date, perhaps, that we're

21 working to so that one can plan any other matters that

22 one is looking after.

23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me take counsel with

24 my colleagues and speak with the secretariat.

25 [Appeals Chamber confers]

Page 18

1 [Appeals Chambers confers with legal

2 officer]


4 that's a very reasonable request. I'm advised that

5 mathematically the outside limit is the 4th of August.

6 What I see on the calendar served up to me by the

7 registrar is that we have, provisionally anyhow, a

8 Plenary meeting slated for the second week of July. I

9 think the last pleading would have been filed on the

10 29th of June.

11 What that configuration suggests is that we

12 might be holding a Status Conference -- I would like to

13 amend what I said. The Plenary is slated to be in the

14 first week of July; is that right, Mr. Registrar?

15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] That's quite

16 right, Your Honour. The first week of July is supposed

17 to see the holding of the Plenary session. So the

18 second week is free, in the afternoon.


20 So Mr. Greaves, we would make a Scheduling

21 Order fixing the Status Conference for the second week

22 of July. I have spoken of issuing a Scheduling Order,

23 fixing it for some time during that week, for the

24 obvious reason that we are not now in a position to be

25 very definitive about any particular day. You do

Page 19

1 appreciate, I'm sure, that we have a number of

2 considerations to take into account concerning the

3 disposition of particular members of the Appeals

4 Chamber. But provisionally we are thinking of that

5 week as the week in which this Status Conference should

6 have held.

7 MR. GREAVES: I'm very grateful to Your

8 Honour. That is most helpful.


10 Well, then, if there are no other matters to

11 be raised, I would now bring the proceedings to an end,

12 merely saying that I think it's perfectly reasonable

13 and I hope that the parties find also that it is a

14 useful purpose in holding meetings of this kind. It is

15 not good enough to allow an appellant to languish in

16 the detention centre without being afforded an

17 opportunity, as it were, to touch base with the Judges

18 in the case.

19 Thank you. Then the court stands adjourned.

20 --- Whereupon the Status Conference

21 adjourned at 4.55 p.m.