1 Wednesday, 28 January 2015
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 1.14 p.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, everyone.
7 Could I have the appearances.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For the
9 Prosecution, Katrina Gustafson, Ann Sutherland, Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff,
10 and Iain Reid.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Madam Uertz-Retzlaff.
12 Yes, for the Defence.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Excellencies. Good
14 day to everyone in the courtroom. On behalf of the Defence, we are
15 present here today; myself and my legal advisor, Mr. Robinson.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
17 First, I recall that the Chamber, in its decision of 11th of
18 June, 2014, made it clear that, as far as a Status Conference is
19 concerned, Rule 65 bis (A) purported to apply to the pre-trial stage of
20 the proceedings and that this had been confirmed by the consistent
21 practice of the other Trial Chambers which had not convened
22 Status Conferences after the start of trial, including during periods in
23 which the accused person had not appeared before those Chambers for more
24 than 120 days.
25 Next, I recall that on the 9th of December, 2014, the accused
1 requested that the Chamber hold a Status Conference to discuss the
2 Prosecution disclosure practices and matters relating to his health and
3 the conditions of his detention.
4 On the 8th of January, 2015, the Chamber found that the -- the
5 Chamber granted the request, in part, and decided that a
6 Status Conference should be held today but only to address health and
7 conditions of detention. The Chamber found that the Prosecution's
8 disclosure obligations had been highly litigated in this case and that
9 there was no specific issue not addressed in writing which warranted the
10 holding of a Status Conference.
11 That said, Mr. Karadzic, the floor is now yours in relation to
12 your health and detention. If at any time you wish to move into private
13 session, let us know.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency.
15 I have decided to speak here about matters that I'm unable to
16 resolve with the management of the Detention Unit with whom I have very
17 professional co-operation in matters that they are able to decide on.
18 However, some things are systemic, they don't depend on them but
19 evidently depend on something else.
20 First of all, I believe that you have it. I authorised the
21 medical service to report to you about all my health and lab test
22 results. And, as you can see, I came here in perfect health with perfect
23 test results and all other parameters were excellent. All of that, not
24 only is it no longer so but is far below perfect, and you can see that
25 for yourself in the test results. Mostly it refers to blood sugar. This
1 is not the case just in -- in my case, but it applies to others as well.
2 JUDGE KWON: Before you continue, I wanted to let you know that
3 the Trial Chamber hasn't received any report about your medical
4 condition. But please continue.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The medical service
6 asked me, and I did sign the authorisation that they can send all my test
7 results to you.
8 So, in my case and in the case of other detainees, there is a
9 problem with the metabolising of sugar. This is something that has
10 cropped up. It's quite serious. I don't believe this is an error of the
11 service. I believe that perhaps it could be a matter of food or the
12 entire system. Then there is also another matter, and it's a -- very
13 many cases of malignant diseases, and the percentage among 100 of the
14 detainees is equal to that of the percentage among hundreds of thousands.
15 So it's a bit unusual to have so many malignant diseases if we compare it
16 to the usual occurrence of such cases. Perhaps it has something to do
17 with the food, it has something do with the circumstances of detention,
18 or the health of the building, and I think this is a matter that somebody
19 would need to investigate and take a position on. We would need to pay
20 attention to that and see what the possible causes are.
21 This is as far as my health is concerned. As far as other
22 matters are concerned, I also wanted to bring up other things that I
23 could not resolve with the management of the Detention Unit. I would
24 like to say that the Trial Chamber and the President, in a number of
25 times, granted my requests relating to respect of my rights for certain
1 means, for communication with the media. All these matters were
2 resolved. I'm a professional, first of all, I'm a doctor. I'm also an
3 author. I don't know how long I will be staying here and in what status,
4 and I now have more time because, up until now, until we finished our
5 presentation of the case, I devoted all my time to the Defence and to
6 keeping my head above the water, so to say. But now I have more time. I
7 have time to work on the -- using the Internet, to work with
8 audio-recording devices because I wanted to work on my language skills.
9 The Serbian language has been reformed since my forbearers spoke it. I
10 think there are a lot of things that I still need to do in order to make
11 sure that the use of that language is correct. I know that there were
12 people who defended themselves after being provisionally released or were
13 I, by any chance, on provisional release until the Judgement, I would not
14 have such restrictions. However, my access to Internet, to the Internet,
15 which is monitored, should only have limitations in my communications
16 with others, but in my access to material from the Internet should not be
17 restricted in any way, and detention should not imply any restrictions
18 that do not have any kind of punitive nature. If I were Seselj and spent
19 12 years here and not be able to professionally be active, I believe that
20 all of these are punitive measures which are unsuitable for a civilised
22 So as far as Internet is concerned, I would like to be able to
23 record the correct pronunciation of the Serbian. There are 400.000
24 words, there are seven conjugations, meaning that there are 2 million
25 words that need to be recorded, properly pronounced. So this is another
1 matter I would like to have to resolved.
2 I apologise to the interpreters.
3 I absolutely accept any kind of monitoring. I don't have a habit
4 of breaking any rules, so I would accept any kind of monitoring that has
5 to do with the work of the Tribunal and the security in the
6 Detention Unit. However, there is enough leeway there for a professional
7 to work without bringing anything into jeopardy.
8 I would also like to say that the ICC also has its own detention
9 facilities in the same building. The conditions are different. They're
10 more liberal. They're better; particularly in terms of food than is the
11 case in our Detention Unit. So I ask myself whether the Tribunal would
12 need be to informed about the fact that two courts of the same
13 United Nations do not have the same conditions. This would be useful and
14 a good thing to draw the Tribunal's attention so that the conditions
15 could be the same in both DU units.
16 I would also like to say that all of us who are there are very
17 much concerned about the convicted persons from the Balkans are being
18 sent to serve their sentences in former Communist countries and in
19 countries where the conditions of detention are very much different from
20 the conditions in countries in the EU. We would perhaps prefer for them
21 to serve their sentences in more progressive European countries because
22 all of that contributes to the bitterness of the people.
23 JUDGE KWON: We won't go there. That's beyond the issues the
24 Trial Chamber can discuss at the moment.
25 As to the items you referred, including your medical problem and
1 the other several conditions of detention, I'm not sure at this moment
2 what role that this Trial Chamber can play. So I would like you to
3 liaise with the detention authorities, including medical officer, and
4 raise issues with them and then discuss and then come back to the
5 Chamber, if necessary, when your fair trial right is infringed.
6 Mr. Robinson, would you like to add anything in this regard?
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
8 Actually, Dr. Karadzic has corresponded with the commander of the
9 Detention Unit on these issues and has also been dealing with the medical
10 officer on these issues, but he thought it was important that the Trial
11 Chamber be informed, although he is not asking you to take any action,
12 but part of the reason for the Status Conference was to keep you informed
13 on his health and on his conditions of detention, and that's the purpose
14 of his intervention this morning.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MORRISON: Dr. Karadzic, the answer to this may be
18 something that you want to put into a private session; that's entirely a
19 matter for you. But the question that concerns me is this: Any of the
20 medical conditions that you've alluded to, or the medical situation to
21 put it broadly that you have alluded to, are they causing you actual
22 distress or symptoms of a debilitating nature?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, no. It's not an
24 acute situation but my health has deteriorated; in particular, my blood
25 sugar level. And I'm not the only one. There are quite of number of us
1 in the meantime who have -- are started to suffer from diabetes.
2 I was in excellent health, so I'm afraid that perhaps it is not
3 just that metabolic aspect that is in question. There could be some
4 other consequences that could appear a bit later. We are receiving food
5 that is frozen, that is heated in microwaves, in plastic containers.
6 Paracetamol is a medicine that we use in the DU as much as we want.
7 However, the latest research indicates that Paracetamol is quite
8 dangerous. So there are these systemic matters that do not depend on the
9 people who are there. Simply, the system of detention of the
10 United Nations is producing illnesses among many people. This is the
11 main point.
12 If you look at my test results when I arrived, they were quite
13 perfect, and then each successive one was worse, and the consequences of
14 this have still to appear. Of course, I can still work and do my job,
15 but the state of my health is not good. And I don't want to mention
16 without their permission the names of people who in the meantime are now
17 ill with diabetes or have some malignant disease. All I am saying is
18 that all these things would indicate that the Tribunal would need to look
19 into all of these matters.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the Chamber has noted the information
21 Mr. Karadzic has raised.
22 Are there any other issues?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All I wanted to say is that the
24 question of my rights, or my right to work in my profession, being
25 monitored, of course, is -- while in detention is something that cannot
1 be resolved without a clear position from the Tribunal. I cannot expect
2 the DU management to resolve all of these questions regarding access to
3 the Internet and the recording of material.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes. There is a regime in place to deal with the
5 various detention issues as well as health problems. The Chamber will
6 look into the matters when required.
7 Unless there's other issues, there's one matter the Chamber
8 wishes to deal with at this moment in private session.
9 Could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 48109 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE KWON: Unless there's a further matter to raise, hearing is
16 now adjourned.
17 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
18 1.38 p.m.