Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 137

1 Thursday, 24 June, 1999

2 (Status Conference)

3 (Open session)

4 (The accused entered court)

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

6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-96-23-PT,

7 Prosecutor versus Dragoljub Kunarac.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. Can I have the

9 accused -- can the accused hear me in a language he

10 understands?

11 THE ACCUSED: Yes, I hear.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please be seated.

13 May I have appearances? The Prosecutor.

14 MS. HASLUND: I am Ann Haslund, senior trial

15 attorney, who has joined the Prosecution team very

16 recently. To my left is trial attorney Hildegard

17 Uertz-Retzlaff. To my right is trial attorney Peggy

18 Kuo.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Welcome to the Tribunal.

20 MS. HASLUND: Thank you.

21 JUDGE MUMBA: And the Defence?

22 MR. PRODANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour.

23 My name is Slavisa Prodanovic. I am Defence counsel

24 for the accused. Sitting next to me is attorney Mara

25 Pilipovic, my advisor.

Page 138

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. This is a Status

2 Conference heard to find out about the preparations for

3 the trial in the case against Mr. Kunarac.

4 The last time we had a Status Conference

5 there were a few things that were outstanding. At that

6 time it was understood that the parties were still

7 holding meetings and the Prosecution were yet to decide

8 on certain ex parte or non-ex parte witnesses through

9 whom they wished to submit certain documents. So I

10 would like to find out what the position is with the

11 Prosecution regarding the witnesses, in particular,

12 Ms. Cleirin, Dr. Gow, and the other, Ms. Thapa.

13 What is the position? Have you decided how

14 you're going to handle these witnesses if, at all, they

15 are coming?

16 MS. HASLUND: Well, since the last Status

17 Conference we have had an additional interview with

18 Mr. Kunarac that took place on the 22nd and the 23rd of

19 April, and in relation to discovery, I may tell the

20 court that we had a request from Defence counsel

21 pursuant to Rule 66(B), and the Prosecution has

22 provided material to the Defence lawyer from the

23 exhibit list that was mainly maps and videotapes, and

24 we did that in connection with the interview on

25 Mr. Kunarac in late April.

Page 139

1 In compliance with a request that the

2 Prosecution then made according to Rule 67(C), the

3 Prosecution was handed over by the Defence, on a

4 meeting in Sarajevo -- the trial attorneys next to me

5 had a meeting in Sarajevo on the 31st of May, and later

6 on, a few days ago, on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of

7 June, the Defence handed over to the Prosecution

8 documents and videotapes.

9 My colleagues have had an opportunity to look

10 into the videotapes but we haven't had the opportunity

11 to go through the documents and haven't had them

12 translated at the moment. That is why --

13 JUDGE MUMBA: The documents are still in what

14 language? Are they in Serbo-Croat?

15 MS. HASLUND: Yes.

16 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes.

17 MS. HASLUND: So that is why we had not

18 finally decided on the expert witnesses, because we

19 would like to go through the material that has been

20 provided to us through Defence. So we will decide

21 soon, finally, who we are going to call as expert

22 witnesses.

23 I note from the last Status Conference that

24 we mentioned Dr. Cleirin, and we still want to call

25 her. It was also mentioned -- Ms. Tejshree Thapa is

Page 140

1 her name, an analyst, and we are only introducing

2 documents through her. The issue of Dr. Gow, I think

3 we would want to go through the documents that the

4 Defence handed over to us before we decide finally if

5 to call him or if not.

6 I want to tell the court also that in

7 November 1998, we disclosed information to the Defence

8 about a certain potential witness who might have

9 information of an exculpatory nature, and in May 1999,

10 when my colleagues were in Sarajevo on a mission, they

11 located and interviewed this witness. The interview

12 and the translation has been handed over to Defence on

13 the 22nd of June, that is two days ago.

14 I have noticed from the last Status

15 Conference that the Defence lawyer has expressed the

16 opinion that he -- the Defence wants to proceed to

17 trial with as many admitted facts as possible and with

18 the most cooperation with the Prosecution as possible,

19 and from our point of view, I can say that I think

20 there is a very fruitful cooperation with the Defence

21 lawyers so that we will be able to conduct a safe and

22 speedy trial.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: So of the documents you have

24 received which you say they are still in Serbo-Croat,

25 will you be able to indicate roughly how long you think

Page 141

1 it will take you to get them translated, go through

2 them, be able to take a decision on Dr. Gow?

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In Sarajevo we received

4 a lot of documents, and this week we got only a few

5 newspaper articles which would be very fast to

6 translate.

7 The Sarajevo material, I think we will need

8 two more weeks to have all these translated, and then

9 we would have to meet Defence counsel and discuss with

10 them, because this material is in some parts related to

11 the question of armed conflict, parties of the

12 conflict, development of the situation before the war,

13 SDA, SDS politics, and we may find then an agreement

14 about the fighting parties, but what I think what will

15 be in dispute is the question of crimes against

16 humanity, attack on the non-Serb population in Foca.

17 This will probably remain in dispute, and for

18 this limited purpose we will probably need Dr. Gow, but

19 this will be decided when we have the discussion with

20 Defence counsel.

21 I wonder -- I assume that a lot of the

22 documents we received from the Defence counsel might

23 become Defence exhibits in trial, so I would rather

24 suggest that you make a translation of these documents

25 and to provide them to the court when the time has

Page 142

1 come.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much.

3 Mr. Prodanovic?

4 MR. PRODANOVIC: Your Honour, at the last

5 Status Conference we promised our full cooperation with

6 the Prosecutor, and I fully agree with what the

7 Prosecution's side has said, that it is in our mutual

8 interest to expedite the proceedings.

9 As for the evidence we will use, there is

10 only a small part still being translated in Belgrade,

11 and we agreed that before the Pre-Trial conference we

12 would deliver this material and disclose it to the

13 Prosecution.

14 I would like to point out that my legal

15 advisor did not receive approval from the Registry to

16 come here, but we have already agreed on the 21st and

17 22nd with the Prosecution, and the material we are to

18 disclose is in Belgrade because there is no court

19 interpreter in Foca for the English language. So we

20 decided that Mara Pilipovic would come here and bring

21 this material, at the expense of the Defence, because

22 the Defence does not want to be held responsible for

23 slowing down the proceedings in any way or being

24 responsible for a delay in the beginning of the trial.

25 So we are ready for the trial to begin. Of

Page 143

1 course, taking into consideration all the remarks made

2 by the Prosecution with respect to Pre-Trial

3 activities.

4 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think I understood you

5 clearly. You are saying that you still have some

6 documents which are being translated in Belgrade?

7 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes. Only a small number of

8 documents, some videotapes and some written documents

9 which are still with the translator in Belgrade. We

10 have told the Prosecution that, and they will receive

11 this material before the beginning of the Pre-Trial

12 conference, and I now promise that this will be

13 translated and I hope that the next time we meet it

14 will all be translated into English.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: So the materials which you are

16 exchanging or which you, the Defence, are giving to the

17 Prosecution, have you decided whether you are going to

18 use it in the trial or are you going to decide at a

19 later stage to select which documents you're going to

20 use later in the trial?

21 MR. PRODANOVIC: We have decided to use that

22 material at the trial.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: All of the documents which you

24 have exchanged with the Prosecution.


Page 144

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because I would like to be

2 clear on that because of translation problems. If

3 they're going to be used at the trial, they should be

4 formally translated through the Registry.

5 MR. PRODANOVIC: That is why we delivered the

6 documents to the Prosecution, and we are only hoping

7 with our translation we will facilitate things and make

8 it easier for the Registry to have this translated.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. Is there

10 anything else you wanted to say?

11 MR. PRODANOVIC: No. No, thank you.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the state of your

13 client? Is he in good health? The detention

14 facilities, are they okay?

15 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes. Yes, everything is all

16 right.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much. I

18 just wish to remind the parties of continuing

19 obligations as far as discovery, in particular with the

20 documents are concerned, and I do hope that as soon as

21 the documents are given to the Prosecution and properly

22 translated, the Prosecution will be able to decide on

23 Dr. Gow.

24 I take it that Ms. Cleirin and Ms. Thapa will

25 be on the list. They'll be able to come. Ms. Thapa is

Page 145

1 only for her to introduce documents into evidence.

2 Ms. Cleirin will be an ex parte witness?


4 JUDGE MUMBA: Is her submission ready, her

5 statement?

6 MS. HASLUND: As far as I know, yes.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, you have

8 already the contents of the statement because you have

9 received the transcript of Mrs. Cleirin. I think you

10 have received the transcript.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the transcript. I've seen

12 that. Is that it?

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. That is what she

14 will talk about in this case.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Because I was looking at the

16 particulars of Rule 94 bis, and if you are saying that

17 that is the transcript and that's all that she's going

18 to discuss, then in which case the Defence will be able

19 to cross-examine her. I suppose she will come because

20 that is a transcript in another trial. Okay.

21 So the only decision remains over Dr. Gow,

22 once you have looked at the documents, isn't it?

23 MS. HASLUND: That's right, Your Honour.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would

25 like to add something in regard of experts. That is

Page 146

1 something that is not yet decided, because we are still

2 in discussion with Defence counsel.

3 The question arises, and you have seen it

4 probably from the motion on the form of the indictment

5 from the accused, that there is a question of

6 responsibility of the accused as a lower-level military

7 commander in regard of leisure time of soldiers.

8 Mr. Prodanovic had mentioned that there may

9 be a military expert coming on behalf of the --

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Defence.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: -- Defence, and we also

12 are considering to call a military expert. We already

13 have contacted several people, and we have not yet made

14 a final decision. But we might have a military expert,

15 but just focus on this simple question: How a

16 lower-level commander could be responsible for soldiers

17 in their leisure time.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Thank you. That is

19 confirmed, Mr. Prodanovic?

20 MR. PRODANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. We have

21 already discussed this topic with the Prosecution, and

22 we confirm that we do intend to call a military expert

23 who will comment on the command responsibility of the

24 accused, taking into consideration his status as an

25 ordinary soldier who was the head of a reconnaissance

Page 147

1 patrol. There is no doubt that he had no rank, and we

2 have advised the Prosecution accordingly.

3 We do not object to the Prosecution

4 presenting evidence about these facts, thus helping the

5 court to establish all the relevant facts and to reach

6 a just decision.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much. Well, it

8 appears to me that all the preparations are on course

9 except, of course, for the recently discovered

10 documents which have yet to be translated for final

11 decisions to be taken.

12 As far as the trial date is concerned, it is

13 not yet set because our Chamber is involved in another

14 trial and, also, some Judges of the Chamber are

15 involved in Appeal Chamber work. So the decision

16 hasn't yet been taken as to when we expect to start the

17 trial in this case for purposes of disclosure of the

18 protected witnesses' statements, which we said would be

19 disclosed to the Defence 30 days before the trial.

20 In that case, then I think that if all goes

21 well, we may have a final Status Conference probably in

22 two or three months' time. We shall, of course, stick

23 to the rules for having a Status Conference in case we

24 need more time for that, and an order to that effect

25 will be issued.

Page 148

1 I think that's all. Anything else?

2 MS. HASLUND: Nothing.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Anything else, Mr. Prodanovic?

4 MR. PRODANOVIC: No, Your Honour. Thank

5 you.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much. I think

7 we have come to the end of our proceedings and the

8 court will rise.

9 --- Hearing adjourned sine die

10 at 3.17 p.m. sine die