Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10

1 Wednesday, 13 September 2000

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.52 p.m.

6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] My microphone is not here. Will

7 you call the case, Registrar, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: IT-95-16-A, the Prosecutor versus

9 Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, and

10 Vladimir Santic.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] And now the appearances, please.

12 MR. YAPA: May it please, Your Honour. I'm Upawansa Yapa

13 appearing for the Prosecution, with Mr. Norman Farrell, and Ms. Adele

14 Erasmus is the case manager.

15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Yapa.

16 For the Defence now in the order. Perhaps the Defence could --

17 could we first have for Zoran Kupreskic, please.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, microphone.

19 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my name is Ranko

20 Radovic, attorney from Zagreb, and I'm Defence counsel for Zoran

21 Kupreskic.

22 I should like to ask you before we begin, go any further that is

23 to say, to solve a technical matter. That technical matter is the

24 following: During the trial so far, we sat in the order of the accused.

25 I was first, then we had my colleague, Ms. Slokovic. Now I see that our

Page 11

1 colleague, I don't know for what reason, feels that he is entitled to sit

2 in that position, but I would like him to take the position of the Defence

3 counsel for the fourth accused; otherwise, we can consider this to be a

4 discriminating measure of our colleagues from England who feel they are

5 more valuable than his colleagues from Croatia, perhaps.

6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] This is a Status Conference, and

7 these things should not really be in our way, so I should like to seek

8 your cooperation for a Status Conference. As you know, it touches upon

9 the matter of procedure. It won't take too long.

10 So, Mr. Radovic, I should like to ask you not to insist on this

11 occasion on this because that would take our time. I should like the

12 procedure to be normal, of course, without any considerations of any

13 discrimination of any kind. That goes without saying.

14 As for the next time, I should like to ask the registrar to see to

15 it that the seating is properly established and determined before the

16 hearing.

17 Mr. Radovic, do you want to add anything to this? Very well,

18 thank you.

19 We shall then proceed with the appearances, please.

20 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] I am satisfied with your ruling,

21 Your Honour. Let it be as it stands today, but I hope that some order

22 will be introduced into the proceedings next time. Thank you.

23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Very well. The registrar will

24 take note of this.

25 Can we now go on with the appearances, please, on the Defence

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1 side.

2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your

3 Honour. I am attorney Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac, and I am Defence counsel

4 for the second accused, Mirjan Kupreskic.

5 MR. SUSAK: [Interpretation] I'm Luka Susak. I'm an attorney from

6 Zagreb. I'm Defence counsel for Drago Josipovic.

7 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. My

8 name is Petar Pavkovic, the attorney and Defence counsel for the appellant

9 Vladimir Santic.

10 MR. LIVINGSTON: Your Honour, my name is Livingston, John

11 Livingston. I represent the defendant Vlatko Kupreskic.

12 Can I just say two things? First, is to I apologise for the

13 non-appearance of Mr. Able, who is, of course, leading counsel for Vlatko

14 Kupreskic. He's been unable to attend because of other professional

15 commitments, and he asks me to send his apologies to you in that regard.

16 A second thing is, can I just very briefly say that, of course, no

17 offence was meant to Mr. Radovic by my sitting in the place I am sitting

18 in. I actually sought advice from one of the gentlemen sitting in front

19 of you before I took this position as to whether there were any allotted

20 places. I was told no, and hence I sat at this desk. So I hope that any

21 suggestion of any improper action or taking somebody else's place can be

22 put to rest, and I certainly meant no offence to anybody by doing what I

23 did.

24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Livingston. Now,

25 I think that this minor incident is closed now, but matter of places

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1 assigned to people should be resolved by the registrar before the hearing.

2 This Status Conference is held today in agreement with 65 bis of

3 the rules, and I should like to remind you of its text. It says as

4 follows: "The Appeals Chamber or an Appeals Chamber Judge shall convene a

5 Status Conference within 120 days of the filing of a notice of appeal, and

6 thereafter within 120 days after the last Status Conference, to allow any

7 person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to raise the issues in

8 relation thereto, including the mental and physical condition of that

9 person." It is within that context, within those 120 days, that the

10 Appeals Chamber has convened this Status Conference.

11 There are two items on the agenda. The first one is to take stock

12 of this case which is before the Appeals Chamber, and to ask the parties

13 whether they have any questions to raise in this regard; and the second

14 item, to give the floor to the accused if they wish to say anything, and

15 to inquire after their mental and physical state.

16 So I should like now to ask the accused, first of all, whether

17 they can understand, whether they are following the Status Conference in a

18 language they understand.

19 Do you, therefore, the accused, follow the these proceedings in a

20 language that you can understand? I see that they are nodding their heads

21 which signifies an affirmative answer. Therefore, I should like to remind

22 you, in a very, very few words, where we are and what is the state of

23 affairs in these proceedings.

24 First of all, the Chamber has received the appellants' briefs on

25 the 3rd of July of this year, with the exception of the accused Vlatko

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1 Kupreskic's brief which was lodged on the 5th of September on the basis of

2 a decision dated 13th of September, 2000.

3 Then the Chamber decided on the 29th of August to request, on the

4 basis of a decision of the 29th of August, the appellants Zoran Kupreskic,

5 Mirjan Kupreskic, Vladimir Santic, and Drago Josipovic, to submit, to

6 file, all supplementary evidence which should be attached to the brief

7 pursuant to Rule 115. I should like to remind you that this additional

8 evidence, if there is any, should be addressed pursuant to this decision

9 of the 29th of August, should be addressed to the -- should be submitted

10 to the Appeals Chamber by the 4th of October. And it was only two weeks

11 later after this possible submission of additional evidence, that is, two

12 weeks after that, after this has been filed, if it is filed, that the

13 response needs to be -- is to be filed with the Chamber.

14 And in what is called the book of authorities, a decision of the

15 7th of September was taken which extended the time, and complete

16 reference, complete documents, should be submitted to the Chamber by the

17 14th of September, 2000.

18 Regarding the book of authorities, the documents which were

19 submitted on behalf of the accused Vladimir Santic, the Chamber noted that

20 they were incomplete, and I should therefore like to ask the counsel for

21 Vladimir Santic to communicate with the legal advisor, Mr. John Hocking,

22 so that the missing documents could be provided and the whole document

23 completed, the book of authorities completed.

24 So this is the procedure that we have gone through and that I wish

25 to remind you of briefly.

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1 Before we move on, I should like to ask the parties if they have

2 any points of procedure they wish to raise today at this Status

3 Conference, and if they do indeed wish to raise anything, will they please

4 do so now.

5 Yes, Mr. Ranko Radovic.

6 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In

7 keeping with the orders of the Tribunal, we shall by the 4th of October be

8 supplying and sending in the documents which we have come by. But the

9 Prosecution is very well aware of the fact that all the documents which

10 refer to Ahmici have still not been opened in the state archives of

11 Croatia, so that a review of all the documents and their utilisation will

12 have to be postponed.

13 In the state archives and the reports by the Secret Services of

14 Croatia, they are going through these documents and filing them, and as

15 they have completed a folder, they are handing them over for viewing to

16 the Prosecution and the Defence counsel. I think that so far we have been

17 given insight into only one-third of all the existing documents. So by

18 the 4th of October, we will be able to supply only those documents that we

19 have looked through and set aside, and we will have to look into the

20 additional documents later on because they have only been recently become

21 available and will become available in the near future.

22 That's what I wanted to tell you. That is not our fault because,

23 as you know, it is a state institution, and the state archives, and the

24 archives of the Secret Services, so we'll have to wait for that.

25 Thank you, Your Honour.

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1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Radovic. This is not a

2 new problem. This is not the first time you are raising this matter. It

3 was already raised when you requested an extension of time. Now this

4 deadline has been set, and this is a decision which should be complied

5 with by everybody.

6 Is there anything additional? If there is anything additional,

7 anything that will arrive, that will become accessible to you later on,

8 you can always inform the Chamber and request its authorisation to submit

9 this additional evidence which is of relevance for this case; that is, you

10 will always have the possibility, that is, the possibility which is

11 granted to you by the Statute and the Rules.

12 Yes. Could you please remind me of your name?

13 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am counsel Petar

14 Pavkovic, attorney for Vladimir Santic.

15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Pavkovic. And you are here

16 on behalf of Mr. Vladimir Santic.

17 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to inform Your Honour

18 and to provide Your Honour with an explanation actually. That is to say,

19 the Defence of Mr. Vladimir Santic has met, complied with the requests.

20 We have sent in an index on the 4th of September. On that same day, we

21 sent, via mail, the integral text of our authorities, and all the Defence

22 counsel dispose of those authorities today, and they in the Tribunal.

23 I think the material arrived on the 7th of September. It reached

24 the Tribunal on the 7th of September. So we have fully complied with the

25 Court's request and as the deadline has been pushed forward to the 14th.

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1 We sent it by post on the 4th, and the Registry already has

2 received the documents and the Defence counsel have them in their

3 pigeonholes as well. That's what I wanted to tell you will by way of

4 explanation. Thank you, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pavkovic. Yes,

6 Mr. Pavkovic. Very well. As I have just said, the mail has arrived, but

7 what I wanted to say at the opening -- will you please stand up,

8 Mr. Pavkovic. Mr. Pavkovic, I'm speaking to you. Will you please stand

9 up.

10 We received the book of authorities with the index, but the

11 document that you are referring to are not complete, and that is why I

12 have to ask you to talk to the legal advisor in the Appeals Chamber, to

13 the legal counsel of the -- legal advisor of the Appeals Chamber and

14 provide them with the documents that are still missing. You need to

15 complete the relevant book of authorities.

16 I should also like to remind you that what we call a book of

17 authorities is not just a list. It is the copies of documents

18 themselves. And the Chamber cannot make copies for you. You have to copy

19 all the documents that you wish to make reference.

20 So all the points on which you are addressing us on then, the

21 whole body of documents that you are referring to, is not in the mail that

22 has reached us. I believe that we have clarified the situation now.

23 Documents need to be supplied too.

24 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] I must be quite frank and say that

25 I did not understand that to be the case, but I will clear up the matter

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1 with the Registry, because my learned colleague sitting in front of me, I

2 haven't got all the -- but we'll clarify all that.

3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Pavkovic, it is not all that

4 difficult. You have a list of documents. The list is there but the

5 contents, that is, the documents listed, are not all there in your mail.

6 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I sent not only a list

7 but the sources as well. What you are saying yourself, a copy of the

8 documents. And my colleague, as a co-counsel, received those documents.

9 Perhaps they're not all there, but we'll clarify --

10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Very well. You will -- if you

11 look at it, you will see that some documents are missing. If they got

12 lost somewhere, then you will supply new copies, Mr. Pavkovic. Very

13 well. Good.

14 MR. PAVKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Pursuant to Article 65 bis, if

16 the accused wish to raise any matter concerning their physical or mental

17 condition, then they can do so. I am asking the accused.

18 Needless to say any problems that arise in the Detention Unit, of

19 course, have to go through the whole chain of command; that is, they have

20 to be raised first at the Detention Unit. But if you have any other

21 problems that concern your state of health, be it mental or physical, then

22 you're entitled to do so here.

23 MR. LIVINGSTON: If I might just interrupt for one moment. Just

24 before Your Honour moves on to the defendants, I'm instructed to raise

25 certain matters with you on behalf of Vlatko Kupreskic. I don't know

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1 whether this would be a convenient moment for me to do so.

2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes. Please do so. Yes, do so,

3 by all means, Mr. Livingston.

4 MR. LIVINGSTON: Your Honour, the first point is this: that as

5 Your Honour knows, both the appellant's brief and a Rule 115 motion have

6 been filed on behalf of Vlatko Kupreskic. I know the Prosecution have

7 it. I don't know whether my learned friends have it or not, or either of

8 those documents, but they have, as the Court knows, been filed and the

9 time limits have been complied with.

10 As far as this appellant is concerned, we are ready for this

11 appeal to take place. I appreciate, of course, that others have to reply

12 to the documents that we have filed, but Mr. Kupreskic is very anxious

13 indeed that this appeal be heard as speedily as possible, as, of course,

14 are his family who stand behind him.

15 And it is particularly important in his case that this case not be

16 allowed to drift, and one bears in mind that judgement was originally

17 given by the Trial Chamber in the middle of January.

18 Because his sentence is one of six years -- without wishing to

19 prejudge any of the issues on the appeal -- on the worst case scenario, if

20 he lost his appeal, if he lost his sentencing appeal, a two-thirds point

21 in his sentence would be reached at the end of next year. If the

22 sentencing appeal was to succeed to any degree, then the two-thirds point

23 in his sentence would be reached even earlier. If the sentence, for

24 example, were ever to be reduced to five years, if that ever arose, the

25 two-thirds point in his sentence would be April of next year. That is a

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1 matter of concern, because it might be that that would be considered his

2 earliest possible date of release.

3 We are, therefore, very anxious that this appeal be progressed and

4 that Mr. Kupreskic do not spend any more time in custody than he need do.

5 I make two constructive suggestions, I hope. The first suggestion

6 is this: that consideration be given today to setting a date, an expedited

7 date, for another Status Conference to thrash out any issues that arise

8 once everybody has reads all the appeal documents, so that a date can be

9 set for this appeal as speedily as possible. And I venture to suggest

10 that on the current timetable, some date in the second half of November

11 might be an appropriate time should the Tribunal be able to accommodate

12 that.

13 The second point is this: that even at this very early date and in

14 order to mitigate any problems there might be about professional -- other

15 professional obligations and in order not to lose any slot that may be

16 available for the Appeals Chamber to hear this case, I would ask Your

17 Honour to consider or to ask that consideration be given even now,

18 provisionally, to pencilling in dates when this appeal could be heard.

19 I appreciate there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before

20 it could be heard but, nonetheless, in the interests of getting the

21 earliest possible slot, which is of concern to the appellant Vlatko

22 Kupreskic, I ask Your Honour to consider that course rather than just let

23 the matter drift and it be fixed sometime next year when other slots that

24 might have been available have been taken up, understandably enough, by

25 other cases.

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1 So the main point is we are ready to go. We are not holding up

2 this appeal from being heard. My client is very anxious that it be heard

3 sooner rather than later, and I've indicated certainly one of the

4 principal reasons for that, and I would ask the Court to give real

5 consideration to fixing another Status Conference and to fixing a

6 provisional date, a pencilled-in date for the appeal itself. I think it

7 is possible, because as I know from other cases, time limits are set for

8 submissions on appeals, so it's not as though one is looking at an

9 indefinite period to be set aside to hear this case.

10 Your Honour, unless there are --

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. I do not

12 think there is any need to speak any further on that point. Of course,

13 the decision about the further timetable in the procedure will be taken by

14 the Appeals Chamber, and that is why I interrupted you. I apologise for

15 that. But what is the problem is the evidence itself.

16 The Chamber indeed does what it can to make these cases fair and

17 expedient as possible. So this is our duty, arising from the Statute and

18 from the Rules, to conclude any case as quickly as possible, but the

19 procedure and the schedule has already been set.

20 You will be informed about any further procedure, about any

21 further schedule, and whatever there is to be considered will be

22 considered with the least possible delay.

23 As regards possibly another Status Conference, as the Pre-Appeal

24 Judge and also as the Presiding Judge, we shall notify you with the least

25 possible delay as soon as all the evidence, which is still due, is in the

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1 possession, is filed with the Chamber. So as soon as this arrives, you

2 will be informed about that and about the next date with the least

3 possible delay.

4 Do you have anything else to add, Mr. Livingston? I've

5 understood, yes, the drift of your intervention, and there is no need to

6 develop it any further, but if you have any other questions to raise, I'm

7 quite ready to hear you.

8 MR. LIVINGSTON: I think I've made the points that I wish to

9 make, and I simply wanted the Appeals Chamber to be aware of my client's

10 wish for urgency in dealing with this appeal.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. And

12 please take care that the briefs are filed in time, Mr. Livingston, so

13 that we do not have to make any further decisions on the extensions.

14 Are there any other matters which the parties wish to raise at

15 this stage in the proceedings? I see no sign of this. Therefore, I shall

16 adjourn now. As I have already said, as soon as we receive the evidence

17 that we are expecting from you, that is, in the beginning of the next

18 month, you will be notified about the date of the next Status Conference.

19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

20 at 3.25 p.m.