Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 8840

1 Monday, 3rd May, 1999

2 (Open session)

3 (Accused not present)

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.22 a.m.

5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.

6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran

7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago

8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning. We

10 were wondering whether we could start, with the consent

11 of Defence counsel, only to deal briefly with a few

12 housekeeping matters. I understand there are problems

13 with the transport of the accused. If, however, you

14 have any objection, we will not start. If you don't

15 object, we could go through these housekeeping matters

16 quickly and then wait for the accused, and only then

17 shall we start the trial proceedings proper with the

18 evidence given by testimony.

19 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour. My

20 colleagues think that we could discuss the housekeeping

21 matters now, and as regards the examination of the

22 witnesses, we should wait for the arrival of the

23 accused.

24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any objection

25 from the Prosecution?

Page 8841

1 MR. TERRIER: No, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good. First of

3 all, I see that the appearances are the same, so we

4 will do without the appearances.

5 Let me take this opportunity to welcome here

6 our new legal officer, Dr. Michael Bohlander, who is a

7 former judge from Germany, and I'm sure that from now

8 onwards, we will benefit. By "we," I mean both parties

9 and the registry and the Court will benefit from the

10 competence and judicial experience of Dr. Bohlander.

11 Second minor problem: Sitting hours. Except

12 for today, we will have to sit from Tuesday to Friday

13 from 9.00 to 1.00 because one of us is also --

14 actually, Judge May will be presiding over the Kordic

15 case in the afternoon and he, of course, needs some

16 rest and respite between the two trials. So we will,

17 as I say, as from tomorrow, sit from 9.00 to 1.00 with

18 one break from 10.45 to 11.15.

19 Because we are talking of sitting, I should

20 also tell you that Judge Mumba and I will be sitting in

21 another case in two days which had been scheduled for

22 Kupreskic, namely, the 28th and the 29th of June.

23 After those two days, we have a Plenary Session of all

24 Judges. That means that in June, we will be sitting

25 from the 31st of May to the 4th of June and from the

Page 8842

1 21st to the 25th, but you don't need to stay on over

2 the weekend because, as I say, we have to cancel the

3 two hearings scheduled previously for the 28th and the

4 29th of June. Of course, we regret again having to

5 shorten the number of hearings but, as I say, each of

6 us is busy in other proceedings, trial proceedings, or

7 appeal proceedings.

8 Let me go on, unless there is any query.

9 Otherwise, I will go on.

10 Motions. Now, in accordance with a decision

11 by the Bureau consisting, as you know, of the

12 President, the Vice-President, and the Presiding

13 Judges, so the three Trial Chambers, and in accordance

14 also with a proposal by the Registrar, we have decided

15 that from now onwards, we should all endeavour to have

16 motions made orally and ruled upon orally. Why? This

17 is mainly to save money, time, because it has appeared

18 that the translation of so many motions in all the

19 various trials is time-consuming and is also terribly

20 expensive. So as long as we can therefore stick to the

21 oral modality, this would be most welcome by the

22 President and the Registrar.

23 I wonder whether I could, therefore, make an

24 appeal to both parties not to file motions in writing

25 but only to make them orally. We could think of a sort

Page 8843

1 of practice whereby we have oral motions on particular

2 days except for urgent motions; then the other party

3 could be invited to respond right away, or if the other

4 party needs some time, we can give some time, one or

5 two days, to the other party, then we hear the other

6 party, and then we decide from the bench. This, as I

7 say, will be translated in the various languages and

8 will appear on the transcript, but this would be a

9 wonderful way of saving time and money.

10 Moving on to a particular motion filed by

11 Counsel Pavkovic for defendant Santic, namely, the

12 motion whereby the Court should call [redacted] as

13 a Court witness. We have decided to refuse this

14 motion. Of course, it is open to Counsel Pavkovic to

15 call [redacted] as a Defence witness.

16 Let me also tell you that I was told by the

17 relevant officers of the registry that one of the three

18 Court witnesses, the lady living in Amsterdam, the

19 non-Dutch lady living in Amsterdam -- I don't know

20 whether I can say in court her name because I don't

21 know whether she is a protected witness -- cannot be

22 found because, actually, she left Amsterdam three years

23 ago, but the unit for the protection of victims and

24 witnesses is looking for her, it is trying to trace

25 her, and we have some hope that she can be found. As a

Page 8844

1 consequence, she will not be heard today, possibly not

2 even tomorrow. So today we can start with the other

3 two Court witnesses.

4 Now, the one lady to whom we have decided to

5 assign a pseudonym, we will call her Witness CB, CB,

6 and the other one, the judge, probably doesn't need any

7 pseudonym. Yes. Good.

8 I shall stop now. I wonder whether there are

9 any queries or any suggestions on procedural matters to

10 be discussed before the -- yes? Yes, Counsel Krajina?

11 Thank you.

12 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, the Defence

13 counsel of Vlatko Kupreskic, in its motion of the 19th

14 of April this year, submitted a list of witnesses which

15 we intend to call.

16 I have to advise the Court that yesterday, on

17 Sunday, we learned that Witness number 4 on our list,

18 Radoslav Simovic, suddenly fell ill yesterday and was

19 taken to hospital. We were told of this late last

20 night by the clinic in Split, by the hospital in Split,

21 and we informed the witness office that we have to

22 cancel his appearance today. We would like to ask Your

23 Honours to allow us to call this witness between the

24 25th of May and the 4th of June if this witness comes

25 out of hospital by then. If he should stay in

Page 8845

1 hospital, we would like the Court to allow us to call

2 this witness's wife instead of the witness, and she

3 would testify regarding the same circumstances, as to

4 whether the 14th or 15th of April, 1993, the accused

5 Vlatko Kupreskic was at their home in Baska Voda, and

6 we would submit a summary of this witness statement on

7 time.

8 It was only late last night that we received

9 the hospital report by fax, we have not had a chance to

10 translate it, but it shows that Radoslav Simovic fell

11 ill yesterday, on the 2nd of May, 1999, and that he was

12 received in the ward of the Split hospital. He has

13 acute bleeding in his stomach and he is receiving blood

14 transfusions.

15 If it is necessary, I would like to submit

16 this. We regret this, but that's what happened. It

17 has not been translated, but I have told you what it

18 says. Thank you, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any comments from

20 the Prosecution?

21 MR. TERRIER: No comments.

22 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection?

23 MR. TERRIER: No objection.

24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes. Your motion

25 is granted according to what you suggested. So he will

Page 8846

1 not be coming this week; he will be called on the week

2 starting on the 25th of May. If he has not recovered,

3 his wife will be called at your request. However,

4 before his wife comes, you should provide us and

5 provide the Prosecutor with a written statement.

6 Good. It is agreed. Thank you.

7 Counsel Pavkovic?

8 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Your Honour.

9 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, I don't know if

10 now is the right moment to discuss this topic, but as

11 regards the decision not to hear [redacted] as a

12 Court witness, who can, however, be called as a Defence

13 witness, it is due to the fact that he cannot be

14 reached by the Defence counsel, and witnesses belonging

15 to other ethnic communities who cannot be reached by

16 the counsel have so far been called as Court witnesses,

17 and this led Vladimir Santic's Defence counsel to

18 suggest [redacted] as a witness bearing in mind

19 your decision of the 24th of March this year that there

20 can be no transfer of transcripts from one case to

21 another. Because the witness [redacted] was heard in

22 the Blaskic case, we hoped to be able to use this

23 transcript for various reasons, but bearing in mind

24 that he cannot be reached by the Defence counsel, this

25 is what motivated us to propose that this witness be

Page 8847

1 called because we consider him to be an important

2 witness.

3 As regards the other witness, I do not know

4 whether he will be protected, so I will not mention the

5 name, but I have to tell the Court that the Defence

6 counsel contacted this witness in Amsterdam a month

7 ago, and we have information about her address and we

8 will advise the Court so that they can contact her.

9 Thank you.

10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any comments from

11 the Prosecution on [redacted]?

12 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, Counsel Pavkovic

13 is making a comment on this particular point, but I

14 will abstain from making a comment myself at the time

15 being. Thank you.

16 (Trial Chamber deliberates)

17 JUDGE CASSESE: The Court is grateful to

18 Counsel Pavkovic for explaining now the precise reasons

19 why, first of all, [redacted] is important and the

20 precise reasons why it is impossible for the Defence to

21 call him as a Defence witness. In light of that, we

22 now revise our previous ruling and grant your motion.

23 So we will call him as a court witness.

24 (Trial Chamber confers)

25 (The accused entered court)

Page 8848

1 JUDGE CASSESE: We can simply tell the

2 accused that, of course, we have not dealt with any

3 substantive matter in their absence. We asked Defence

4 counsel whether they would allow us to start

5 proceedings consisting of dealing only with procedural

6 and technical matters, but we have been waiting for

7 your arrival before we call any witness.

8 We will now start with our first witness,

9 Witness CB, in a closed session. To the best of my

10 recollection, this particular witness will be examined

11 in chief by more than one Defence counsel. I believe

12 that Counsel Susak will start and then counsel -- yes,

13 I see.

14 (Closed session)




18 redacted pages 8848 8928 (closed session)


20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at


22 1.34 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

23 the 4th day of May, 1999, at 9.00 a.m.