Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 16

1 Wednesday, 21 March 2007

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The appellant Bala entered court]

5 [Mr. Powles participates via teleconference]

6 --- Upon commencing at 8.00 a.m.

7 JUDGE MERON: Please be seated.

8 Before we start with our proceedings this morning, I just wanted

9 to thank everybody for being here on time and for people on the technical

10 side for the preparing, making this, the arrangements possible for our

11 proceedings this morning.

12 Registrar, will you please call the case.

13 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is case number

14 IT-03-66-A, The Prosecutor versus Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala, and Isak

15 Musliu.

16 JUDGE MERON: Thank you.

17 I understand that both counsel for Mr. Limaj and counsel for

18 Mr. Musliu will be with us by teleconference. Because of technological

19 limitations, we can only have one of them with us at a time. Accordingly,

20 for the first few minutes, I wish us to deal exclusively with appeals

21 related to Mr. Bala and to Mr. Musliu.

22 Could I now please have the appearances of the parties in this

23 regard. First the Prosecution.

24 MS. McCALL: Good morning, Your Honour. I'm Shelagh McCall. My

25 co-counsel is Barbara Goy and our case manager is Sebastian Van Hooydonk.

Page 17

1 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Ms. McCall.

2 Counsel for Mr. Bala.

3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good morning, Your Honour. Gregor Guy-Smith

4 appearing on behalf of Mr. Bala with Richard Harvey, my co-counsel, and

5 Bart Willemsen, our case manager.

6 JUDGE MERON: Thank you very much, Mr. Guy-Smith.

7 Counsel for Mr. Musliu should also be with us by teleconference.

8 I understand that Mr. Musliu is not currently incarcerated, is not

9 attending the Status Conference.

10 Would his counsel, Mr. Steven Powles, confirm this for the record.

11 Mr. Powles -- thank you, Mr. Powles. Could you please confirm for

12 the record that Mr. Musliu is not attending the Status Conference.

13 MR. POWLES: Your Honour, yes, that's correct. He has given his

14 consent for the Status Conference to proceed in his absence.

15 JUDGE MERON: Yes, Mr. Powles, we did indeed receive your filing

16 of yesterday regarding your client's concern that you participate by

17 teleconference.

18 I deem the filing that you provided with the signature on the

19 e-mail to satisfy the requirements under Article 65 bis C for purposes of

20 this particular Status Conference.

21 Now Mr. Bala is present today. I want to make sure that he can

22 follow these proceedings.

23 Mr. Bala, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you

24 understand? Mr. Bala.

25 THE APPELLANT BALA: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]

Page 18

1 JUDGE MERON: I did not hear the interpretation.

2 JUDGE MERON: I still can't hear anything in English.

3 THE APPELLANT BALA: [Interpretation] [Albanian on English channel]

4 MS. McCALL: Your Honour, if I can interrupt, we're not hearing

5 either...

6 [Technical difficulty]

7 JUDGE MERON: What is the problem exactly?

8 Just a second, Mr. Bala.

9 What is happening?

10 [Trial Chamber confers with usher]

11 JUDGE MERON: Okay. We'll just wait a moment for the technical

12 problems which have arisen.

13 [Technical difficulty]

14 JUDGE MERON: Could you find out whether we have a good chance of

15 resolving that.

16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

17 JUDGE MERON: We are okay?

18 Well, we will resume or proceedings then and I will repeat my

19 question to Mr. Bala. I wanted to make sure that you can follow these

20 proceedings, Mr. Bala, and can you hear us and -- in a language that you

21 understand? Mr. Bala.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Can he repeat. I did not hear him. Can he come

23 closer to the microphone, please.

24 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Bala, closer to the microphone.

25 THE APPELLANT BALA: [Interpretation] Yes, I can follow. Yes.

Page 19

1 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Bala.

2 This is, as you know, is a Status Conference called in accordance

3 with 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

4 You may sit down, Mr. Bala. You may sit down.

5 This is a Status Conference called in accordance with Rule 65 bis

6 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Rule 65 bis B requires a Status

7 Conference to be convened within 120 days of the last Status Conference to

8 allow any person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to raise issues

9 in relation to and including the mental and physical conditions of that

10 person. The last Status Conference in this case was held on 5 December

11 2006.

12 As Mr. Bala is currently detained at the UN Detention Centre Unit,

13 Detention Unit, I want to start by asking him whether there are any issues

14 that he would like to raise at this time.

15 Mr. Bala, do you have anything that you wish to say about the

16 conditions of your detention?

17 You did not hear my question?

18 THE APPELLANT BALA: [Interpretation] I have nothing to raise, Your

19 Honour.

20 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Bala. So it is my understanding that

21 you understood my question and that you have no concerns that you would

22 like to raise regarding your mental or physical well-being. If that is

23 correct, you may sit down.

24 THE APPELLANT BALA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Bala.

Page 20

1 Now I would like to ask counsel for Mr. Musliu whether there are

2 any issues that Mr. Musliu would like to raise through counsel. So now we

3 are going back to Mr. Powles.

4 Mr. Powles.

5 MR. POWLES: No. Thank you very much, Your Honour. Nothing to

6 raise on behalf of Mr. Musliu.

7 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Powles. Are you -- also like to let

8 you know that the Appeals Chamber is looking for dates in late May or in

9 June for all our arguments in the appeals. Once we identify more precise

10 dates, we will let the parties know through a scheduling order.

11 Now I would like to check with counsel whether they have any other

12 issues they would like to raise at this time.

13 Counsel, any issues that you would like to raise? I will be to

14 you, Prosecution, in a moment; first the counsel.

15 MR. GUY-SMITH: Are you asking me, Your Honour, or are you asking

16 Mr. Powles? I just want to make sure.

17 JUDGE MERON: Well, let me start from you, Mr. Guy-Smith.

18 MR. GUY-SMITH: Surely. Since the Chamber is intending on issuing

19 a scheduling order, I'm wondering whether or not it would be appropriate

20 to request the Chamber, if it seems to be advisable, to issue any

21 questions that might direct the respective parties to focus on those

22 issues that the Chamber might be interested with regard to the appeal.

23 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith. This is a practice that

24 we increasingly resort to. And it is likely that we will follow it in

25 this case too.

Page 21

1 MR. GUY-SMITH: I should mention that I don't take total credit

2 for that. As a matter of fact, it is something that I discussed with the

3 Prosecution prior to today's proceedings beginning and I believe they are

4 of the same mind.

5 JUDGE MERON: Guy-Smith and Mr. Powles and then I will go back to

6 the Prosecution.

7 MR. POWLES: Your Honour, I'm grateful for the opportunity.

8 Again, nothing to raise on behalf of Mr. Musliu at this stage.

9 JUDGE MERON: So many thanks for your participation, especially at

10 this early hour London time. Before we say good-bye to you, I would ask

11 to you remain by your phone for a few more minutes, first, to hear what

12 the Prosecution would want to say and also, should Mr. Khan with whom we

13 will be speaking with in a moment, raise any issue that would require us

14 to talk to again. So, it's the Prosecution please.

15 MS. McCALL: Your Honour, it's been raised by Mr. Guy-Smith and

16 the Prosecution is of similar mind that it would be very helpful to have

17 questions from the Appeals Chamber. In terms of a time frame for that,

18 Your Honour, the Prosecution would request that, if possible, the Appeals

19 Chamber issue those questions around six weeks in advance of the scheduled

20 hearing date to allow the parties to properly consider the questions and

21 prepare their submissions.

22 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Ms. McCall. As regards the principle of

23 stating the questions in the scheduling order, I think that it is

24 certainly the practice now of the Appeals Chamber and I expect that we

25 will do so again. We will try to issue the scheduling order as early as

Page 22

1 we can. Whether we can do it a whole six weeks in advance, I cannot

2 promise you, but we will do our best to give you as much advance notice as

3 we can.

4 You have no other questions or points to raise, I would like

5 now -- I will need a short pause for the technical people to establish a

6 connection, a phone connection with Mr. Khan.

7 Mr. Khan, are you with us?

8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

9 JUDGE MERON: Just need ten seconds.

10 [Mr. Khan participates via teleconference]

11 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Khan.

12 MR. KHAN: Yes.

13 JUDGE MERON: Good morning, Mr. Khan. So you are with us and you

14 can hear me, I take it.

15 MR. KHAN: Yes, yes, I can. Thank you so much.

16 JUDGE MERON: Can you please state your appearance for the record.

17 MR. KHAN: Yes. Karim Khan for Fatmir Limaj.

18 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Khan. Before turning to -- I would

19 like simply to inform you, since you have not been listening to our

20 proceedings so far, that both the counsel and the Prosecution have

21 expressed their wish that the scheduling order which we will issue would

22 contain questions to the parties, and the Prosecution has asked for such

23 questions to be stated six weeks in advance. I did indicate to the

24 parties that it is now the practice of the Appeals Chamber to include in

25 scheduling orders questions to the parties, and that we will try to do it

Page 23

1 as early as possible, but that I cannot promise or commit myself and my

2 colleagues to six weeks' advance notice, but we will do our best to do it

3 early in the day.

4 Now, I note, Mr. Khan, that we have not received any filing from

5 you in relation to Mr. Limaj's written consent for you to participate via

6 teleconference. I understand that you have such a letter, but that it has

7 not yet been filed. I gather that you attempted to file it electronically

8 last night, but I hear that you might not have attached the actual

9 document. If you file the letter within the next two days, I will deem

10 that to be adequate for purposes of Rule 65 bis (C).

11 To recap to you briefly, Mr. Khan, so far in the Status Conference

12 we checked with Mr. Bala as to whether he has any concerns related to his

13 custody and we have asked the other parties to raise any issues in

14 relation to the appeals regarding Mr. Bala and Mr. Musliu. No party has

15 raised any concerns. I've also notified the parties that the Appeals

16 Chamber is looking for dates in late May or in June for the oral arguments

17 in this case and that the Appeals Chamber will issue a scheduling order --

18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

19 MR. KHAN: Hello? Yes, I think we got cut off. Hello?

20 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Khan, you're back with us.

21 MR. KHAN: Yes. Yes, sir, I am.

22 JUDGE MERON: I am -- can you tell us at what point we were

23 disconnected? What is the last thing you heard me say?

24 MR. KHAN: I think Your Honour was saying that you were proposing

25 to issue a scheduling order with a list of questions and then we got

Page 24

1 disconnected.

2 JUDGE MERON: You heard what I said about your filing attempts?

3 MR. KHAN: No. No, I didn't.

4 JUDGE MERON: Okay. So let me then repeat that for you.

5 MR. KHAN: I'm grateful.

6 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Khan, I note that we have not received any

7 filing from you in relation to Mr. Limaj's written consent for you to

8 participate via teleconference. I understand that you have such a letter,

9 but it has not --

10 MR. KHAN: I have indeed and it was -- in addition, it was

11 e-mailed electronically, a filing yesterday, to Jean Galbraith, Martin

12 Petrov, at Court Management Services, and the parties --

13 JUDGE MERON: Yes, but the problem is -- but you, perhaps

14 inadvertently, you have not attached the actual document because we have

15 not received with that electronic communication to which you have now

16 referred. So this is what I -- sorry? Here is what I would suggest --

17 MR. KHAN: I think if the staff at the Court check, they will have

18 it. There were some problems from Liberia. Also my legal assistant -- I

19 couldn't send any attachments because the signed consent was too large.

20 So my legal assistant here also e-mailed, forwarded my e-mail with the

21 attachment. So I did check yesterday - and I was copied in on it - it was

22 sent to Court Management and the parties as well. So it is -- would be

23 with the ICTY.

24 JUDGE MERON: Well, we will look --

25 MR. KHAN: Perhaps after the Status Conference, it will become

Page 25

1 clear.

2 JUDGE MERON: We will look into that. What I would suggest just

3 in case, you refile the letter within the next two days should we not find

4 it.

5 MR. KHAN: Of course.

6 JUDGE MERON: In which case we would deem that to be adequate

7 filing for the purposes of Rule 65 bis (C).

8 MR. KHAN: Okay.

9 JUDGE MERON: So if you could, just in case, do it within the next

10 two days, because I'm not sure that we will so far find it in the ICTY.

11 So far I have not been advised about the arrival of that document. So,

12 please, in conclusion --

13 MR. KHAN: I'm grateful, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE MERON: -- you will file the letter within the next two

15 days.

16 Now, Mr. Khan, to recap for you briefly, so far in the Status

17 Conference we checked with Mr. Bala as to whether he has any concerns

18 related to his custody and we have asked the other parties to raise any

19 issues in relation to the appeals regarding Mr. Bala and Mr. Musliu. No

20 party has raised any concerns. I have also notified that the parties that

21 the Appeals Chamber is looking for dates in late May or in June for the

22 oral argument in this case, and that the Appeals Chamber will issue a

23 scheduling order for oral arguments in due course, once we have identified

24 the precise dates, and you did hear the gist of our discussion on

25 questions to the parties.

Page 26

1 MR. KHAN: I'm grateful.

2 As for Mr. Limaj, there are no questions and no issues, obviously,

3 arising from Mr. Limaj. The only remark I will have about the date for

4 the oral argument in Limaj, of course, is a matter entirely for the Court,

5 is that there is a trial due to start in -- on the 4th of June, the Taylor

6 case I'm involved in, and I don't know if -- how flexible either Court

7 will be to accommodating the court schedule of the other. And perhaps we

8 can wait until there's an order of the Court. But the Taylor case is due

9 to start on the 4th of June, so I hope there won't be a clash.

10 JUDGE MERON: Well, I cannot now, as I indicated, give you a

11 precise date and I trust that this matter of coordination, you will be

12 able to resolve it to our mutual satisfaction when the day comes and you

13 know the dates. And maybe the date we will fix will be such as to avoid

14 any conflict, but we will -- we will all try to resolve this matter. But

15 in the event, we except you to find an appropriate solution.

16 MR. KHAN: I'm most grateful.

17 JUDGE MERON: I gather, Mr. Khan, therefore, that you have already

18 told us that there are no issues that Mr. Limaj would like to raise from

19 you apart, of course, from the --

20 MR. KHAN: Indeed, Your Honour, there are no issues.

21 JUDGE MERON: -- scheduling. Thank you, Mr. Khan.

22 MR. KHAN: I'm most grateful. Thank you so much.

23 JUDGE MERON: Now, with regard to Mr. Khan, does the Prosecution

24 wish to add anything? No, the Prosecution does not have any additional

25 issues.

Page 27

1 Any other issues that the Prosecution would like to raise

2 regarding the appeal of Mr. Limaj, related to Limaj?

3 MS. McCALL: No, thank you, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Khan, are there any other issues? I take it

5 no?

6 MR. KHAN: No, Your Honour, there's not. I'm grateful.

7 JUDGE MERON: Thank you so very much.

8 I thank the parties for their attendance, especially at this early

9 hour, and I thank the Registry for its work in coordinating this

10 teleconferencing, and I thank the technical people and the interpreters.

11 With that, I call the proceedings to a close. Thank you.

12 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

13 8.29 a.m.