Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Wednesday, 15 February 2006

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [Accused not present]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 8.02 a.m.

 6            JUDGE THELIN:  Good morning, it seems that we have some technical

 7    difficulties and we need to sort that out before we start.  It seems that

 8    the technicians are [Microphone not activated].

 9                          --- Break taken at 8.04 a.m.

10                          --- On resuming at 8.06 a.m.

11            JUDGE THELIN:  Well, now we will try again.  Good morning to all

12    and could we have the case called, please.

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

14    IT-04-79-PT, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic.

15            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.  And representation for the parties.

16    The Prosecution, please.

17            MS. RICHTEROVA:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Anna Richterova,

18    assisted by Andres Vatter, case manager.

19            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much, and we recognise --

20            MR. LUKIC:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Branko Lukic for the

21    Defence.

22            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  And I take it, Mr. Lukic --

23    it could be my earphones.  I'll put them aside for a while.

24            I take it, Mr. Lukic, that your client is enjoying his provisional

25    release and is aware of the Status Conference that we are at today.

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 1            MR. LUKIC:  Yes, Your Honour, of course, he's aware and he's

 2    waiting for me today to report to him back.

 3            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

 4            As the parties are well aware this is the third [French coming

 5    through on the translation] The focus of this and -- it seems we are

 6    getting French on the English channel.  Would someone please attend to

 7    that?  English should be on channel four.  I see nodding assent.  Are we

 8    on right track now?  All right.

 9            Now, as said, and I repeat it for the benefit of interpretation,

10    the purpose of this Status Conference, like the two previous ones, is to

11    facilitate the expeditious preparation to bring this case to trial.  The

12    focus now, and this is also following the briefing I had from the 65 ter

13    Conference held yesterday, is that we are well underway when it comes to

14    the disclosure on the part of the Prosecution following Rule 66(A)(ii),

15    and I will remind the parties that the work plan which was established on

16    the first Status Conference, the 6th of July last year, calls for the

17    disclosure under this rule to be fully completed by April of this year.

18    And I understand that matters are satisfactory from that point of view.

19    Would you agree, Mr. Lukic?

20            MR. LUKIC:  As you know, Your Honour, a lot of stuff has been

21    disclosed but we don't know whether everything is disclosed or not.  The

22    stuff is coming but Ms. Richterova mentioned yesterday that it might be

23    that some witnesses would be added and that some documents might be

24    disclosed in the future as well.  So we are waiting for that.

25            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.  Could you guide us on this

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 1    Ms. Richterova?

 2            MS. RICHTEROVA:  Yes, Your Honour, we are doing our best.  We have

 3    disclosed material on 74 crime-base witnesses.  This is almost completed.

 4    These witnesses testified in more than one previous case so it's a little

 5    bit time consuming because we have to identify all previous transcripts,

 6    audiotapes, but this goes very well and we have -- we will be able to

 7    disclose all the material as soon as possible.  We also identified six

 8    expert witnesses.  These witnesses also testified in some previous cases

 9    so it is the same for these witnesses.

10            We have identified or better say we are planning to disclose some

11    more witnesses which wouldn't belong to the category of crime-base

12    witnesses.  This is something which we have to be very careful, mainly due

13    to the fact that there can be some security issues, but, of course, we are

14    fully aware of our deadline end of April, and so Mr. Lukic will have by

15    that time everything what is in our possession at this time.

16            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Ms. Richterova.  Well, I think I should

17    commend the Prosecution for disclosing in a timely manner and not flooding

18    the Defence with material close to the deadline.  I think that is

19    appreciated by Mr. Lukic as well.  And I think, Mr. Lukic, from what we

20    heard from the Prosecution that you could rest assured that you will get

21    everything in due course.

22            MR. LUKIC:  Yes, Your Honour, thank you.

23            JUDGE THELIN:  It goes without saying you haven't countered, and I

24    take it you get the material in B/C/S you don't have to bother with a

25    foreign language.

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 1            MR. LUKIC:  I think I haven't checked the last pile of documents

 2    but by now we received everything bilingual, both in the B/C/S and in

 3    English, yes.

 4            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

 5            Now the other matter which is obviously linked to this is the

 6    question of agreed facts and I say linked because obviously the more the

 7    parties could agree upon the less there would be a necessity for the

 8    Prosecution to lead witnesses and other evidence in the case and I could

 9    only encourage obviously the parties to come to an understanding on as

10    many issues as possible when it comes to facts.  Reminding us that

11    according to the work plan also April is the deadline for the Prosecution

12    to propose the -- its understanding of the facts to be agreed so where are

13    we on this, Ms. Richterova?

14            MS. RICHTEROVA:  Yesterday I handed over our proposals of agreed

15    facts and now it is in Mr. Lukic's hands whether he would agree any of

16    them.  And, of course, we are both fully aware of our deadline so let's

17    hope that we will have something by the end of March so we can then

18    officially submit our submission on agreed facts.

19            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.  Mr. Lukic, comments?

20            MR. LUKIC:  Yes, Your Honour.  Ms. Richterova and I spoke

21    yesterday, and we agreed that I have to speak with my client before having

22    anything accepted.  So I think that before the end of March, we'll have

23    much more clearer picture.

24            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.  Since that also in this

25    respect we are well within the time limit established in the work plan, I

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 1    would like to look a bit ahead and remind us that according to the work

 2    plan, we should have by July an understanding, a full understanding, on

 3    the matter of agreed facts and I can assure you that whatever assistance I

 4    and/or my associates could give to both of the parties in order to hammer

 5    out as broad a possible understanding on this, do not hesitate to call on

 6    me and I will follow this very closely because I think a case of this

 7    nature, while obviously of importance and we have dealt with the

 8    indictment in various decisions before, I think given the fact which you

 9    now indicated as well, Ms. Richterova, that the witnesses are coming from

10    cases already dealt with by this Tribunal, it seems to me, Mr. Lukic that

11    there would be a possibility to concentrate on the core issues of this

12    case which are really important for your client and make sure that

13    everything else is covered by an agreement by the parties as to facts so

14    we don't have to contest more than is necessary.  So let me underscore

15    that I think after this Status Conference, when we -- before we meet

16    again, I think real effort should be made on both sides in order to reach

17    an understanding to the maximum degree, if I can put it like that.

18            Now, that was -- would leave us with the ongoing efforts on the

19    Prosecution side to abide by Rule 68 when it comes to exculpatory and

20    other relevant materials, and that is done within the electronic

21    disclosure system.  Any comments on that, Ms. Richterova?

22            MS. RICHTEROVA:  I agree, Your Honour, it is done through EDS but

23    whenever we identify something directly relevant, and we are aware of

24    that, we disclose it to Mr. Lukic.

25            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

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 1            And Mr. Lukic, you are happy to receive it and you're comfortable

 2    with the EDS system?

 3            MR. LUKIC:  I'm comfortable with the EDS system but sometimes it's

 4    very slow and almost -- it's almost impossible sometimes to download.

 5    Still we are facing a lot of problems, I think, when the -- we always

 6    appreciate if we can get from the Prosecution materials, although they can

 7    fulfil their obligation even through the EDS.  But for the Defence, as I

 8    said, sometimes it's so time consuming that it's sometimes useless.  For

 9    example, if you want to download 15 documents, not more than 50 pages,

10    sometimes takes more than four or five hours.

11            JUDGE THELIN:  Well, I can see the technical problems.  They don't

12    only relate obviously to the sender side but also the recipient side

13    because it depends on the kind of technique you're using but I'm aware

14    that there may be malfunctioning and no system is perfect and we

15    experienced that this morning.  We couldn't get started due to a

16    malfunctioning of the technique.  But it seems to me the Prosecution is

17    doing whatever is required of it in order to satisfy the requirements of

18    disclosure of this material and you'll have to struggle with it at your

19    end, Mr. Lukic but should there be any serious matters I'm sure you'll

20    raise that, if not before then at the next status conference.

21            Well, as far as I go could see that would cover the matters that

22    we have under the work plan to deal with.  Since we do not have any

23    pending or outstanding motions or any other material, I would just then

24    finish by asking the parties if you wish to raise or add anything to what

25    has now been dealt with.  Ms. Richterova?

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 1            MS. RICHTEROVA:  No, thank you, there is nothing.

 2            JUDGE THELIN:  Mr. Lukic?

 3            MR. LUKIC:  There is nothing on the Defence side, thank you,

 4    Your Honour.

 5            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  We will then be looking at

 6    the next Status Conference which will take place in the former part of

 7    June this year.  And as I indicated we will follow developments in the

 8    meantime especially with an emphasis on the parties' efforts to come to an

 9    agreement on facts.

10            And with this, we stand adjourned.

11                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 8.20 a.m.