Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 395

1 Thursday, 12 May 2005

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.

5 [The accused entered court]

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You may sit down.

7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please?

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number

9 IT-95-13/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic and

10 Veselin Sljivancanin.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.

12 Mr. Mrksic, could you follow the proceedings in your own

13 language?

14 THE ACCUSED MRKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: If at any time until we finish this status

16 conference you have problems with interpretation, please draw my

17 attention to that immediately. And I am telling you this at the same

18 time I am passing on the same message to the other two accused. Okay.

19 You may sit down. Thank you.

20 Mr. Radic, the same question to you. Can you follow the

21 proceedings in your own language?

22 THE ACCUSED RADIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Everything

23 is all right.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Sljivancanin, can you follow the

25 proceedings in your own language?

Page 396

1 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your

2 Honour. Good afternoon to everyone. I can follow the proceedings.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I welcome you all to this status

4 conference, which is convened while proceedings under Rule 11 bis are

5 ongoing, pending. So it will be more or less a shortened status

6 conference, for all intents and purposes.

7 May I ask for presentations. Prosecution.

8 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning -- good afternoon, Your Honour. My

9 name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also good

10 afternoon to the Defence. I'm here together with co-counsel Ms. Marie

11 Tuma and our case manager, Lise-Lotte Karlsson.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to your team.

13 Appearances for Mile Mrksic.

14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good

15 afternoon to my colleagues. Appearing for Mr. Mile Mrksic, Miroslav

16 Vasic, attorney at law.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.

18 Appearances for Miroslav Radic.

19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Attorney Borivoje Borovic will be

20 appearing today for Mr. Miroslav Radic.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Borovic. And

22 appearances for Veselin Sljivancanin.

23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good

24 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. My name is Novak Lukic, Defence

25 counsel for Mr. Veselin Sljivancanin, accompanied today by Mr. Momcilo

Page 397

1 Bulatovic.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lukic and good morning to you both.

3 I apologise to all of you if we are meeting in this small courtroom,

4 which is usually avoided when you have more than one accused, but we had

5 no alternatives. As you know, the -- at the present, the Tribunal is

6 operating at full steam and sometimes it's difficult to find courtrooms

7 available. So I also accepted to do this in this courtroom precisely

8 because I know that this is going to be a fairly short status conference.

9 However, I hope you will not feel inconvenienced because of this.

10 You will recall that the last status conference in this case was

11 convened on the 4th of February 2005, and a lot of water has passed under

12 the bridges since then and 11 bis proceedings have been commenced, as you

13 are aware. Still, the existence of 11 bis proceedings do not lift the

14 obligation that the Trial Chamber has of -- and the Pre-Trial Judge has

15 of convening Pre-Trial status conference on a regular basis as required

16 by the Rules. And that means within 120 days from the previous status

17 conference, which is the case today. This is being convened within that

18 time limit.

19 For the benefit of the public in particular, I will just point

20 out that the purpose of these periodical status conferences is first, to

21 organise exchanges between the parties with a view to ensuring an

22 expeditious preparation for the trial; secondly, to review the status of

23 the accused's case and to allow the accused -- give each of the accused

24 an opportunity to raise issues related thereto; and last but certainly

25 not least, to give an opportunity to each of the accused to raise issues

Page 398

1 related to their mental and physical conditions as well as matters

2 related to detention.

3 As I said, that given that there are Rule 11 bis proceedings

4 pending, the consequence is that some of the issues that are normally

5 dealt with at length during status conferences will not be -- will not

6 need to be dealt with at such length today.

7 Let me just say for the time being that there are no outstanding

8 motions in this case to my knowledge, and that since the last status

9 conference, the Trial Chamber has handed down several decisions. Usually

10 I adopt the approach of mentioning these decisions because I think it's

11 the best opportunity that there is for the public to know what the Trial

12 Chamber has been doing during these 120 days.

13 There was a motion by accused Sljivancanin which was filed way

14 back in December of last year, and this motion related to a challenge

15 that he was making to the form of the indictment. On the 9th of March,

16 we granted the Prosecution's submission and ordered that the third

17 modified consolidated amended indictment filed by the Prosecution on the

18 16th of November 2004 would be and was going to be the operative

19 indictment in this case.

20 On the same day, on the 9th of March 2005, we also handed down a

21 decision related to two Prosecution motions on protective measures that

22 had been filed earlier on, particularly on the 17th of December of 2004

23 and 31st of January of 2005 respectively. As I said on the 9th of March

24 of this year, in our decision, we ordered that the Pre-Trial protective

25 measures of a pseudonym and non-disclosure of identity until 30 days

Page 399

1 prior to the start of trial be granted and maintained for five sensitive

2 witnesses. We also granted protective measures during trial proceedings

3 for 15 witnesses, while we denied the Prosecution request in regard to

4 two witnesses, with the caveat, with the understanding, the proviso, that

5 the Prosecution was being given the possibility to provide additional

6 information concerning real risks to the security of these two witnesses

7 and/or of their families, their respective families. And of course,

8 therefore, in regard to these two persons, the position of the Trial

9 Chamber is reserved. In the meantime, there are no protective measures

10 granted.

11 Then, earlier on, precisely on the 10th of February of this year,

12 we dealt with confidential and ex parte request by accused Radic for

13 review of the decision by Registrar on the remuneration of counsel. This

14 had been filed on the 31st of December of 2004. On the 10th of February

15 2005, we denied the request, and held that the Registry had not impeded

16 in any way or interfered with the fairness of the trial in reaching its

17 decision on remuneration of counsel, to which counsel had found

18 objection.

19 On the 3rd of March 2005, we dealt with a related sort of request

20 from the Defence, which had been filed on the 27th of January 2005. This

21 request was for review of the Registrar's decision on the level of the

22 case. On the 3rd of March 2005, as I said, we denied this request and

23 held that the Registry had not in any way impeded the fairness of the

24 trial in deciding that the case was of level 1 complexity.

25 There was then a request by accused Mrksic relating to

Page 400

1 provisional release. This was filed on the 23rd of February 2005.

2 Basically on the 9th of March 2005, we denied the accused's motion for

3 provisional release on the basis that we were not satisfied that if

4 provisionally released accused Mrksic would appear for trial and that he

5 will not pose a danger to any victim-witness or any other person. In

6 addition, we also held that the length of his pre-trial detention, in the

7 present case, was proportional to the circumstances and complexity of the

8 case, as brought against him in the indictment.

9 I also need to mention that on the 19th of April of this year,

10 the Appeals Chamber denied accused Mrksic leave to appeal on the basis --

11 to appeal this Trial Chamber's decision, on the basis that he had failed

12 to demonstrate how the Trial Chamber - that's us, me and my two

13 colleagues, Judge Antonetti and Judge Parker - had erred in taking or

14 reaching that decision that I mentioned earlier and which goes back to

15 the 9th of March.

16 So more or less, this is a report on the activities of the Trial

17 Chamber in response to motions that have been forthcoming. And as I

18 said, to my knowledge, there are no outstanding motions, at least before

19 the Pre-Trial Chamber.

20 Which leads me on to the next part of the agenda, that is matters

21 related to disclosure. And I would first refer to disclosure required

22 under our rules and under -- pursuant to Rule 66(A)(ii). I refer you

23 back to what was stated on the 20th of January of this year by the

24 Prosecution. I can't confirm necessarily that it was Mr. Wubben but I

25 think it was Mr. Wubben. We were told on the 20th of January that the

Page 401

1 Prosecution had submitted an updated witness list pursuant to Rule

2 66(A)(ii). What I'm interested in knowing is whether this witness list

3 stands or whether it has been altered or whether we are to expect any

4 amendments to it.

5 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, it stands.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Are there any comments from

7 anyone of the Defence counsel on this? I see none. I see none. So we

8 proceed to disclosure of oral statements to the Defence.

9 Again, during the previous status conference, the February one, I

10 pointed out that it was apparent that out of the 48 witness statements

11 disclosed by the Prosecution, that is practically all the witnesses with

12 the exception of those five witnesses for which delayed disclosure of

13 identity pursuant to Rule 69 had been requested and was actually granted

14 later on, the B/C/S version of 11 statements had not yet been provided.

15 In addition, also, during the last status conference, the Defence

16 submitted that as regards two statements, neither the B/C/S nor the

17 English version had been provided.

18 You will recall that I was not happy with that situation, and

19 that as a result I had imposed the 15th of March of 2005 as a clear

20 deadline for the Prosecution to make these translations available to the

21 Defence, to the accused and to the Defence.

22 So I look to my right and I would like to have a confirmation if

23 at all from the three Defence representatives as to whether you are happy

24 now that all due translations have been handed or delivered to you. Yes,

25 Mr. Vasic?

Page 402

1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. As regards

2 these statements, on the 11th of March 2005, our Defence team received

3 nine out of 11 such statements in B/C/S and with regard to two witnesses,

4 we received confirmation from the Prosecution that they do not have their

5 statements either in English or in B/C/S. With that confirmation, the

6 Defence believes that the obligations of the Prosecution have been

7 honoured.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Mr. Borovic, do you agree

9 with Mr. Vasic or do you want to make a different submission?

10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we agree on all

11 counts. I would only add that the issue of transcripts and statements of

12 these two witnesses are statements of witnesses who would be under 92

13 bis. These transcripts do not indicate that since we did not have a 65

14 ter conference we have not discussed this issue with regard to witnesses,

15 and the Prosecution owes us a response, I believe.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. As soon as I finish with Mr. Lukic, I

17 will of course address this matter to Mr. Wubben and if we need to

18 discuss it we will discuss it here. Yes, Mr. Lukic?

19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing to add to what my

20 colleagues have already said. I subscribe to their statements.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Wubben, do you wish to add anything to what

22 has been stated on this matter, in particular to what was raised by Mr.

23 Borovic?

24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, with a view to 92 bis, that's something

25 for the future to decide within the strategy of the Prosecution, but my

Page 403

1 learned friend is right, we didn't had a 65 ter meeting, nor the

2 opportunity to meet in advance to the status conference. So the

3 Prosecution prefer to meet with counsel in that respect and exchange the

4 relevant information. And so far, we believe we met the disclosure.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Mr. Wubben. And what's

6 the situation as regards disclosure obligations under Rule 68?

7 On my part, I would just like to remind everyone that according

8 to my records, the Prosecution filed their latest partially confidential

9 Prosecution fourth report concerning disclosure way back on the 9th of

10 August 2004. Quite a long time ago, I would say. Detailing the material

11 disclosed pursuant to Rule 68 to the three accused. Over time, the

12 parties have been encouraged to cooperate as much as possible with each

13 other on this issue, without, however, losing sight of the fact that the

14 obligation under Rule 68, and for that matter also under Rule 66(A)(ii)

15 as the case may be, lies on the Prosecution.

16 Are there any developments in this area?

17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you for triggering the

18 disclosure-report issue because a good practice should be that from time

19 to time we confirm to parties to agree upon a past disclosure. We did

20 new ISU search in this case, meaning that we have lots of documents to

21 disclose. We already reviewed it and there will be disclosure. We

22 planned it this week so the first part of it will be disclosed under Rule

23 68 tomorrow in I guess three parts.

24 That's one issue I would like to inform you about. We already

25 disclosed prior, lots of documents concerning the trial in Belgrade, and

Page 404

1 my learned friends are updated of the fact that we did so in two batches

2 also, including those Rule 68, meaning that we first want to finalise

3 these three batches in total and then we can confirm by our disclosure

4 report and continue.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you.

6 Are there any comments? Yes, Mr. Borovic?

7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are extremely

8 happen which why the cooperation we have with the Office of the

9 Prosecutor, the cooperation that we've had since the last status

10 conference in particular. I would only add that the material disclosed

11 after the last status conference is a great amount of material, namely

12 statements delivered by the district court in Belgrade. They are in

13 B/C/S. It is not indicated, however, under what rule these statements

14 fall. I would appreciate an answer from the Prosecution.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Wubben, do I take it that all the

16 Belgrade trial material is going to be disclosed under Rule 68 or only

17 part of it?

18 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, we are nearly disclosing

19 everything. Well, when it comes to an arrest warrant or an

20 administrative notification, as it turned out to be, then no disclosure

21 is needed. But as long as it is relevant, any lawyer might say as a

22 whole it includes a Rule 68. But it's better to have an arrangement by

23 parties and we did so last year. The request towards the Office of the

24 Prosecutor is if possible, if you are in a position to disclose it,

25 please disclose to us as soon as possible and don't mind about Rule 68 or

Page 405

1 whatever it is for us relevant to know as soon as possible and that we

2 can work out also with a view to our witnesses.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any further comments, Mr. Lukic?

4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Firstly on this issue, I was one of

5 those who were pushing for more disclosure, and as we get material from

6 the Prosecution we will be able to ask for clarification later. And I

7 have to compliment the Prosecution with regard to material delivered from

8 Belgrade. It seems there are something like 3.000 pages of transcript,

9 which is in many ways crucial for our case, but what is reason for

10 particular satisfaction in our eyes is that we were immediately given

11 B/C/S materials, and I would appreciate very much if we could get English

12 versions as soon as possible so that the Prosecution can familiarise

13 themselves with this material.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.

15 So I had in mind or planned to raise the matter of the Belgrade

16 trial, the Ovcara farm proceedings, myself. But I don't think there is

17 anything else that I need to add on this matter. I think we have been

18 provided with all the information.

19 Which brings me to the next part of the agenda, namely agreed

20 facts. Usually we go into detail as may be required but in the

21 circumstances of the current 11 bis proceedings, I don't think we need to

22 waste time on this. If there is an interest between the parties of

23 proceeding along the path of agreed facts, please do so by all means, and

24 we will deal with those later on. I mean the 11 bis proceedings are

25 pending but it doesn't mean to say that they will definitely be decided

Page 406

1 granting a referral.

2 Are there any other matters you would like to raise? Let's start

3 with you, Mr. Wubben.

4 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vasic?

6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will

7 address you on behalf of all three Defence teams. We have nothing to

8 raise. Thank you.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So -- but I need to hear each and every

10 one of your clients.

11 Mr. Mrksic, you'll recall that at the end of the status

12 conference I always put some questions to you in relation to your state

13 of health and your state of detention. Would you like to tell me

14 something about these two matters or is everything --

15 THE ACCUSED MRKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything is

16 in good order and I have nothing to add to what was said last time.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.

18 Mr. Radic, the same question to you.

19 THE ACCUSED RADIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I also have

20 nothing to add and everything is in good order.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

22 And Mr. Sljivancanin, the same question to you.

23 THE ACCUSED SLJIVANCANIN: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I abide

24 by everything I have said to died and I have nothing new to say.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. That basically

Page 407

1 brings us to the end of there status conference, unless you can think of

2 any other business to transact. I don't think there is anything else

3 that needs to be discussed. So we stand adjourned. And the next status

4 conference will be convened within 120 days from today, if the case is

5 still before this Tribunal.

6 Thank you.

7 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

8 3.02 p.m.