Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10

 1                           Thursday, 19 June 2008

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused Mrksic entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.m.

 6             JUDGE MERON:  Please be seated.

 7             Registrar, would you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honour, good morning everyone

 9     in the courtroom.  This is case number IT-95-13/1-A, The Prosecutor

10     versus Mile Mrksic and Veselin Sljivancanin.

11             JUDGE MERON:  Let me first make sure that the audio equipment is

12     working properly.

13             Mr. Mrksic, can you hear me?

14             THE ACCUSED MRKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do.

15             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

16             What about counsel for the Defence, can you all hear me?

17             MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, we hear you.  Thank

18     you very much.

19             JUDGE MERON:  Counsel for the Prosecution, can you hear me?

20             MR. DALAL:  Yes, Your Honour.  And I'm not sure if I --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel.

22             JUDGE MERON:  You're not sure if you can what?

23             MR. DALAL:  I'm not sure if I can hear the translation though.

24             JUDGE MERON:  Translation, can we hear a good morning from you.

25             THE INTERPRETER:  Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3.

Page 11

 1             JUDGE MERON:  So that's all ready.

 2             MR. DALAL:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE MERON:  Appearances, please, for the Prosecution.

 4             MR. DALAL:  For the Prosecution today Marwan Dalal and with me is

 5     our case manager Mr. Sebastian van Hooydonk.

 6             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Dalal.

 7             For Mr. Mrksic.

 8             MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.  The

 9     Defence of Mr. Mrksic today will be represented by Miroslav Vasic.  Thank

10     you.

11             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Vasic.

12             For Mr. Sljivancanin.

13             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.  Good

14     morning to all parties in the courtroom.  I'm Novak Lukic.  I represent

15     Mr. Sljivancanin together with Mr. William St-Michel who will be

16     assisting us in the appeals phase of the proceedings.

17             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.

18             As you are aware, Rule 65 bis (B) of the Rules of Procedure and

19     Evidence requires that Status Conferences be held every 120 days for each

20     appellant in the Tribunal's custody.  This Status Conference serves two

21     primary purposes, first it allows the appellant an opportunity to express

22     concerns relating to his appeal or detention conditions.  Second, it

23     provides an opportunity to update the appellants with respect to the

24     status of their case.  The Status Conference is also an opportunity for

25     the Tribunal to inquire about the mental and physical condition of the

Page 12

 1     detained person.

 2             The last Status Conference in this case took place on the 19th of

 3     February, 2008.  While Mr. Mrksic is presently in custody of the

 4     Tribunal's detention unit, Mr. Sljivancanin is currently on provisional

 5     release, pursuant to a decision issued by the Appeals Chamber on 11

 6     December 2007.

 7             I would like to begin this Status Conference by inquiring into

 8     Mr. Mrksic's case, Mr. Mrksic's health.

 9             Mr. Mrksic.

10             THE ACCUSED MRKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for asking, Your

11     Honour.  I have no problems regarding my health or the detention unit.

12     Well, the situation with my health is well known but it is not getting

13     worse.

14             Your Honours, for now, I don't have any problems.  The situation

15     in the detention unit is usual, as it has been for the past seven years.

16     It is normal.

17             As for my health, after two heart surgeries, thank God, at the

18     moment, I'm feeling fine.

19             Thank you.

20             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Mrksic.  And I'm glad to hear that

21     you are well and that there are no special problems which we need to

22     discuss on your conditions of health or conditions of detention.

23             Mr. Vasic, do you have anything to add to that?  Regarding the

24     state of health.

25             MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 13

 1             No, I have nothing to add.  You have heard Mr. Mrksic and I think

 2     everything is fine and proceeding according to plan.

 3             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you very much.

 4             Now, I would like to use this opportunity to share with you some

 5     data on the development of the case and its preparation for the hearing.

 6             On 14 December 2007, I granted, in part, a joint Defence motion

 7     seeking an extension of time to file the appeal briefs.  The Defence was

 8     ordered to file their appeal briefs 40 days following receipt of the

 9     official translation of the trial judgement into the B/C/S language and

10     their responses to the Prosecution's appeal brief 20 days following the

11     receipt of that translation.

12             The Prosecution filed its confidential appeal brief on 14

13     January 2008 and the public version of its brief on 8 February 2008.  I

14     understand that the official B/C/S translation of the trial judgement was

15     filed and distributed electronically to counsel for the Defence on 29

16     May 2008.  Accordingly, the time-lines for the briefing schedule appear

17     to be as follows with respect to the Prosecution's appeal.

18             The Defence respondent's briefs were due yesterday, 18 June 2008.

19     I know we have just received the respondent's brief of Mr. Mrksic.  I

20     have not yet received an official word from the registry about the status

21     of Mr. Sljivancanin's brief.

22             Counsel, would you tell us what is the situation.

23             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

24             We submitted our brief last night around 10.00 p.m., so still

25     within the deadline and then probably in the course of today you will

Page 14

 1     receive our brief.

 2             JUDGE MERON:  Well, thank you, Mr. Lukic, and I'm pleased so see

 3     that both defendants have submitted their briefs on time.

 4             Now the Prosecution's brief in reply are due, therefore, on the

 5     3rd of July, 2008.

 6             Regarding the appeals by the Defence, the Defence appeal briefs

 7     are due on 8 July 2008.  Again, assuming that the Defence briefs are not

 8     early, the Prosecution's respondent's briefs are due on 18 of August,

 9     2008.

10             And finally the Defence briefs in reply would be due on the 2nd

11     of September 2008.

12             I take this opportunity to remind the parties that their briefs

13     should be filed in compliance with the practice direction on the length

14     of briefs and motions and the practice direction on formal requirements

15     for appeals from judgement.

16             After the briefing schedule is complete the Appeals Chamber will

17     schedule an appeal hearing in due course.

18             My hope is that we will be able to have the hearing before the

19     winter recess.

20             At this point I would like to ask the parties whether they have

21     any other issues that they would like to raise at this time.

22             Mr. Dalal.

23             MR. DALAL:  The Prosecution has nothing.

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please for the Prosecutor.

25             MR. DALAL:  The Prosecution has nothing to raise at this stage,

Page 15

 1     Your Honour.

 2             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

 3             Mr. Vasic, regarding any issues on behalf of Mr. Mrksic.

 4             MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 5             I have a question regarding the submission, according to Rule 68

 6     we received from our colleagues their submission yesterday that we were

 7     given material from a different case that also relates to Vukovar and

 8     that could be of significant for the Defence in this case.  We actually

 9     received the material along with this submission, but my question is that

10     it seems to me that this seems to be happening from one Status Conference

11     to the next.  Between the Status Conferences we haven't received any new

12     material.

13             So I would just like to ask my colleagues from the Prosecution to

14     be a little more diligent in this matter so that perhaps we could receive

15     any mitigating material in a timely fashion, in accordance to Rule 116.

16             Thank you very much.

17             JUDGE MERON:  The Prosecution, would you comment on this.

18             MR. DALAL:  Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution would like to

19     emphasise that this is not necessarily material relevant to Rule 68,

20     exculpatory material rather material under Rule 66.  This is ongoing

21     obligation, in accordance with a ongoing obligation of the Prosecution to

22     disclose material and the Prosecution, we thought this is the most

23     efficient way to disclose material that -- relevant to the Defence,

24     witnesses that are come on in this trial and the Mrksic trial.  Whenever

25     we have several witnesses who have testified before the Mrksic trial and

Page 16

 1     who have testified in the Seselj trial, we compile them and produce this

 2     material which is relevant and not exculpatory.  Of course, if we

 3     discover something that is exculpatory, we would disclose it immediately

 4     to the Defence.

 5             JUDGE MERON:  Mr. Vasic.

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

 7     my colleague.  I would just prefer this to be more prompt and to be

 8     ongoing because I see that we have testimonies here from March and now

 9     it's June.

10             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Vasic, I really think that to the

11     extent that you can, you should pass on these materials to the Defence

12     whenever you can and as soon as you can.

13             MR. DALAL:  The Prosecution agree with this approach.  We would

14     not have any problem to do that, Your Honour.

15             JUDGE MERON:  Okay.  So let's hope that this will not be a

16     problem in the future.  Thank you.

17             Any issues to raise on behalf of Mr. Sljivancanin.

18             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, but I would like to

19     use this opportunity to inform you personally, since I was not present at

20     the previous Status Conference and was not essential for me to be there,

21     I would just like to inform that you the state of health of

22     Mr. Sljivancanin is good, that I am in daily meetings with him at the

23     appeal stage of the proceedings and that he completely adheres to all the

24     instructions of the Court regarding the terms of his provisional release.

25             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.  I'm pleased to hear that.

Page 17

 1             Since there are no other matters to be raised, let me thank the

 2     parties and the staff and the interpreters, the registrar and the

 3     parties, I thank you particularly for your attendance.

 4             And I call the proceedings to a close.  The Court will now rise.

 5                            --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

 6                           8.46 a.m.