Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1462

1 Monday, 8 September 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [Status Conference]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.06 p.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number

8 IT-02-60/1-S, the Prosecutor versus Momir Nikolic.

9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, very much. May we have the appearances,

10 please, for the Prosecution.

11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, Peter McCloskey and

12 Stefan Waespi and Janet Stewart for the Prosecution. Good afternoon.

13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. For the accused.

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

15 Appearing for the accused Momir Nikolic is myself, Veselin Londrovic, and

16 my co-counsel, Mr. Stephan Kirsch.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. This is a Status Conference. There are

18 two purposes for this Status Conference. The first one is we would like

19 to provide opportunity to Mr. Nikolic. Now, opportunity for him to

20 communicate directly with the Trial Chamber. Secondly, it's for the

21 preparation of the sentencing hearing. May I now turn to Mr. Nikolic

22 first. Mr. Nikolic, can you follow the proceedings in a language you

23 understand?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE LIU: It has been a long time since the last time we saw

Page 1463

1 each other. How about your health?

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm in excellent health, Your

3 Honour. I have no health problems.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Do you have any comments concerning your

5 detention in the UN Detention Unit?

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The conditions are

7 in accordance with the rules and I find them acceptable. I have no

8 complaints.

9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Do you have any other issues that you

10 would like brought to the attention of this bench?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I have discussed

12 all outstanding issues with my lawyers and whatever is to be raised before

13 Your Honours will be done by my counsel.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 JUDGE LIU: Now, we turn to the second issue, that is the

17 preparation for the sentencing hearing. The Prosecution and Defence filed

18 their sentencing briefs on the 14th July 2003. Both parties indicated

19 that they would file additional submissions on Mr. Nikolic's cooperation

20 with the Prosecution, after Mr. Nikolic has testified in the Blagojevic

21 case. At this stage, it seems to us that Mr. Nikolic will be testifying

22 in middle to late September.

23 I have a question to address to the both parties, how much time

24 after he completes his testimony will the parties need to file any

25 additional submissions? Mr. McCloskey?

Page 1464

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: We shouldn't need more than two weeks. We hope

2 to, of course, be busy in trial at that time. Two weeks should be fine

3 for us, but we're very flexible on that.

4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Londrovic.

5 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence will not

6 need more than two weeks either for their submissions after Mr. Nikolic's

7 testimony.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. In our view, two weeks is too

9 long. Could we move a little faster. For instance, how about ten days?

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's fine, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

12 And for Defence?

13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I would ask for two weeks, Your

14 Honour, but there is not much difference between ten days and 14 days, and

15 if Your Honour orders us to do this in ten days, we will respect that

16 deadline.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. I

18 understand that Defence has requested that the Trial Chamber requests the

19 commanding officer of Detention Unit to prepare a report on Mr. Nikolic's

20 behaviour in the Detention Unit. Is that right, Mr. Londrovic?

21 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. In our written

22 submission, we asked the Chamber to address the head of the Detention

23 Unit, the commanding officer, to prepare a report on Mr. Nikolic's

24 behaviour in the Detention Unit, covering Mr. Nikolic's attitude toward

25 the staff, the employees in the Detention Unit, and his attitude towards

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Page 1466

1 the other accused who are on the same floor with him in the Detention Unit

2 and with whom he socialises and shares his life in the Detention Unit.

3 We talked to Mr. McFadden's deputy and we intended to address them

4 directly, but we were told that the only way we could obtain such a report

5 would be through the Trial Chamber.

6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Londrovic, according to the jurisprudence of

7 this Tribunal, the registrar and the Chamber are separate, independent

8 organs of this Tribunal. Usually, the correct approach is that the

9 counsels should exhaust all the means at his proposal to get any

10 assistance from the warden of the Detention Unit. If there is any

11 problem, if it poses some serious problems in the conducting of the

12 proceedings, only at that time the Trial Chamber will lend its assistance

13 and its support.

14 So the best way is you write a letter to the warden of the

15 Detention Unit to see whether you could be helped or not. If not, you are

16 free to come back to the Bench and we'll do our best to assist you. Is

17 that understandable?

18 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I understand.

19 You suggest we apply again to the warden, and if we have any problems, to

20 apply you. Thank you.

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

22 Well, the next issue is about the sentencing hearing. If

23 Mr. Nikolic finishes his testimony by late September, the Trial Chamber

24 would like to schedule the sentencing hearing for late October or earlier

25 November. Are there any obstacles for the parties for holding the

Page 1467

1 sentencing hearing at that time and how long do you think that sentencing

2 hearing will last?

3 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

4 MR. McCLOSKEY: The Prosecution at this time has no obstacles to

5 that, and the Prosecution's sentencing material will be submitted in

6 written form, as it has been, originally relying on the excellent record

7 and testimony of the Krstic case. So the Prosecution will say a few words

8 at the sentencing hearing and that would be that unless the Court wanted

9 something further from us.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 And the Defence?

12 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has

13 absolutely no problems with late October or early November.

14 JUDGE LIU: Do you think how many days do you need for this

15 sentencing hearing?

16 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] As far as the Defence is

17 concerned, Your Honours, the Defence suggested that five witnesses be

18 heard. The examination of these witnesses, if Court approves all five,

19 can be completed within one day. These will be brief testimonies. And if

20 the Bench sits for half a working day, then we would need two days at the

21 most. If you understand my meaning. If we were to sit both in the

22 morning and the afternoon, then we could complete this in one day. I see,

23 however, that the practice at the Tribunal is for one Chamber to sit in

24 the morning and another in the afternoon. And in this case, it would take

25 us two days at the most.

Page 1468

1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

2 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are considering

3 addressing the registrar to get testimonies under Rule 92 bis. If we

4 succeed in this, according to the procedure prescribed in the Rules of

5 Procedure and Evidence, we are prepared to submit these five testimonies

6 under Rule 92 bis. And in this way, we would avoid hearing the witnesses

7 viva voce and we would be saving money and time in this way. We shall try

8 to contact the registry in order to get these statements under Rule 92 bis

9 before late October, that is early November, and adduce these statements

10 to our submission. In that case, we would have no viva voce witnesses.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. There are two things I would

12 like to stress at this moment. The first matter is that we will hold

13 separate sentencing hearings for Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic, because

14 the case has been separated into two cases. Secondly, I would like to

15 remind the parties that evidence presented at the sentencing hearing

16 should not go to establish a conviction, only for the seriousness of the

17 offense. Victim impact, character of the accused, for aggravating or

18 mitigating circumstances.

19 Well, Mr. Londrovic, of course if you submitted all those five

20 witness's statements according to 92 bis, it's all right, but we believe

21 that the proposed witnesses touches on slightly different aspect of

22 Mr. Nikolic's character and the background, especially the Bosniak

23 witnesses are particularly helpful to the Trial Chamber. And it will help

24 the Trial Chamber to have a better understanding of the impact of the

25 guilty plea on the witness and the victimised community. Of course, you

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Page 1470

1 could choose whatever way to introduce your evidence, but we are ready to

2 hear all the five witnesses, all sum of them in this courtroom.

3 Suppose some of the witnesses are going to testify in the

4 sentencing hearing, I understand the Defence has put in a confidential

5 motion for protective measures on the 14th of July for three witnesses.

6 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The Defence did

7 require this for three witnesses, three witnesses were ethnic Bosniaks,

8 whereas two witnesses are of Serb ethnicity, so we did not ask for

9 protective measures for them, because they did not require any when

10 speaking to me. They said they didn't want any, while these three

11 witnesses did ask for a pseudonym and for facial distortion.

12 It was my understanding, Your Honour, that you would like the

13 Defence the make an effort to bring in witnesses to testify here, notably

14 ethnic Bosniaks. So we are going to speak to our client about this and we

15 are going to see what we should do on that score. However, we will

16 certainly try to facilitate these proceedings for the benefit of the Trial

17 Chamber. We will try not to bring in all five witnesses.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Are there any objections for the

19 protective measures sought by the Defence counsel?

20 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

21 JUDGE LIU: Well, if not, we would like to say that your requests

22 for the protective measures for those witnesses, no matter they are the

23 live witness or they are the 92 bis witness, are granted.

24 Can I turn to the Prosecution. Would you please inform me, are

25 there any witnesses, no matter live or 92 bis witnesses, in the sentencing

Page 1471

1 hearing?

2 MR. McCLOSKEY: We were not planning on any live witnesses, and we

3 just have the few witnesses in our sentencing brief for 92 bis.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I understand that Defence has not filed

5 any response, but proposals of the Prosecution for these four witnesses.

6 Could I hear the response from the Defence?

7 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence

8 certainly has no objections to having these witness statements filed, that

9 is to say, the statements that were part of the Pre-Trial brief of the

10 Prosecution. They can be introduced through Rule 92 bis. The Defence

11 does not oppose that.

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So we could like to make a

13 decision to grant the request to have the four witnesses pursuant to 92

14 bis without the cross-examination by the Defence. Yes. At this stage are

15 there any matters that both parties would like to bring to the attention

16 of this bench. Mr. McCloskey?

17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further, Mr. President.

18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Londrovic?

19 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, thank you very

20 much.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the hearing is adjourned.

23 ---Whereupon the Status Conference

24 adjourned at 3.26 p.m.