Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Monday, 7 February 2005

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 1.02 p.m.

5 [The accused entered court]

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case number

8 IT-03-70-I, the Prosecutor versus Vladimir Lazarevic.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you.

10 Mr. Lazarevic, before we start, I want to make sure --

11 Mr. Lazarevic, before we start, I want to make sure that you are receiving

12 interpretation in your own language. We need to hear the answer, and the

13 microphones are not switched on, so please do help us.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear the interpretation.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

16 Appearances for the Prosecution.

17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. My name is Thomas Hannis, I

18 represent the Office of the Prosecutor. I'm assisted today by Christina

19 Moeller, and our case manager is Susan Grogan.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you and your

21 team.

22 Appearances for the Defence?

23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm

24 Mihajlo Bakrac, attorney-at-law from Belgrade, and I appear for

25 General Lazarevic.

Page 2

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you too.

2 Before we proceed with the formalities of the Initial Appearance

3 proper, I would like to give some details relating to this case and, more

4 precisely, to the indictment.

5 The accused, Colonel General Vladimir Lazarevic, is included in

6 indictment bearing case number IT-03-70. This particular indictment was

7 confirmed by my colleague, Judge O-gon Kwon, on the 2nd of October, 2003,

8 and 18 days later, that is, on the 20th of October of 2003, that

9 particular indictment was made public. It relates to four accused. It is

10 directed against Nebojsa Pavkovic, against you, Vladimir Lazarevic,

11 against Vlastimir Djordjevic, and against Sreten Lukic.

12 As has been made public by this Tribunal, the accused, Vladimir

13 Lazarevic, arrived here in The Hague last week, to be precise, on the 3rd

14 of February, and indeed, he is the first out of the four gentlemen I

15 mentioned just now to arrive here in The Hague to stand trial.

16 There is some information I would like to give on the indictment

17 itself. I'm not going to read the indictment, of course, but I think I

18 owe it to the public in general, and also to those who are following these

19 proceedings from their homeland, that, according to this indictment, the

20 accused, Colonel General Vladimir Lazarevic, as commander of the Pristina

21 Corps of the Yugoslav army, the VJ 3rd Army, is being charged, is being

22 accused with having planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise

23 aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of the

24 alleged crimes of four counts of crimes against humanity contained in

25 Article 5, deportation, that is, other inhumane acts, particularly

Page 3

1 forcible transfer, murder, persecution on political, racial, and religious

2 grounds, and finally, one count of violations of the laws or customs of

3 war which is contemplated under Article 3 of our Statute, which deals with

4 murder inter alia.

5 Mr. Lazarevic, apart from being charged on the basis of your

6 individual criminal responsibility, under Article 7(1) of the Statute, you

7 are also being charged on the basis of your superior or command

8 responsibility, as articulated in Article 7(3) of our Statute. This

9 basically means that you are being alleged by the Prosecutor to be

10 responsible for the crimes charged in the indictment, if you knew -- or

11 rather, because you knew, according to the indictment, or had reason to

12 know that those crimes were about to be committed by your subordinates, or

13 because you failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to

14 prevent them, or to punish your subordinates for having committed these

15 crimes.

16 I'll explain very briefly what is meant by committing, for the

17 purpose of the proceedings that have been commenced against you,

18 Mr. Lazarevic.

19 Committing in this indictment refers to participation in a joint

20 criminal enterprise as a co-perpetrator. The indictment alleges that the

21 purpose of this joint criminal enterprise was, amongst others, the

22 expulsion of a substantial portion of the Albanian population in Kosovo

23 from the territory of the province of Kosovo in an effort to ensure

24 continued Serbian control over that province.

25 The Prosecutor alleges that this joint criminal enterprise

Page 4

1 supposedly came into existence no later than October 1998, and continued

2 throughout the time period when the crimes alleged in counts 1 to 5

3 occurred, beginning on our about the 1st of January of 1999 and continuing

4 until the 20th of June of that year.

5 The indictment alleges that each of the accused, and therefore you

6 included, acting individually or in concert with others, with each other,

7 and with others known and unknown, significantly contributed to the joint

8 criminal enterprise using de jure and de facto powers which you had at

9 your disposal.

10 The indictment alleges, amongst other things, that in addition to

11 the deliberate destruction of property owned by Kosovo Albanian civilians,

12 forces of the FRY and Serbia committed widespread or systematic acts of

13 brutality and violence against Kosovo Albanian civilians in order to

14 perpetuate the climate of fear, create chaos, and the pervading fear for

15 life.

16 The Prosecutor alleges in the indictment that the forces of the

17 FRY in Serbia went from village to village, and in the towns and cities,

18 from area to area, threatening and expelling the Kosovo Albanian

19 population. Kosovo Albanians were frequently intimidated, assaulted, or

20 killed in public view to enforce the departure of their families and

21 neighbours.

22 The Prosecutor continues that many Kosovo Albanians who were not

23 directly, forcibly expelled from their communities, fled as a result of

24 the climate of terror created by the widespread or systematic beatings,

25 harassment, sexual assaults, unlawful arrests, killings, shelling, and

Page 5

1 looting, carried out across the province.

2 According to the indictment, forces of the FRY and of Serbia

3 persistently subjected Kosovo Albanians to insults, racial slurs,

4 degrading acts, and other forms of physical and psychological mistreatment

5 based on their racial, religious, and political identification. All

6 sectors of Kosovo Albanian society were displaced, including women,

7 children, the elderly, and the infirm.

8 This is what the Prosecution alleges in the indictment against

9 you.

10 The indictment alleges also that the forces of the FRY in Serbia,

11 acting at the direction with the encouragement and with the support of

12 yourself, Vladimir Lazarevic, murdered hundreds of Kosovo Albanian

13 civilians as part of a widespread and systematic campaign of brutality and

14 violence that resulted in the forced deportation of approximately 800.000

15 Kosovo Albanian civilians.

16 In general, the Prosecutor alleges that you,

17 Colonel General Vladimir Lazarevic, were appointed commander of the

18 Pristina Corps of the VJ 3rd Army in December of 1998, and that you

19 assumed command no later than the 6th of January of the following year,

20 that is, of 1999. According to the Prosecutor, you exercised your

21 authority as commander of the Pristina Corps, as well as through the FRY

22 law on defence, and through joint command and coordination structures and

23 mechanisms, military-territorial units, civil defence units, and other

24 armed groups in relation to events in Kosovo from January 1999 to June

25 1999, inclusive.

Page 6

1 The Prosecutor further alleges that your subordinates included

2 members of the MUP, military-territorial units, civil defence units, and

3 other armed groups. This is the background for the charges that have been

4 brought against you.

5 The President of this Tribunal, President Meron, on the 2nd of

6 February, 2005, assigned this case, your case, to Trial Chamber II, of

7 which I'm the Presiding Judge. I myself, as Presiding Judge of Trial

8 Chamber II, two days later, on the 4th of February, appointed myself as

9 the Pre-Trial Judge for the purpose of this -- for the purpose of today's

10 Initial Appearance. Having said so, I will now proceed with your Initial

11 Appearance, and this I am doing pursuant to Rule 62 of the Tribunal's

12 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Then I will move to the most important

13 formality of this appearance, that is, to formally charge you.

14 Before I proceed, however, as I will be asking you some questions,

15 it is my duty, as Presiding Judge, to inform you that you do have a right

16 to remain silent, should you choose to do so. In such an event, we have

17 provisions in our Rules and regulations that indicate to the

18 Pre-Trial Judge the way to follow.

19 First of all, it is my duty, as Pre-Trial Judge in charge of this

20 Initial Appearance, to ensure that you are adequately represented. I have

21 not only seen and heard Mr. Bakrac, but I have also reviewed the decision

22 of the Registrar, dated the 4th of February, 2005, which indicates two

23 things, or three things, basically: First, that you have informed the

24 Registrar that you will be seeking to benefit from the legal aid that is

25 put in place by this Tribunal. We will not be dealing with that in this

Page 7

1 Initial Appearance but in the Status Conferences that will follow suit.

2 Secondly, that you have asked -- indicated the name of Mr. Bakrac as your

3 counsel of choice, and that pending the procedures that relate to your

4 request for legal aid, the Registrar has been more than happy to appoint

5 Mr. Bakrac, who has already got extensive experience before this

6 Tribunal - he was one of the lawyers in the Krnojelac case - had appointed

7 him for a period of 120 days, effective from the date of this order, and

8 then, of course, the situation will crystallise once the dynamics of your

9 future application for legal aid would have been processed.

10 I do want to have a feedback, however, from you, because it's my

11 responsibility to do this, that you are happy with the arrangements that

12 have been made by way of representation by the Registrar for the purpose

13 of today's Initial Appearance.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am satisfied with

15 the organisation of today's proceedings.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.

17 Later on, Mr. Lazarevic, I will be asking you whether you are

18 prepared to enter a plea to the five counts that are brought against you

19 in this indictment. But before I come -- I reach that stage, there are a

20 few questions that I would like to ask you. Could you please stand up.

21 Could you please give me, as Pre-Trial Judge, for the record, your

22 full name and surname.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Vladimir Lazarevic.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: What is your rank?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Colonel general.

Page 8

1 JUDGE AGIUS: By any chance, do you have any nicknames that others

2 refer to you with, or that you know are used to refer to you?

3 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the answer.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: He said no, not that he knows of.

5 Could you give us the date and place of your birth, please. Let's

6 start with your birth day.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 23rd of March, 1949.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: And where were you born?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the village of Gricar, the

10 municipality of Babusnica in Serbia.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: In relation to another question I'll be putting to

12 you, could you tell us, please, what is your nationality?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am a Serb.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, you're a citizen of?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Serbia and Montenegro.


17 MR. HANNIS: Excuse me, Your Honour, in connection with his place

18 of birth, I should indicate to the Court, it appears we have a

19 typographical error in the spelling of his town. In the indictment it

20 appears as "Gricar." I would like at this time, Your Honour, to make an

21 oral motion to amend the indictment to correct that spelling in paragraph

22 2 of the indictment to "Grncar."

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose we better first check how it is spelled

24 correctly. Here it says in the indictment that he was born in the town of

25 Gricar, on the 23rd of March of 1949. How do you spell -- yes,

Page 9

1 Mr. Bakrac.

2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be of assistance.

3 In the Serbian version, in the B/C/S version, there is no misspelling.

4 The spelling is correct, that is to say, Grncar, G-r-n-c-a-r.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the English translation.

6 MR. HANNIS: That appears to be correct, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any objection on your part, Mr. Bakrac,

8 that wherever Grncar appears misspelled in the English version of the

9 indictment, that be corrected to reflect the correct spelling?

10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Of course I'm not opposed to that,

11 Your Honour.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: So I don't know how many times it occurs, whether it

13 occurs only in paragraph 2 of the indictment. I'm not in a position to

14 help you more than that. But if that is so, by order of the Pre-Trial

15 Judge, the word or the name "Gricar," as it appears in line 2 of paragraph

16 2 of the indictment, and should it appear elsewhere in the same

17 indictment, that it be substituted by the name "G-r --" you tell me. I

18 don't know how to spell it.

19 MR. HANNIS: I believe it's G-r-n-c, the C with the full banana,

20 a-r.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: "A-r,", Grncar. All right. That has solved the

22 problem.

23 Now I'm going to ask you, what was -- what is the address at which

24 you resided last before you were taken into custody and transferred to

25 The Hague? Since this is very much a personal matter, if you prefer to

Page 10

1 give me the address in private session so that no one else outside this

2 courtroom will hear the -- will know what is your home address, then I can

3 willingly accept to go into private session.

4 Yes, Mr. Bakrac.

5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with all due respect, by

6 your leave, I just need to make a correction. General Lazarevic was not

7 arrested. He voluntarily surrendered. Well, that is the interpretation I

8 received. I didn't look at the transcript.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I never said that he was arrested, I said he was

10 taken into custody, because when he surrendered himself, obviously he is

11 then taken into custody and brought over. But I never mentioned or made

12 use of the word "arrested". I was very careful there.

13 So would you like to give me your address in open session, or

14 would you like to say it in private session?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm prepared to give

16 my address right now. The street is Pavla Jurisica Sturma, number 46,

17 Nis.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. I want to make sure that your

19 family has been informed of your transfer to The Hague, and that you are

20 being detained here in the United Nations Detention Unit, in Scheveningen.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: And I also want to make sure that the personality or

23 embassy, the embassy of Serbia and Montenegro, are also informed of your

24 transfer to The Hague and your detention in The Hague.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, the embassy has also been

Page 11

1 informed.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you like me, as Presiding Judge in these

3 proceedings, to contact anyone on your behalf to inform him or her or them

4 that you are now here in The Hague, and that you're being detained in the

5 Detention Unit?

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that for the time being,

7 there is no such need, Mr. President.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Now, you stand accused here, but as an

9 accused, you have a right to not only a fair trial but -- when that

10 arrives, but you also have a number of other related rights. These are

11 dealt with both under our Statute and also sometimes, in a repeated

12 fashion, in our Rules.

13 I'm now going to ask the deputy registrar to read out to you in

14 the entirety Articles 20 and 21 of our Statute so that you will be made --

15 I will make sure that you are made aware of the existence of these rights.

16 And having heard or followed the reading of these two articles, should you

17 have any questions, please do not hesitate to put them to me, either

18 directly or through Mr. Bakrac.

19 Mr. Registrar, could you read out Article 20, please.

20 THE REGISTRAR: "Article 20. Commencement and conduct of trial

21 proceedings.

22 "The Trial Chambers shall ensure that the trial is fair and

23 expeditious, and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with the

24 rules of procedure and evidence, with full respect for the rights of the

25 accused and due regard for the protections of victims and witnesses.

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 13

1 "A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall,

2 pursuant to an order or an arrest warrant of the International Tribunal,

3 be taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him and

4 transferred to the International Tribunal.

5 "The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment, satisfy itself that

6 the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused

7 understands the indictment, and instruct the accused to enter a plea. The

8 Trial Chamber shall then set the date for trial.

9 "The hearings shall be public, unless the Trial Chamber decides to

10 close the proceedings, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and

11 Evidence."

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, registrar, could you please read out Article 21

13 now, please.

14 THE REGISTRAR: "Article 21: Rights of the accused.

15 "All persons shall be equal before the International Tribunal.

16 "In the determination of charges against him, the accused shall be

17 entitled to a fair and public hearing, subject to Article 22 of the

18 Statute.

19 "The accused shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty,

20 according to the provisions of the present Statute.

21 "In the determination of any charge against the accused, pursuant

22 to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the following

23 minimum guarantees, in full equality:

24 (a), to be informed promptly, and in detail, in a language which

25 he understands, of the nature and cause of the charges against him;

Page 14

1 (b), to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of

2 his defence, and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;

3 (c), to be tried without undue delay;

4 (d), to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person

5 or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed if he does

6 not have legal assistance of this right, and to have legal assistance

7 assigned to him in any case where the interests of justice so require, and

8 without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient

9 means to pay for it;

10 (e), to examine, or have examined, the witness against him and to

11 attain attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the

12 same conditions as witnesses against him;

13 (f), to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot

14 understand or use the language of the language used in the International

15 Tribunal;

16 (g), not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess

17 guilt.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, registrar.

19 Colonel Lazarevic, have you understood the extent and the meaning

20 of these rights?

21 I need to move to something which is fundamental now. Have you

22 received the indictment in your own language? Have you been served --

23 MR. HANNIS: Pardon me, Your Honour, his response to your last

24 question about whether he understood those rights did not appear in the

25 transcript.

Page 15

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I heard him say yes. I will repeat the

2 question, and please speak into the microphone, because sometimes the

3 interpreters cannot catch up unless they can hear properly.

4 I asked you whether you -- after having listened and heard the

5 reading out of Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute, whether you have

6 understood the extent and also the importance of these rights.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have understood both Article 21

8 and Article 20 of the Statute, Mr. President, the extent of the rights,

9 that is.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And now I would like to know, or have a

11 confirmation, actually, from you that you have been served with the

12 indictment that I referred to earlier in your own language.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received the indictment

14 in my own language.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: So I do take it that you are fully aware of its

16 contents, and therefore, also, of what you are being -- you are being

17 charged with.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am aware of the contents of the

19 indictment.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, there are two ways in which we can proceed.

21 One way is for me, or, of course, the registrar, to read out the entire

22 indictment, which is here, or else, if you so wish, you can waive this

23 right to have the indictment read out in public, in which case I will

24 proceed with whatever information I think is necessary for the time being.

25 Does the accused want the indictment to be read out in its

Page 16

1 entirety, or is he waiving that right? Have you consulted with him, Mr.

2 Bakrac?

3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I shall take it

4 upon myself to answer this, because this is a professional question, to a

5 large degree. I have talked to the General. There is no need to read out

6 the indictment in detail. We are quite satisfied just to go through the

7 counts and to have the accused enter his plea.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. The procedure I will follow, therefore,

9 is as follows: First of all, I would like confirmation from you in any

10 case that you agree that there is no need for me to read out the

11 indictment in its entirety.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I agree with everything that

13 Mr. Bakrac said, Mr. President.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I wish all my clients were like you when

15 I was still exercising in private practice.

16 I must advise you, although this is, strictly speaking, a legal

17 matter more than anything else, that in terms of, or pursuant to, our Rule

18 62(A)(iii), you have a right to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on

19 each count today, during this Initial Appearance, or, should you so

20 desire, within 30 days from today. Our Rules do not impose on you the

21 responsibility of pleading guilty or not guilty today. You have this

22 other option.

23 I don't know whether you have had the opportunity to discuss this

24 with your counsel, but I would like to have some indication as to whether

25 you are prepared to plead -- to enter a plea today or whether you are

Page 17

1 going to postpone it until later, that is, within 30 days from your --

2 from this Initial Appearance. I also must guide you to the effect that

3 that should you decide not to enter a plea at all - not just now, but even

4 later - then obviously, that event is dealt with -- will be dealt with in

5 accordance with our Rules, which would require of me to enter a plea of

6 not guilty on your behalf.

7 Yes, is there an intention to enter a plea today, or are you going

8 to ask for a postponement?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I agree, and I am

10 prepared to enter my plea today, in view of the indictment.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Colonel Lazarevic.

12 In view of the fact that you waived your right to have the whole

13 indictment read out in public, I will just read out to you the five

14 charges contained in the said indictment of the 2nd October 2003, and then

15 the procedure will be as follows: After reading out each of these counts,

16 I will ask you how you plead to this particular count, guilty or not

17 guilty, and then please enter your plea. Your answer in each case should

18 only be guilty or not guilty. If you do not answer at all, then obviously

19 we will have to see whether you are postponing your answer or whether

20 you're just deciding to remain silent.

21 You should bear in mind that, for all the counts, you are charged

22 both under 7(1), that is individual criminal responsibility, and under

23 Article 7(3) of the Statute, that is, command responsibility. That's why

24 I explained these earlier on in my introduction.

25 The first count against you, Colonel Lazarevic, is a charge of

Page 18

1 deportation, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 5(d) of

2 the Statute. How do you plead to this charge, first count? Do you plead

3 guilty or not guilty?

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not guilty.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the accused has entered a plea of

6 not guilty of the first count.

7 In the second count, you are charged with other inhumane acts,

8 being forcible transfer, a crime against humanity, punishable under

9 Article 5(i) of the Statute. How do you plead to this charge, guilty or

10 not guilty?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am not guilty.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the accused has entered a plea of

13 not guilty to the second count.

14 The third count, you are charged with murder, a crime against

15 humanity, punishable under Article 5(a) of the Statute. How do you wish

16 to plead to this third count of murder, guilty or not guilty?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am not guilty.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the accused has entered a plea of

19 not guilty to the third count.

20 In the fourth count, Colonel Lazarevic, you are charged with

21 murder, this time as a violation of the laws or customs of war, which is

22 punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of this Tribunal and recognised

23 by Article 3(1)(a), murder, of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. How do you

24 wish to plead to this fourth count of murder, guilty or not guilty?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am not guilty.

Page 19

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And for the record, the accused has

2 entered a plea of not guilty to the fourth count.

3 The fifth and last count is one of persecutions based on

4 political, racial, and religious grounds, which is punishable under

5 Article 5(h) of the Statute of this Tribunal. How do you wish to plead to

6 this fifth count, guilty or not guilty?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as for count 5 as

8 well, I plead not guilty.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.

10 For the record, the accused has entered a plea of not guilty to

11 all five counts of the indictment, and this, of course, is referred to the

12 Trial Chamber so that it may act in accordance with Rule 62 bis and

13 instruct the Registrar to set a date for proceedings, pursuant to Rule --

14 to the same Rule, 62 bis.

15 Now, there are a few final matters that I need to address. The

16 first one is that, once there has been this Initial Appearance today, the

17 Pre-Trial Judge, or the Pre-Trial Chamber, is bound by Rule 65 bis (A) to

18 summon and hold a Status Conference within 120 days from today. That

19 Status Conference will then be followed by other Status Conferences, each

20 one of which has to be summoned, convened, and held within 120 days,

21 counting from the previous Status Conference. So the first Status

22 Conference will be convened within this time period. I cannot assure you

23 or tell you who -- whether I will -- it will be myself who will preside

24 over that Status Conference or whether it will be some other judge from my

25 Trial Chamber. That, I will need to discuss with the other two permanent

Page 20

1 judges of Trial Chamber II, although it is my prerogative to decide who

2 will be Pre-Trial Judge.

3 For the time being, I only need to give you some information of

4 the purpose of these Status Conferences. You will, of course, be informed

5 of the date in good time, and your lawyer will be informed too. The

6 purpose of the Status Conference is twofold: First, it is to organise and

7 facilitate the preparation of the trial; and secondly, it gives the

8 Pre-Trial Judge and the accused, and you, the opportunity to meet face to

9 face and make sure that you are being treated well, that all your rights

10 are being respected, and that if you have any reason to complain on

11 anything or against anyone, that you will be given the opportunity to do

12 it here, in public or in private session.

13 I will give instructions to the Registrar to start the ball

14 rolling so that we can look forward to fixing a day for your trial without

15 any undue delay. For the time being, you are going to remain in custody,

16 but it is also my responsibility, I'm sure your lawyer would have advised

17 you on this already, but it is my responsibility also to inform you that

18 our rules, Rule 65 in particular, do contemplate the possibility of being

19 released conditionally, going out on bail pending the start of the trial.

20 I cannot give you advice on this. I'm sure Mr. Bakrac will, and this is a

21 matter that you will discuss with him.

22 I turn left, and I think I will just say it for the sake of

23 formality, but it is my responsibility as well to remind you that,

24 pursuant to Rule 66 of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, you have 30

25 days to disclose to the Defence, in a language which the accused

Page 21

1 understands, all the supporting material which formed the basis or

2 accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought by

3 Madam Del Ponte.

4 I'm turning right again to you, Mr. Bakrac. Again, I mean, I'm

5 addressing you because this is a legal matter more than something that the

6 accused can handle himself. You are, of course, reminded that, pursuant

7 to Rule 72(A) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, you have a 30-day

8 period for filing -- for the filing of any preliminary motion, once you

9 have received all the supporting material, in accordance with Rule 66 that

10 I have just mentioned to Mr. Hannis.

11 I don't think there is anything else that I need to point out,

12 except that I will turn to the lead counsel for the Prosecution in this

13 case and ask whether there is any other matter that he would like to

14 raise.

15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just want to bring it to the Court's

16 attention that the charges in this indictment are identical to the charges

17 in case number IT-99-37 against three accused currently in the Detention

18 Unit, Mr. Milutinovic, Mr. Sainovic, and Mr. Ojdanic. It's our present

19 intention to file a motion to join this matter with that one, and I just

20 bring that to your -- your attention. That matter is before Trial Chamber

21 I, so it's something that I believe the Court should be aware of.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I thank you for that information, which I'm

23 sure Mr. Bakrac is taking note of. Of course, we will deal with that

24 matter if and when it arises, because it does, according to me, present

25 some problems in any case.

Page 22

1 The Defence, Mr. Bakrac, is there any matter you would like to

2 raise before we rise?

3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I have nothing to

4 add, nothing to raise. I wasn't aware of that intention on the part of

5 the Prosecution, but the Defence will have ample time to present its views

6 and positions. No further matters. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The last thing, I'll address the accused

8 directly. I want to make sure, first and foremost, that since you decided

9 to turn in -- from the moment you decided to turn yourself in until the

10 moment you walked into this courtroom, that you have been treated well by

11 each and every person you came across.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, everybody has treated

13 me very properly. I have no matters to raise in that regard.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You will, as I explained already, be

15 detained in the Detention Unit. I can assure you that the Detention Unit

16 is very professionally run by a most capable commander, and that the

17 conditions that are in place there are, to my knowledge at least,

18 exemplary. Should there be any reason for you to complain, I am, and my

19 Trial Chamber is, at your complete disposal. Should there be any personal

20 matters that are not properly or adequately attended to, and that includes

21 even health matters, or should you have reason to complain about the way

22 you are being treated, then please do not hesitate to approach the Trial

23 Chamber. Mr. Bakrac will explain to you the way to go about it. I can

24 assure you that we are not here only to do justice, to administer justice,

25 to the -- to all the parties involved, but also to make sure that all your

Page 23

1 rights as an accused are protected and are respected.

2 Did I make myself clear?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no requests,

4 no comments, and I thank you for asking.


6 That brings this Initial Appearance to an end. You will be

7 escorted back to the Detention Unit. And we will have the first Status

8 Conference, as I said, within the 120-day time limit we have in the Rules.

9 I thank you, and good afternoon to everyone.

10 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned at

11 1.55 p.m.