Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 152

1 Friday, 9 December 2005

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Would the Registrar please call the case.

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

7 IT-05-87-PT, the Prosecutor versus Milan Milutinovic and others.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this is a Status Conference in the case of

9 Milutinovic and others, which may or may not turn out to be an event of

10 significance. But as matters have stood so far, it's an event which must

11 take place. I notice that there are no Accused present so when I call for

12 the representation of each party to be confirmed to me, I would be

13 grateful if you would also confirm to me that your client is absent -- or

14 at least your client's absence is a result of an informed decision not to

15 be here today. First of all I'll take the appearances for the

16 Prosecution.

17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. On behalf of the Office of

18 the Prosecutor I'm Thomas Hannis, I'm joined today by Christina Moeller

19 and Matthias Marcussen, and our case manager Susan Grogan.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis and for each of the accused

21 in turn as they appear in order on the conjoined indictment, please.

22 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, Eugene O'Sullivan and Slobodan

23 Zecevic appearing for Mr. Milutinovic who has waived his right to be

24 present.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.

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1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour I'm Vladimir Petrovic

2 and I'm representing Mr. Sainovic today. Thank you.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you confirm the position for me, please.

4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If you permit me, Mr. Sainovic is

5 informed about the Status Conference and he was waived his right to be

6 present.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.

8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am Tomislav Visnjic,

9 representing General Dragoljub Ojdanic, who has been informed of this

10 Status Conference and has waived his right to be present.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

12 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honour, I'm John Ackerman for

13 Nebojsa Pavkovic. I'm here with Aleksander Aleksic, my co-counsel and

14 General Pavkovic has no wish to be here. Thank you.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

16 Mr. Bakrac?

17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon. I am

18 Milhajlo Bakrac. Accompanied by Mr. Milan Petrovic, we represent General

19 Vladimir Lazarevic who is informed of this Status Conference and was

20 waived his right to be present, thank you.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.

22 That leaves you, Mr. Scudder, I think.

23 MR. SCUDDER: Good afternoon, Your Honour, I'm Theodore Scudder

24 I'm here on behalf of Sreten Lukic. Mr. Lukic also waives his right to be

25 here.

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1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Scudder.

2 Now, there are two things I think I ought to mention simply to

3 bring parties up to date on the way matters stand.

4 The Trial Chamber having made an order against a number of parties

5 for the production of material, an order sought at the instance of

6 General Ojdanic, and that order, having been challenged now, then

7 obviously there will not be any immediate response to it and an

8 application has indeed been made to stay the effect of that order beyond

9 the 21-day stay which was already provided for in the order.

10 It's to me unclear whether the Trial Chamber or the Appeals

11 Chamber ought to deal with that at the moment but it will be dealt with

12 fairly soon. Without committing any other who might be involved in that

13 decision, it seems to me likely that the stay would be granted in the

14 circumstances.

15 The other matter is the indictment itself. Regrettably, the

16 challenges to that have not yet been finally resolved by the Trial

17 Chamber. A number of significant matters do arise and fairly considerable

18 attention has already been given to these. That decision will not emerge

19 within the next few days but I hope that it will be made early in the new

20 year. I would not anticipate it being later than the end of January and I

21 hope in fact it will be earlier than that. There should be a draft

22 available in a fairly finalised form to the Trial Chamber prior to the

23 recess but I don't think that it's possible to resolve the matter until

24 after the recess.

25 Now, the fact that we had a very full 65 ter Conference at which I

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1 presided should have - should have - cut down the issues that require to

2 be explored here. I know there has been ongoing exchanges of

3 communication about disclosure but the tenor of these, in so far as I have

4 seen them, suggests that parties are working towards resolution of issues

5 and that, where Mr. Ackerman may have felt a bit frustrated before the 65

6 ter Conference, I don't have the same sense of frustration emerging from

7 the more recent communications.

8 Is that a fair assessment of the positions Mr. Ackerman?

9 MR. ACKERMAN: It is Your Honour. And as late as a few moments

10 ago I have a new communication from the Registry regarding a request that

11 I made by e-mail three or four days ago and all I can really say about it

12 is that they expressed some very serious problems with regard to staffing

13 and ability to meet my needs in a timely manner. But certainly an effort

14 to do so will be made and we are -- we are getting along just fine and

15 matters are proceeding, I think, as rapidly as they possibly can.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: The most recent problem identified, I think, is the

17 disclosure of material which has been marked for identification. But some

18 of that material is still the subject of consideration by the Milosevic

19 Trial Chamber. Much of it is marked for identification because of --

20 because it's untranslated and therefore its disclosure to you would not

21 necessarily be particularly helpful in any event at the moment. And there

22 are other items which are the subject of current consideration so there

23 will be developments on that front in any event and those which become

24 exhibits will be scanned, I assume, in priority to those that are remain

25 MFI'ed and you'll get them but since you have so much other material to

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1 keep you occupied throughout the winter, I suspect that you can create

2 your own priorities which will enable you to deal with this material in

3 due course.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, as you know from my prior filings the

5 day will never come when I'll run out of material to look at.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. In the absence from

7 indication from any other Defence counsel that there are particular

8 disclosure problems, I'm inclined to assume that disclosure is proceeding

9 as best it can at the moment.

10 Very well.

11 Now, Mr. Hannis, is there any particular issue you feel ought to

12 be raised in the course of this hearing?

13 MR. HANNIS: There is one thing I wanted to are bring to your

14 attention. This is a long-standing matter regarding our request for

15 protective measures concerning the witnesses for intercepted

16 communications.


18 MR. HANNIS: I think I informed you last time I understood that

19 there had been an oral communication to my boss that that was not going to

20 be a problem, that the national authorities were willing to reduce the

21 original request for protective measures to such an extent I thought it

22 might be more acceptable. But I have not received that confirmation in

23 writing yet. I know this has been on the trial's plate for a long time

24 now, and I'm willing to suggest to the Court that I'll withdraw the

25 current motion and then file an amended motion when I receive the written

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1 confirmation of exactly what restrictions they are willing to remove.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I see no objection to that proposed course of

3 action being suggested by anyone. And therefore, I will allow you to with

4 withdraw it, Mr. Hannis, and note that that has been done.

5 MR. HANNIS: I'm making that withdrawal with the understanding

6 that I would be allowed to file later.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. No, I'm grateful to you for doing that

8 because it -- I think it will help to focus the issue better if a fresh

9 application is made.

10 Now, does any counsel have any issue to raise?

11 All right.

12 It seems to me that if we are to proceed on the basis of 65 ter

13 being the appropriate forum for detailed discussion of issues in the case,

14 that not only would it be appropriate for the Accused to waive their

15 attendance at a Status Conference, it may even be appropriate for them to

16 waive the holding of a Status Conference.

17 I think the real reason for such an arrangement is to ensure that

18 Accused in custody have an opportunity of raising matters with the Bench,

19 and I note that the rule dealing with Status Conferences specifically

20 makes that point in relation to Appeals Chamber hearings but doesn't do so

21 clearly in relation to Trial Chamber business. It may turn out that it's

22 not possible to avoid holding one, but I think it may be possible to do so

23 and, should that be the view I ultimately form because of the way in which

24 cases are -- this case is being progressed, I may invite you to produce

25 written waivers at a later stage for any other Status Conference that I

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1 would otherwise be holding. I hesitate to make any firm decision on the

2 matter, since I remain hopeful, not expectant but hopeful, that the case

3 might be transferred to a Trial Chamber sooner rather than later, with a

4 view to the pre-trial business being conducted by the Presiding Judge who

5 would preside at the trial. I'm not in a position to indicate that that

6 is going to happen at a particular stage at the moment. So I rely simply

7 on the possibility, to restrain me from making firm arrangements for

8 future pre-trial hearings in this case. If I remain the Pre-Trial Judge I

9 envisage following the course that has recently been followed and dealing

10 with the matter in detail at a 65 ter Conference.

11 I'm grateful to you all for your assistance so far in the case.

12 I'm sorry that this has turned out to be rather a formality, but one which

13 in the current circumstances was unavoidable and I am now in a position to

14 adjourn the Status Conference.

15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

16 2.47 p.m.