Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Thursday, 11 January 2001

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 11 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the Registrar call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

8 IT-00-40-I, the Prosecutor of the Tribunal versus Biljana Plavsic.

9 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear the appearances.

10 MS. DEL PONTE: Yes, Your Honour. Myself, Carla Del Ponte, and my

11 colleague, Brenda Hollis, are here for the Prosecution, and Mrs. Javier is

12 also present. Thank you, Your Honour.

13 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name

14 is Krstan Simic, and today I represent Mrs. Biljana Plavsic.

15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

16 This is the initial appearance of the accused in this case to be

17 conducted in accordance with Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and

18 Evidence.

19 The first matter we have to deal with concerns the indictment and

20 the accused's pleas to it. The accused has the right to have the

21 indictment read out before she pleads to it, but this is a right which she

22 may waive.

23 Mr. Simic, does your client waive the right to have the indictment

24 read out or does she want it read out?

25 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mrs. Plavsic has received

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1 the indictment, studied it. She understands it and there is no need for

2 it to be read out. Therefore, we waive that right.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The next stage is the accused's pleas to

4 the indictment. The Rules provide that the accused must be informed that,

5 within 30 days of today, she will be called on to enter a plea on each of

6 the counts in the indictment. But should the accused so request, she may

7 enter her pleas today.

8 Mr. Simic, two questions for you: First of all, does the accused

9 understand the indictment and the matters to which she has to plead? I

10 understand from your earlier answer that she does.

11 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Professor Biljana

12 Plavsic, yesterday, on the 10th of January, 2001, received the indictment

13 which charges her with the crimes described therein. She has read the

14 indictment, understood it; together we have studied it. Mrs. Plavsic has

15 been familiarised with the Rules of Procedure and the Statute of the

16 Tribunal, and she is ready today to enter a plea on the counts of the

17 indictment.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

19 Mrs. Plavsic, will you stand, please.

20 [The accused stands]

21 JUDGE MAY: Will you confine your answers to "guilty" or "not

22 guilty" to each of the counts as I put them to you.

23 Counts 1 to 6 of the indictment allege offences against Bosnian

24 Muslims and Bosnian Croats, committed between July 1991 and December

25 1992.

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1 In Count 1 of the indictment, you are charged with genocide,

2 punishable under Articles 4(3), 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute of the

3 International Tribunal.

4 How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I

6 received the indictment yesterday, I have understood it fully, and I plead

7 not guilty on all counts of that indictment.

8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. I must put the counts to you.

9 Count 2, complicity in genocide, punishable under Articles 4,

10 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

11 How do you plead?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

13 JUDGE MAY: Count 3, extermination, a crime against humanity,

14 punishable under Articles 5(b), 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

15 How do you plead?

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

17 JUDGE MAY: Count 4, murder, a crime against humanity, punishable

18 under Articles 5, 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

19 How do you plead?

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

21 JUDGE MAY: Count 5, murder, a violation of the laws or customs of

22 war, as recognised by Common Article 3(1) of the Geneva Conventions of

23 1949, punishable under Articles 3, 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

24 How do you plead?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

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1 JUDGE MAY: Count 6, wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva

2 Conventions of 1949, punishable under Articles 2(a), 7(1), and 7(3) of the

3 Statute.

4 How do you plead?

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

6 JUDGE MAY: Count 7 charges you with persecution during the same

7 period. The charge is one of persecution on political, racial, and

8 religious grounds, a crime against humanity, punishable under Articles 5,

9 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

10 How do you plead?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

12 JUDGE MAY: Counts 8 and 9 charge you with deportation and

13 inhumane acts during the same period.

14 Count 8 charges deportation, a crime against humanity, punishable

15 under Articles 5, 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute.

16 How do you plead?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

18 JUDGE MAY: Count 9 charges you with inhumane acts (forced

19 transfer), a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 5(i), 7(1),

20 and 7(3) of the Statute.

21 How do you plead?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you'd like to take a seat.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

25 JUDGE MAY: Madam Prosecutor, going on to the next stage of the

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1 proceedings, as you know, the Prosecution are required, within 30 days of

2 today, to provide the Defence with copies of the supporting material for

3 the confirmation of this indictment in a language which the accused

4 understands. May I take it that this matter is in hand?

5 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I can inform

6 you and the Defence attorney can confirm that he has already received all

7 the supporting material with the indictment. To be quite precise, a video

8 is lacking which we will tender in the next few days. Therefore, all the

9 documents except for this video.

10 I also wish to underline that we have provided the documents in

11 two languages, which means including the language of the accused, that is,

12 the Serbian language.

13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Simic, it seems that disclosure is taking place,

14 has substantially been completed. When it is -- let me remind you that

15 all preliminary motions must be brought within 30 days of Prosecution

16 disclosure.

17 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can confirm what the

18 Prosecutor has just said, that yesterday the Office of the Prosecutor

19 disclosed to the Defence a large number of documents. Understandably,

20 however, we have not been able to review those documents and sign a

21 receipt as to all the documents that we have received. We do believe that

22 the disclosure has been accomplished, and as soon as we receive the video

23 cassette, we understand that the time begins to run as envisaged by the

24 Statute and the Rules of Procedure.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Simic, are there any other matters which you want

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1 to raise at this hearing?

2 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know whether this

3 is the right place or time, but I would like to highlight a problem which

4 we consider to be a very serious one and it is something that we have

5 already discussed with the Office of the Prosecutor. That is the question

6 of detention.

7 We are not raising the issue of release from detention because we

8 understand the Rules in that regard. However, we believe that the

9 conditions in the Detention Unit which has been designed as a detention

10 unit for men is unacceptable because it is inappropriate for the detention

11 of a woman, in this case Ms. Plavsic. In all prisons in the world, there

12 are separate facilities for men and women.

13 Should an area be appropriately adjusted for Ms. Plavsic, she

14 would still be living in a male environment and, in fact, she would be in

15 absolute isolation, and we all know what that would mean for the accused

16 because solitary detention is punishment and this is something that has

17 not been envisaged in this particular case. So we consider this to be a

18 very serious problem.

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Simic, the matters about detention and the

20 conditions of detention are not matters for the Trial Chamber to

21 determine. They are matters for the President. So if you have any

22 applications in respect of the conditions of detention, you should make

23 them promptly to the President.

24 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we will do that. It was

25 not our intention to make any requests of the Chamber. We just felt it

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1 our duty to inform the Chamber, but we will act in accordance with the

2 Rules.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

4 Madam Prosecutor, is there anything that you wish to raise at this

5 stage?

6 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, very briefly.

7 Simply in response to what has been said by the Defence, I should like to

8 underline that we as the Prosecution are fully aware of this problem, and

9 we will try to find a solution which will be in conformity with conditions

10 of detention. But as you know, this is not the place to discuss this.

11 I just wish to inform the Trial Chamber that in a few days time we

12 will submitting a motion for joinder of the indictment of Ms. Plavsic with

13 the indictment of the accused Krajisnik. This is just by way of

14 information for the Trial Chamber.

15 I think that is all we have to raise at this moment. Thank you

16 Mr. President.

17 [Trial Chamber confers]

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, you spoke of

19 joinder. Does that mean that there will be a single indictment for both

20 accused?

21 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have requested a

22 joinder, and we are ready to issue a single indictment, without any

23 judgement, of course, because the facts are virtually the same. So if the

24 Chamber requires us to produce a single indictment, we will do so.

25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I think that would be preferable,

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1 to issue a single indictment. It would be simpler and more practical for

2 us in terms of procedure.

3 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We will do

4 that.

5 [Trial Chamber confers]

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If there are no further matters to be

7 raised, this case will be adjourned until the first Status Conference.

8 That must take place before the 11th of May.

9 In due course, we will consider the application for joining this

10 indictment with the indictment in the case of Krajisnik. But meanwhile,

11 the case will be adjourned until a date is fixed by the Trial Chamber or

12 by the Pre-Trial Judge, before the 11th of May. The accused, meanwhile,

13 must remain in the Detention Unit.

14 That concludes this hearing.

15 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned at

16 11.19 a.m.










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