Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Wednesday, 2 October 2002

 2                          [Rule 62 bis Hearing]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused appeared via videolink]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

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

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

 8    IT-00-39 & 40-PT, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik and

 9    Biljana Plavsic.

10            JUDGE MAY:  We can now hear the appearances.

11            MR. HARMON:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon, my

12    learned friends from the Defence.  My name is Mark Harmon.  I will be

13    representing the Prosecutor in these proceedings.  Appearing with me is

14    the Prosecutor, Madam Carla Del Ponte.  Appearing at the location of the

15    videolink is Mr. Alan Tieger.

16            JUDGE MAY:  Yes.

17            MR. O'SULLIVAN:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  Eugene O'Sullivan,

18    appearing on behalf of Mrs. Plavsic.  And with her on location is lead

19    counsel Mr. Robert Pavich.

20            JUDGE MAY:  Mrs. Plavsic, can you hear me?

21            THE ACCUSED PLAVSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.

22            JUDGE MAY:  This is a hearing at the request of the accused to

23    change her plea to the indictment.

24            Mr. O'Sullivan, do you ask that count 3 be put again?

25            MR. O'SULLIVAN:  Yes, Your Honour, that is our request.

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 1            JUDGE MAY:  Thank you.

 2            Biljana Plavsic, count 3 of this indictment charges you with

 3    persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds, a crime against

 4    humanity, punishable under Articles 5(H) and 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statue

 5    of the Tribunal.  Mrs. Plavsic, how do you plead to that count; guilty or

 6    not guilty?

 7            THE INTERPRETER:  I'm sorry, we can't hear the defendant.

 8            JUDGE MAY:  Could you please repeat it.  The interpreters have had

 9    trouble hearing.

10            THE ACCUSED PLAVSIC: [Interpretation] I plead guilty.

11            JUDGE MAY:  You plead guilty.

12            The Rules of the Tribunal require that the Trial Chamber is

13    satisfied that a plea of guilty has been made voluntarily, that it is

14    informed and not equivocal, and that there is a sufficient factual basis

15    for the crime and the participation of the accused in it.

16            Mrs. Plavsic, in the plea agreement which we have read, you have

17    signed a declaration that you entered into the agreement freely and

18    voluntarily, understanding its terms, and having been advised by your

19    lawyers.  You have also signed a statement to the same effect in which is

20    added that the plea is informed and unequivocal.  Do you confirm that

21    those declarations are correct?

22            THE ACCUSED PLAVSIC: [Interpretation] I do.

23            JUDGE MAY:  We understand that the Prosecutor will withdraw or

24    have dismissed the remaining counts at the time of sentencing.

25            Would you confirm, Mr. Harmon, that that is correct.

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 1            MR. HARMON:  That is correct, Mr. President.

 2                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 3            JUDGE MAY:  Very well.  The Trial Chamber is satisfied of all the

 4    matters set out in Rule 62 bis, finds that this is a voluntary and

 5    informed and unequivocal plea, is satisfied as to the factual basis, and

 6    therefore enters a finding of guilt on count 3.

 7            It remains for us to fix a date for the sentencing hearing.  We

 8    have available some days in December.  I say "available."  There is a

 9    trial going on, but we could make a period of time available during that

10    occasion.  That would be in the week of the 16th -- Monday, the 16th of

11    December.  We have in mind certainly that day, and we'll hear any

12    submissions that anybody may have to make in regard to the length of the

13    hearing.

14            Mr. Harmon, how long would the Prosecution require?

15            MR. HARMON:  Mr. President, counsel and I have conferred on this

16    matter on a number of occasions and it is our conclusion that we would

17    require that the total length of the hearing would require three days.  So

18    we would request that a hearing be permitted during the time period of --

19    from December the 16th through the end of the 18th of December.

20            JUDGE ROBINSON:  Why three days, Mr. Harmon?  How many witnesses

21    do you have in mind?

22            MR. HARMON:  At this point, given that this matter has just been

23    public, we have not fixed a witness list but we anticipate we will have a

24    number of witnesses to call before this hearing, and we will be submitting

25    those lists in consultation with the Chamber.  But to be on the safe side,

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 1    we believe three days would be a time that would be sufficient, given the

 2    magnitude of this case and the importance of this case.

 3                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 4            JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Harmon, my view is that the Tribunal cannot

 5    at this time afford to spend three days on a sentence hearing.  I would

 6    say at the most one full day and one session of the next day.  This is a

 7    sentence hearing; it's not a trial.

 8            JUDGE MAY:  Bear in mind that much of the evidence can be given in

 9    written form, particularly as far as the Prosecution are concerned.

10    That's the time we have in mind.

11            Mr. O'Sullivan, how many witnesses have you in mind to call?

12            MR. O'SULLIVAN:  Well, can I start by saying the three days of

13    which Mr. Harmon speaks is three days in totality for both parties.  It's

14    in that context that we're talking about three days.

15            JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes, I took that into account, but my comments

16    still remain.

17            MR. O'SULLIVAN:  Well, I would make the following points:  That

18    since this matter has only become public today, we as well are about to

19    begin contacting potential witnesses.  And in our submission, we are

20    dealing with a case involving a high-level political leader who has

21    entered a plea of guilty, and both parties would like to make full

22    representation in court through its witnesses, and we are dealing with a

23    person who is at the highest level of political leadership.  And I know

24    that in other plea hearings regarding other people at much lower levels,

25    guards, for instance, a day or two has been set aside.

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 1            So in our submission three days, given the magnitude of this case

 2    and the importance to our client, that we wish on her behalf in

 3    consultation and in concert with the Prosecution to have those three days

 4    set aside.

 5            JUDGE MAY:  Well, Mr. O'Sullivan, of course it's -- but it's not a

 6    practice that we want to encourage sentence hearings of that length, and

 7    also you will bear in mind that there are other matters before the

 8    Tribunal which -- including an ongoing trial for which time has to be

 9    found.

10            Could I make the point to you too that much of the matter could be

11    produced in written form.  I have in mind statements from witnesses and

12    the like, could be produced to the Tribunal in written form.  I would have

13    thought that -- of course there may be other witnesses you want to call,

14    but many -- for instance, if you want to produce character witnesses, they

15    can be produced in written form, and the Tribunal can read what they have

16    to say.

17            Well, we've considered the matter, and given the other pressures

18    on the Trial Chamber for time, what we have in mind is to fix the 16th and

19    the morning of the 17th of December for this hearing.  If it's necessary

20    to go on longer, of course we'll consider that.  But counsel on both sides

21    should work on the basis that the hearing would last a day and a half.

22            We will meanwhile fix a date for -- or dates, rather, for a

23    timetable for the pleadings.

24                          [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

25            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. O'Sullivan, we will fix a date for the various

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 1    pleadings in the matter.

 2            I turn next to the question of provisional release.

 3            Mr. O'Sullivan, you applied that provisional release should be

 4    continued?

 5            MR. O'SULLIVAN:  That's correct, Your Honour.  That is our

 6    request.

 7            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Harmon, do you have any objection to that request?

 8            MR. HARMON:  Your Honour, we have no objection to that request.

 9                          [Trial Chamber confers]

10            JUDGE MAY:  We'll go into private session to discuss one matter.

11              [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]

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 3                          [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

 4            JUDGE MAY:  I'm told that the confidentiality order in relation to

 5    some of these matters needs to be lifted.  Is that right?  Help me.

 6            MR. HARMON:  That is correct, Your Honour.  Pursuant to Rule 62

 7    ter (C), the plea agreement is required to be disclosed in open session,

 8    and therefore we would request that the seal be lifted on the plea

 9    agreement only.

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15                          [Open session]

16            JUDGE MAY:  Very well.  The position is this:  Mrs. Plavsic, we're

17    going to take a wholly exceptional course in your case because these are

18    wholly exceptional circumstances.  And for reasons of security, we are

19    going to continue your provisional release.  You must appear here for

20    sentence on the days which have been fixed.  The fact that we have

21    extended the provisional release is not, of course, to be taken as any

22    indication as to a sentence to be passed.

23            That concludes this hearing.  The matter is now adjourned.

24                          --- Whereupon the Rule 62 ter Hearing

25                          adjourned at 3.18 p.m.