Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7506

1 Thursday, 28 September 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, please call the

6 case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is case number IT-04-74-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Jadranko Prlic et al.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning to

10 everyone here in the courtroom, to Mr. Mundis, who is back with us. Good

11 morning to all Defence counsel; good morning to the accused; and good

12 morning to everyone in the courtroom.

13 I'm now going to read slowly an oral ruling of the Chamber that is

14 directed at the Prosecution, and I'd like the Prosecution to listen very

15 carefully. This is an oral ruling related to the application made by the

16 Prosecution for the admission of Narodni and of the minutes of the HVO HZ

17 HB, HR HB filed on the 26th of September, 2006.

18 And the 26th of September, 2006, the Prosecution filed a written

19 application with the Chamber requesting the admission of Narodni for the

20 years 1992, 1993, and 1994, as well as the admission of the minutes of the

21 HVO HZ HB, HR HB. This application is linked to the hearing of expert

22 witness Tomljanovich on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, and 18th and 19th of

23 September, 2006, and it falls within the scope of application of the

24 decision of the Chamber of 13th of July, 2006, decision related to the

25 admission of evidence and, more specifically, with respect to paragraph 6

Page 7507

1 of said decision. Let me remind you of paragraph 6 of that decision.

2 Paragraph 6 provides that in compliance with the conditions stated

3 afterwards, the Prosecution may, after the testimony of a witness and

4 within eight days following the appearance of the witness before the

5 Chamber, the Prosecution may file a written application with the Chamber

6 requesting the admission of exhibits that were not put to the witness

7 during the hearing and exhibits that the witness could have commented upon

8 during his or her testimony. In the rest of the paragraph we find the

9 criteria that need to be complied with for such an application to be

10 admitted. And in accordance to the said decision, the Defence has eight

11 days to respond and to lodge any objections.

12 The Trial Chamber would like to note that the written application

13 was filed within the time provided for, time limits provided for by

14 paragraph 6. However, the Chamber believes that the application should be

15 rejected because the Prosecution has not complied with the decision of

16 13th of July, 2006. The Trial Chamber would like to recall that such an

17 application filed according to paragraph 6 of the said decision should

18 comply with the criteria listed in the decision. Such an application

19 should, among other things, provide the reasons why an exhibit is

20 absolutely essential for the determination of the case, and these reasons

21 have to be provided for every single exhibit. This exercise should have

22 been conducted by the Prosecution, but it was not done.

23 The Prosecution has asked for the admission of Narodni and of the

24 minutes of HVO HR HB, and this includes or this represents hundreds of

25 documents. As stated in the Prosecution in its written application, a

Page 7508

1 large number of documents published in Narodni and of the minutes of the

2 HVO HR HB have been mentioned in the expert report of the witness

3 Tomljanovich. Some of these exhibits were submitted to the witness and

4 commented upon during his hearing. The application then asked for the

5 admission of these exhibits orally during the hearing.

6 As for the exhibits submitted during the hearing, the Chamber will

7 rule on these in the next few days. However, with respect to the

8 application of 26 September, 2006, the Trial Chamber cannot admit this

9 request. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber believes that by submitting a

10 number of documents during the testimony of the witness Tomljanovich, the

11 Prosecution should have already made a selection in Narodni List and in

12 the minutes of the HVO HR HB. It should have selected the most important

13 documents for its case.

14 For the future, let me say that it is not excluded for the

15 Prosecution to introduce further documents from the Narodni List and the

16 minutes of the HR HB with further witnesses.

17 Mr. Mundis, this was a rather long decision, but let me just

18 summarise by saying that we've rejected your written application because

19 your application did not fulfil the criteria that we had listed. We had

20 demanded that for every document you should explain the relevance of the

21 document and tell us why the document is essential and important, and this

22 is something you should do for every single document. Since you did not

23 respect the instructions outlined in the decision, your application is

24 rejected.

25 Let me now make a comment, a personal comment, on my own name.

Page 7509

1 I'm very surprised to find that this is not the first time that after a

2 decision rendered by the Trial Chamber, the guidance, the instructions

3 given by the Trial Chamber are not complied with. Maybe there was a

4 misunderstanding. The instructions of the Chamber have not been fully

5 understood. That would surprise me. Or maybe it is because it has been

6 decided not to comply with the decisions of the Chamber, and that would be

7 an extremely serious matter. This is the personal comment I wished to

8 make about this particular issue.

9 We need to understand -- you need to understand that when a Trial

10 Chamber makes a decision, that it sets framework, then the parties should

11 comply with the decision such as rendered by the Trial Chamber.

12 That completes the oral ruling, but now we'll move into private

13 session because, as far as I understand, protective measures will be

14 applied for. Private session, please, Madam Registrar.

15 [Private session]

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25 [Open session]

Page 7526

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Back in open session. Would any

3 of the parties like to say anything, raise a point? Mr. Murphy.

4 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, since there has been some discussion of

5 rumours, one was circulating some time ago that the Trial Chamber was

6 considering one or two days of recess around United Nations Day, and I

7 wondered whether that was merely rumour or whether there was any substance

8 to it.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last time the subject was

10 discussed at the request of one of the counsel, I don't remember which

11 one, the day -- UN Day, United Nations Day, was the 24th of October, I

12 believe, and that was a Tuesday. Now, we decided not to have the Monday

13 hearing and to put the Monday hearing forward to the following Friday. So

14 to sit on Friday instead of Monday. So that's what we said last time. So

15 during the week of October we're going to have a sitting on Wednesday, the

16 25th of October, Thursday the 26th of October, and Friday the 27th of

17 October. So they're not rumours. They're certitudes, Mr. Murphy. But I

18 thought that was clear.

19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, we all jotted

20 that into our diaries, and of course that's -- we're happy to have those

21 days, but I think Mr. Murphy was referring to the rumours -- to rumours

22 which have it that we might get the rest of the week off. So not the 23rd

23 and 24th, but the rest of the week.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm sorry, that is

25 really a very big but erroneous rumour going round. It's just not

Page 7527

1 possible. You can see that the Prosecution has 400 hours. We have to

2 move ahead, and to have an expeditious trial means that we have to have

3 this rhythm of sittings put in place. So we have to have these three days

4 of sitting. But I would like to take advantage of what you've just said

5 to look at the Prosecution and ask them that within those 400 hours they

6 could complete their -- to complete their evidence and to -- we looked at

7 the documents according to the municipalities, and you -- you provided us

8 a file for Gornji Vakuf. Now, since then we've heard nothing more. So

9 we're going to finish with the Prozor municipality. I don't know which

10 municipality comes next, which you're going to deal with next, but it

11 might be a good idea to have these files sent in, to continue that

12 practice of supplying us with the files so that we can have a better

13 overview of the evidence that you're going to present.

14 Mr. Mundis, can you tell us anything about that?

15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I can in very broad brush

16 strokes inform the Trial Chamber and the Defence that following Prozor we

17 will in fact move to the municipality of Gornji Vakuf, to be followed by

18 Jablanica.

19 It is our intention to, within each of those municipalities, to

20 call a combination or a mixture of viva voce witnesses, 92 ter witnesses,

21 primarily being crime base and victim witness type of testimony. We will

22 also, however, throughout those municipalities, to use the term Mr. Scott

23 likes to use, sprinkle in international witnesses and other witnesses who

24 perhaps, although not crime base witnesses per se, were present in those

25 municipalities at the relevant time period so that there could be a

Page 7528

1 BritBat officer or an ECMM monitor, et cetera within those municipalities.

2 At the conclusion or completion of the viva voce and 92 ter

3 evidence concerning that municipality, as soon as possible thereafter, we

4 will then be moving into evidence any 92 bis statements that relate to

5 that municipality.

6 Now, with respect, Your Honours, to the concept of a dossier,

7 Judge Antonetti is quite correct in recalling that we did at one point

8 produce a dossier as a sample during the pre-trial phase. If my

9 understanding and recollection is correct, the trial guidelines issued by

10 the Trial Chamber, or the revised version, on or about the 28th of April,

11 2006, contained provisions relating to the use of dossier type of

12 evidence. I will revisit that issue with my colleagues, but in light of

13 the Trial Chamber's decision concerning the use of dossier evidence,

14 I'm -- I don't believe that the Prosecution will be producing dossiers per

15 the sample that was produced for the simple reason that our position, the

16 Prosecution position with respect to dossiers, is that once they were

17 produced, the Defence would then be required to respond to what issues

18 within the dossier were actually contested. The Trial Chamber did not

19 adopt that position, and as a result of that the Prosecution view, and

20 again I will revisit that issue with my team, but the Prosecution position

21 is that it would not result in any time savings to produce comprehensive

22 dossiers with respect to each of the municipalities, in the absence of the

23 entire dossier going into evidence including the written statements,

24 including all of the documents in the dossier, unless the Defence were

25 then required to indicate very precisely what was at issue and we would

Page 7529

1 then lead evidence on those limited points.

2 But again, that's my recollection, Your Honours, based on the

3 revised trial guidelines that were issued on or about the 28th of April.

4 I will revisit the issue with my team, but I don't believe we will be

5 producing comprehensive dossiers with respect to the municipalities. And

6 I'm using dossier in the sense of all the witness statements, all of the

7 documents, maps exhibits, et cetera. We are not contemplating doing that

8 in the absence of very strict requirements being placed upon the Defence

9 to respond and indicate precisely what in those dossiers is contested.

10 But we will be proceeding on a basis of calling witnesses

11 municipality by municipality to the greatest extent possible. After

12 Prozor, moving on to Gornji Vakuf and then Jablanica municipalities for

13 the next, say, five to six weeks, and that there would be a mixture of

14 complete viva voce witnesses, 92 ter witnesses, primarily crime base and

15 victim witnesses but with a few internationals relating to those

16 municipalities sprinkled in. And as soon as we were done with that live

17 evidence we would be making the 92 bis motion with respect to additional

18 written witness statements that we would argue do not need to come and

19 appear for purposes of cross-examination.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're perfectly right, Mr.

21 Mundis, but in my mind -- to my mind, this dossier was to be envisaged as

22 follows: We have an indictment, a pre-trial brief, the response by the

23 Defence. We've heard witnesses already. We have received maps. We have

24 92 bis material. We have judicial notice that was made about certain

25 issues. So to my mind, in order to help the Defence and to help the Trial

Page 7530

1 Chamber, because to help is something noble, to help the other party to

2 understand what is being put forward. So I understood it as -- without

3 any prejudice to the rights of the Defence, I understood a dossier as

4 containing maps, for example, because sometimes we are faced with

5 difficulties. We saw it when we dealt with humanitarian convoys. There's

6 talk about a village, a town, but we do not have a map in front of us.

7 You can see what sort of problems we are confronted with. So we could

8 imagine that we would receive a dossier with maps.

9 Since last week we've been using 92 ter, and we could envisage a

10 list of viva voce witnesses, a list of 92 bis witnesses, a list of 89(F)

11 witnesses, a Rule that is still in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

12 And we could imagine the -- also to receive the events that were taken

13 judicial notice of. Therefore, when we start talking about Gornji Vakuf

14 or Mostar, the Defence could have a look at these documents and would

15 immediately have a very clear overview of the case, of the situation.

16 That's a way of working, of conducting our proceedings. And when the

17 Defence calls its witnesses, there would be nothing preventing the Defence

18 from preparing a dossier for the Prosecution and for the Trial Chamber, a

19 dossier including maps, lists of witnesses.

20 We're only trying to find the best approach to deal with witnesses

21 when they come here and testify and answer our questions. That's the way

22 I understood the whole matter. And when Ms. Carla Del Ponte came here

23 herself to explain that the Prosecution had a plan, a strategy to use

24 these 400 hours and complete its case within these time constraints, if I

25 remember correctly, she mentioned the issue of dossiers.

Page 7531

1 You've referred to a decision rendered by the Trial Chamber, but I

2 do not believe that the -- the decision of the Trial Chamber has put an

3 end to these dossiers. Obviously the dossiers are not there to be

4 admitted, but they can be very helpful, very useful.

5 The Judges will discuss the matter further. If my colleagues and

6 myself believe that it's absolutely necessary, then we might render a

7 decision requesting you to provide that type of dossier, because we are

8 confronted with an avalanche of documents, and sometimes we find it

9 difficult to focus and to find the proper geographical context we are

10 talking about. We find it difficult to find the proper references,

11 cross-references to the crime base witnesses, and if we had such a

12 dossier, that might help us. But the Judges will discuss the matter

13 further.

14 Does any other Defence counsel want to take the floor about this

15 specific matter?

16 Well, would the parties like to raise any other issue? Yes, Mr.

17 Prlic.

18 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have just one

19 question. As the Rules have already changed, 92 ter and so on, and we

20 have heard that the Prosecutor needs 400 hours for the presentation of

21 their case, changes in the Rules make it possible to do this in a

22 relatively shorter period of time.

23 As we are all attempting to plan ahead in our lives, when can we

24 expect the Prosecution case to be over? Is it in March next year, for

25 example? So that we can have an idea as to how the proceedings will go

Page 7532

1 on. Of course, having a fair trial is important, but we are also

2 interested in time. Thank you.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm not sure Mr. Mundis

4 can tell us when the case will -- the presentation of the case will be

5 completed, but as Mr. Prlic just said, apparently the case of the

6 Prosecution should be presented by the month of April. And not beyond the

7 month of April, because the Defence put -- the question put to you by the

8 Defence is very relevant, because the Defence counsel need to prepare

9 their witnesses, their lists. There is a tremendous amount of work that

10 needs to be done by the Defence, and they might need some idea about when

11 you are going to end.

12 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we're -- at this point in time we're

13 in -- still in the first municipality of approximately 12 different

14 clusters of municipalities or camps to be done. With respect to the 400

15 hours, my understanding is that we are at approximately hour 80 of the 400

16 hours that have been allotted to the Prosecution. I clearly don't believe

17 we'll be completed with the Prosecution case by March or April, but again

18 we're constantly reviewing that, and I can assure the Trial Chamber that

19 we are moving as expeditiously as possible but with the same goal of

20 making sure, because it's our responsibility and duty to do so, that the

21 Trial Chamber has all of the evidence that we believe is necessary for the

22 presentation of our case. And Mr. Scott and I and the Prosecutor have

23 repeatedly stressed that point, that we will do what we need to do to

24 fulfil our duties and ensuring that all of the relevant evidence is before

25 Your Honours. And that's about all I can say at this point in time.

Page 7533

1 We are certainly not at any point close to being complete with the

2 Prosecution case. We are still in the first of a number of municipalities

3 to come.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. If Rule 92 ter was

5 admitted by the Judges in order to gain time and amongst the victim

6 witnesses that will appear, I suppose that a lot of them can be heard in

7 accordance with that new Rule. You have to conduct that assessment, and

8 if that applies, after a written statement would be admitted and then a

9 cross-examination by the Defence would immediately follow. Therefore, we

10 would multiply the number of witnesses to be heard. That would allow us

11 to speed up the proceedings tremendously, but it's up to you to review

12 your case in light of new Rule 92 ter.

13 Then there's also the matter of Rule 92 bis. You can always file

14 application for the admission of evidence under Rule 92 bis. And the same

15 applies to the Defence, because I understand that the Defence considers

16 calling a number of witnesses, a high number of witnesses, and the Defence

17 can already try to decide which witnesses could be heard according to Rule

18 92 bis or Rule 92 ter. As a result you could hear a great number of

19 witnesses because the procedure provided for by these two Rules allows us

20 to gain a lot of time.

21 You've told me that you've used up 80 hours. We will have a look

22 at the time already used up, but I had the feeling that you had already

23 used up a quarter of the time allotted to you, and that would be 100

24 hours, but we'll look at the matter.

25 Mr. Praljak, you were on your feet.

Page 7534

1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I risk being

2 tedious in connection with a topic, and that topic is the ease with which

3 erroneous concepts are being bandied about here. The country we are

4 talking about is called Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is not called Bosnia.

5 There are two geographical areas in that country. One of them is Bosnia

6 and the second one is Herzegovina.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your -- are you dealing with a

8 matter of substance or is this a procedural question?

9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I am discussing an insult,

10 Your Honours. I feel insulted because the Prosecutor keeps saying Bosnia

11 when he means a country called Bosnia-Herzegovina. The country we are

12 talking about is called Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I do not believe that Mr. Mundis

14 intended to insult you in any way. We are talking about Bosnia and

15 Herzegovina. That's quite clear.

16 Mr. Mundis, did you talk about Bosnia or about Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina?

18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I simply used the word

19 Bosnia as a shorthand for Bosnia-Herzegovina. I certainly meant no insult

20 to General Praljak, and I would have hoped that he had slightly thicker

21 skin than that, but we will try to use Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course,

22 that is the name of the country. We all understand that.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, are you satisfied

24 with this explanation?

25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't mean

Page 7535

1 somebody intended to insult me, but we have heard Bosnia and

2 Herzegovinians here. That's a total confusion in terms, geographical

3 terms, national terms. I have the right to be sensitive on this topic and

4 I will remain so. Your Honour, allow me the right to be sensitive to a

5 question such as, am I a Croat? I'm not a Bosnian Croat. Your country's

6 called the Swiss Confederation. It's not called Switsmits [phoen] or

7 something like that. You cannot be a Breton from Normandy and so I cannot

8 be a Bosnian Croat. It is insufferable the way erroneous terminology is

9 used here with such ease.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have listened carefully to

11 your comments. Rest assured that the Judges always refer to

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13 Mr. Coric.

14 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I fully support

15 what General Praljak has said and his intervention, and I wish to broaden

16 what he said. I was a deputy in the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17 Some people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are not Croats, in order to

18 humiliate us, who are from Herzegovina, use the same terminology used here

19 so that once in parliament I said, "Ladies and gentlemen, when you call

20 this country Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia, I think this is improper. From

21 now on I will say Herzegovina when I refer to this country, meaning

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina." I just wanted to show you why we are sensitive to

23 this issue. Thank you.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We've heard you. We've

25 made a note of your sensitivity and of your emotion. Rest assured that

Page 7536

1 we'll always refer to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we'll never use the term

2 of "Bosnia."

3 Would the parties like to raise any other issue? Mr. Pusic.

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11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting Mr.

12 Pusic, but I think this should be done in closed session. Thank you, Your

13 Honours. And stricken from the record.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we will move into private

15 session, and we'll issue an order to redact. I'll give the floor to you

16 afterwards.

17 [Private session]

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25 [Open session]

Page 7541

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would anybody else

3 like to raise any other matters? If not, and it's time to make a break

4 anyway, but we won't reconvene after the break, of course, because we have

5 no witnesses. And the hearing is adjourned until the next sitting, which

6 is on Monday at 2.15.

7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.23 a.m.,

8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day

9 of October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.