Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Tuesday, 23 September 2014

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [The appellants entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 3.32 p.m.

 5             JUDGE MERON:  Please be seated.

 6             Registrar, will you please call the case.

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

 8     IT-04-74-A, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.

 9             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.  I would like to begin by checking that

10     the audio equipment is working properly.  Can the appellants hear the

11     proceedings in a language that they understand?

12             Let me start with Mr. Prlic.  Can you hear me?

13             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  Yes, Mr. President.  I hear you and I

14     understand you.

15             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Prlic.

16             Mr. Stojic.

17             THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Yes.  Everything is all

18     right, Your Honours.

19             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Stojic.

20             Mr. Praljak.

21             THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Everything is all right,

22     Your Honour.

23             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

24             Mr. Petkovic.

25             THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything

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 1     is fine.  I can hear you well.

 2             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

 3             Mr. Coric.

 4             THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything is

 5     all right.

 6             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

 7             Counsel for the Prosecution.

 8             MS. PINZAUTI:  Yes, Your Honour, we hear you.  And for the

 9     record, it's Giulia Pinzauti, Senior Appeals Counsel Douglas Stringer,

10     and Case Manager Colin Nawrot appearing for the Prosecution.

11             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.  I note that on September 15th Mr. Pusic

12     filed his consent to hold today's Status Conference in his absence.

13             Appearances for the Prosecution in fact we already have had, so

14     appearances for the Defence.

15             For Mr. Prlic.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  Michael Karnavas for

17     Dr. Prlic.

18             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.

19             For Mr. Stojic.

20             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.  I am

21     Senka Nozica.  Together with me in the courtroom is Molly Martin,

22     pro bono legal assistant, for the Defence of Mr. Stojic.

23             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Ms. Nozica.

24             For Mr. Praljak.

25             MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.

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 1     Nika Pinter for General Praljak.

 2             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Ms. Pinter.

 3             For Mr. Petkovic.

 4             MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.  For

 5     General Petkovic, Vesna Alaburic, Defence Attorney.

 6             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Ms. Alaburic.

 7             For Mr. Coric.

 8             MR. PLAVEC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good afternoon.

 9     Drazen Plavec, co-counsel for Mr. Coric.

10             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Plavec.

11             And for Mr. Pusic.

12             MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.

13     For Mr. Pusic, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic attorney from Sarajevo.  Thank you.

14             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Ibrisimovic.

15             As you are all aware, the Rule 65 bis B of the Rules of Procedure

16     and Evidence requires a Status Conference to be convened within 120 days

17     after the last Status Conference has been held for each appellant in the

18     Tribunal's custody.  The Status Conference serves two primary purposes.

19             First, it allows the appellants an opportunity to express

20     concerns relating to their appeal or detention conditions and for the

21     Tribunal to inquire about the mental and physical condition of the

22     detained persons.

23             Second it provides an opportunity to update the appellants with

24     respect to the status of their case.

25             In the present case, the last Status Conference was held on

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 1     27 May 2014.  Today's Status Conference was scheduled by order filed on 2

 2     September 2014.

 3             I now turn to discuss situation of health of the appellants and I

 4     would at the same time inquire into detention conditions.

 5             And if any one of you wishes, I could close the session and have

 6     a private one.  Let me start -- we will do it seriatim.

 7             Mr. Prlic, do you have any matters that you would like to raise?

 8             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  I'm fine so far, Mr. President.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE MERON:  I hope you will be fine in the future, too.

10             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  It depends on you, Mr. President.

11             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Prlic.

12             We now turn to Mr. Stojic.

13             THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything is

14     fine, no problems so far.

15             JUDGE MERON:  Well, same comment which I made to Mr. Prlic.  I

16     hope that this will apply to the future as well.

17             Mr. Praljak.

18             THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I have no problems, Your

19     Honour.

20             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Praljak.

21             Mr. Petkovic.

22             THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no problems

23     at all.

24             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

25             And Mr. Coric.

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 1             THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have some

 2     small issues but not so important that they would necessitate me to talk

 3     about them.

 4             JUDGE MERON:  Up to you.  Now I am here to be -- to listen to

 5     whatever you'd like to say especially about health and conditions of

 6     detention.  But you know best and I am glad that you don't appear to have

 7     anything which is of great importance now.

 8             So I will now turn to recent procedural history.  Update on the

 9     case.

10             I note that the English translation of the trial judgement was

11     filed on 6 June 2014 and that in accordance with the decision issued on

12     21 June 2013, Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Coric filed

13     their Notices of Appeal in early August 2014.  All Notices of Appeal have

14     now therefore been filed.

15             I further recall that I ordered Mr. Praljak, Mr. Pusic, and the

16     Prosecution to file their appellant's briefs no later than 135 days from

17     the issuance of the official English translation of the trial judgement

18     so that there was a harmonised briefing schedule in place for all

19     parties.  In early August, all Defence teams and the Prosecution filed

20     motions for extensions of the work limit and/or the time limits for the

21     filing of their appellant's briefs.

22             The Prosecution also requested an extension of the time to file

23     its respondent's briefs.  I issued the decision on 22 August 2014

24     granting the relief sought in part.  At the end of August and early

25     September, Mr. Coric, who was joined by all of his co-appellants as well

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 1     as by the Prosecution filed motions for reconsideration of this decision.

 2             On 5 September, I issued a decision finding that the

 3     reconsideration was warranted but only in relation to the relief that had

 4     been requested by the Prosecution for an extension of its deadline to

 5     file the respondent's briefs.

 6             On 15 September, 2014, Mr. Prlic filed a motion requesting that I

 7     refer the requests for extension of time and word limit to the Bench of

 8     the Appeals Chamber seized of this case.  In the days thereafter, he was

 9     joined by Mr. Praljak, Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Coric, and Mr. Stojic.

10             The Prosecution filed a response to Mr. Prlic's request.  On

11     18 September 2014, I issued a decision granting the request for a

12     referral to the panel of Judges.  The matter is therefore currently

13     before the Appeals Chamber and a decision will be issued in due course.

14             At this point, I would like to ask you whether you, the parties,

15     either the appellants or the Prosecution have any points that they would

16     like to raise?

17             Mr. Karnavas.

18             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  I do have one point

19     to raise and that is on the issue of the level of this particular appeal.

20     It was a level 3 throughout the trial, we had a five-year trial, we

21     waited two years plus for the judgement to come out, we waited another

22     year plus for the translation, we filed our notices on time.  Thereafter,

23     we were required to notify the Registrar as to what level we thought the

24     case was.

25             We all have submitted our respective notices that this is a level

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 1     3.  We have yet to hear from the Registrar, and we understand, perhaps,

 2     the Registrar wishes to hear back from the Appeal Chamber itself.

 3             Be that as it may, I raise this issue because this is a very,

 4     very large appeal.  It requires a team, a team requires to be paid.  And

 5     in order for us to do our level best to meet our professional and ethical

 6     obligations, especially with these very tight deadlines, especially if

 7     the extension is not granted, it's virtually impossible to do so.  It's a

 8     Herculean task as it is and I think that Hercules himself would probably

 9     buckle under the pressure that all of us are suffering from, so to the

10     extent possible, Mr. President, Your Honour, if you could consult with

11     your colleagues and consult with the Registrar regarding the level of

12     this particular case we would be most grateful.  Thank you.

13             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.

14                           [Appeal Chamber and legal officer confer]

15             JUDGE MERON: [Microphone not activated]

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the Judge, please.

17             Microphone for the Judge, please.

18             MS. PINZAUTI:  No, Your Honour.  No, we have nothing to raise.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the Judge.

20             JUDGE MERON:  Nothing to raise.  And since -- I'm terribly sorry,

21     please ...

22             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was sitting down so

23     it was not easy to see me.  Following up on Mr. Karnavas's words and the

24     short deadlines for the preparation of our appeal and in compliance with

25     the wish of my client and all the others, I'd like to say that I would

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 1     like to participate in the appeals.

 2             When can we expect the translation of the judgement into

 3     Croatian?  We have been informed by the Registrar that would happen in

 4     late September but we would be glad to know whether this will happen

 5     within the next few days or when?  This is very important for our

 6     consultations with our clients about finalising our appeals.

 7             JUDGE MERON:  Thank you.

 8             Regarding the time which the date for the submission of the

 9     translation to which you have referred, it is still my expectation that

10     it will come out in September.  That's the information which you need

11     now; correct?  And I want to --

12             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  If there is

13     nothing more precise than that, then I suppose this is it.  Thank you

14     very much.

15             JUDGE MERON:  Well, there are not so many days left in September,

16     I think, that if I say it will be in September, it's -- it gives you a

17     pretty good indication.

18             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  It may seem like

19     a bit of an exaggeration, but when there is so little time left for

20     drafting an appeal, every day matters.  I would like to apologise to you

21     for having been so insistent on more precise information.  Thank you very

22     much.

23             JUDGE MERON:  If I would have known exactly the day of September,

24     I can assure you that I would have given it to you.  I think that the

25     indication that you have is close enough, I hope, and good enough for you

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 1     your immediate needs, and I also would like to assure the appellants that

 2     we are working expeditiously on their request which was referred to the

 3     entire panel regarding the deadlines.

 4             I believe that unless there is anything else, this brings us to

 5     the end of our Status Conference, and I would like to thank the parties

 6     for their attendance and adjourn these proceedings.

 7                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

 8                           3.49 p.m.