Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 93

 1                           Monday, 19 September 2016

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The appellant Pusic not present]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 11.31 a.m.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  Good morning, everybody.

 7             Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honour.  This is case number

 9     IT-04-74-A, the Prosecutor versus Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak,

10     Mr. Petkovic, Mr. Coric, and Mr. Pusic.

11             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, thank you.

12             Before we begin, I just want to make sure that the appellants are

13     able to hear what's going on, the proceedings, and follow them in a

14     language that they understand.

15             Mr. Prlic.

16             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  Good morning.  I hear everything.  Thank

17     you.

18             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you very much, Mr. Prlic.

19             Mr. Stojic.

20             THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour.

21     Everything is in order.  Thank you very much.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

23             Mr. Praljak.

24             THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I can hear everything,

25     Your Honour.

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 1             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 2             Mr. Petkovic.

 3             THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,

 4     Your Honour.  Everything is in order.  I can hear fine.

 5             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Coric.

 6             THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.

 7     Everything is in order.  Thank you.

 8             JUDGE AGIUS:  Let's proceed with the appearances for the parties,

 9     and I start with the Prosecution.

10             MS. GOY:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Barbara Goy appearing for

11     the Prosecution, together with Douglas Stringer, our case manager

12     Janet Stewart, and our two interns, Luigi Prosperi and Francois Daoust.

13     Thank you.

14             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, Ms. Goy.

15             Appearances for Mr. Prlic.

16             MR. KARNAVAS:  Good morning, Mr. President.  Michael Karnavas for

17     Dr. Prlic.

18             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

19             For Mr. Stojic.

20             MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.

21     Senka Nozica representing Mr. Stojic and Pavle Novic as the pro bono

22     assistant.

23             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you very much.

24             For Mr. Praljak.

25             MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC:  Good morning, Your Honour.

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 1     Natacha Fauveau-Ivanovic for Slobodan Praljak.

 2             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 3             For Mr. Petkovic.

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

 5     Vesna Alaburic representing General Petkovic.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  For Mr. Coric.

 7             MS. TOMASEGOVIC-TOMIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour.

 8     Dijana Tomasegovic-Tomic with Mr. Drazen Plavec representing Mr. Coric.

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  And for Mr. Pusic.

10             MR. SAHOTA:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Roger Sahota appearing

11     for Mr. Pusic today.

12             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  This Status Conference is called in

13     accordance with Rule 65 bis (B) of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

14     This rule requires a Status Conference to be convened within 120 days

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

16     Tribunal's custody.

17             A Status Conference serves two primary purposes.  First, it

18     allows the appellants an opportunity to express concerns that they might

19     have relating to their appeal or detention conditions, and for the

20     Tribunal to inquire about the mental and physical health condition of

21     each of them.  Secondly, it provides an opportunity for the Tribunal to

22     update the appellants with respect to the status of their case, as well

23     as to inform the general public of what is going on.

24             I note that the last Status Conference was held on the

25     25th of May, 2016, and today's Status Conference was scheduled by an

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 1     order signed by me and issued on the 5th of August of this year.

 2             I will move straight to the -- perhaps the most important item on

 3     the agenda today; namely, I would now like to inquire into the status of

 4     detention conditions and health situation of the appellants.  Let me make

 5     a point quite clear.  If any one of you wish to discuss anything in

 6     closed or in private session, you only have to tell me and ask me, and

 7     I'll make sure that the discussion will take place in closed session.

 8             So I'll start precisely with this.  Would any one of you like to

 9     discuss his problems or his concerns in closed session?  Please nod at

10     least yes or no.  All right.  I see nobody is interested in a closed

11     session.

12             So I start with you, Mr. Prlic.  We are talking of your detention

13     condition, your health condition, or anything that may be related to your

14     detention.  Do you have any matters that you would like to raise with me?

15             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  Mr. President, I have no issues to raise

16     regarding my health status or conditions in detention unit.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you very much, Mr. Prlic.

18             Mr. Stojic.

19             THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have

20     any issue to raise or any questions.  As far as I'm concerned, everything

21     is fine.  Thank you very much.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  I appreciate it, Mr. Stojic.  Thank you very much.

23             Mr. Praljak.

24             THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] My physical and mental

25     health are satisfactory.  Thank you very much, Your Honour.

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 1             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 2             THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't

 3     have any difficulties or problems.  Thank you.

 4             JUDGE AGIUS:  And for the record, that was Mr. Petkovic.

 5             Mr. Coric.

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

 7     fine.  Thank you.

 8             JUDGE AGIUS:  And counsel for Mr. Pusic.

 9             MR. SAHOTA:  Your Honour, I have nothing raise today.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.

11             I shall now turn to an update of the case.  Really, I haven't got

12     much to say, but all the appellants' briefs in this case were filed on

13     12th January 2015.  The Defence and Prosecution respondent's briefs were

14     filed later on, on the 7th of May of 2015, and respective reply briefs

15     were filed on the 29th of May of 2015.

16             I note that there have been two new public filings since the

17     previous Status Conference.  The first one was a decision on an

18     application by the Republic of Croatia for leave to appear as amicus

19     curiae and to submit amicus curiae brief, and this was filed on the

20     18th of July, 2016.

21             And, second, as I have already mentioned, there was the

22     Scheduling Order by which I fixed -- I appointed or set today's

23     Status Conference for hearing.  That was filed on the 5th of August.

24             There are no public motions pending before the Appeals Chamber.

25     There is, however, one confidential motion pending, but since it is

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 1     confidential, I cannot give any details on it.

 2             This brings me to the last part of today's conference.  I'd like

 3     to ask the parties whether they have any other issue that they would like

 4     to raise.

 5             I start with you, Ms. Goy.

 6             MS. GOY:  Thank you, Your Honour.  The one issue that we would

 7     like to address is the preparation of the appeals hearing.  In general,

 8     any indication as to the date of the hearing would be very helpful for

 9     planning purposes, in particular, as it stands now, because the response

10     brief in the Karadzic appeal is currently due at the end of February and

11     a number of staff, myself included, are also on the Karadzic case.  And

12     Mr. Stringer is the Senior Trial Attorney on the Stanisic and Simatovic

13     retrial, and there as well it looks as if the start of the trial might be

14     during the beginning of next year.

15             During the last Status Conference we also discussed the issue of

16     questions for the parties, and Your Honour assured the parties that we

17     would have ample time to receive these questions.  Again I would like to

18     emphasise how important these questions are, in particular, in a case of

19     this size, for our preparation for the appeals hearings.  So we would

20     very much appreciate the questions well in advance, ideally six weeks

21     before the date of the hearing.

22             And similarly, it would be very helpful to receive a detailed

23     Scheduling Order setting out the allotted time periods in relation to

24     each of the appeals.  In light of the number of appeals and grounds of

25     appeal, it is key for our preparation how much time we will have

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 1     allocated as between the individual appellants and grounds of appeal.

 2     And in this regard, while there is overlap in certain grounds of appeal,

 3     the Prosecution will have to respond to six individual appeals, and we

 4     would ask Your Honour kindly to keep that in mind when issuing the

 5     Scheduling Order.

 6             Thank you very much.

 7             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  Thank you, Ms. Goy.  You have all my

 8     sympathy because, more or less, you and your colleagues are in the same

 9     position that I often find myself in, having to deal with a lot of things

10     all at the same time and they just fall on you like that.  We are -- and

11     this also is important for you to know because I was sure that this is

12     your main concern as well as Defence counsel.

13             Let me start from here.  I have a full team working on this case.

14     I have notified the Security Council already, on at least two occasions,

15     that the plan is to finish this case end of November 2017.  We are still

16     there.  We are still on target.  We plan to finish the case

17     November 2017.  It's a big challenge because it is an enormous case, as

18     you know, but we plan to finish it in 2017.

19             Now, you know what the practice in this Tribunal is.  When it

20     comes to the Appeals Chamber, I need to brief my colleagues on the

21     Appeals Chamber on practically every single issue involved by means of

22     what we call a preparatory document, which is in the process of being

23     drafted.  I am, of course, deeply involved and heavily involved in this

24     process.  We plan to have the entire prep doc circulated towards the end

25     of this year, or if there is a bit remaining, early next year after the

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 1     recess.  Of course, I know the extent of the complications in this

 2     appeal, and, therefore, I know quite well how much time I need to

 3     adequately give to my colleagues so that they can not only read the prep

 4     doc, but be able to come back to me and discuss it, prepare themselves

 5     also for the hearing.

 6             Now, for the hearing which will be, I would imagine, some time in

 7     February of next year, this is my anticipation but it could be a little

 8     bit later - not much - we will be taking into account everything that you

 9     have mentioned.  As we go along in preparing the prep doc, we are

10     identifying areas that would need -- would benefit from an input both

11     from you and from each one of the defendants.  So there will be a set of

12     questions that we will be including either jointly with the Scheduling

13     Order or separately by an ad hoc order that we will issue when we are

14     ready.

15             However, I want you to be prepared for this, that there are no

16     changes in the plan so far, that the plan is to have the prep doc ready

17     towards the end of this year, possibly early next year, to have the

18     hearing giving each one of you sufficient time in the first quarter of

19     next year.  And then, of course, it will be followed by the usual

20     deliberations, et cetera.  We will proceed the same way as we proceeded,

21     for example, in other large appeals, like the Butare appeal.  We will

22     have as much time as necessary, one week or two weeks as necessary, and

23     you will all have an opportunity to do that.

24             But you don't have to worry.  I mean, we are fully -- this is the

25     not the first appeal we are dealing with and it's not the first appeal

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 1     that is also voluminous and complicated, but it is perhaps the worst one

 2     that we have had.

 3             So does that satisfy your ...

 4             MS. GOY:  Thank you.  Yeah.

 5             JUDGE AGIUS:  Any questions?  Yes, Mr. Prlic.

 6             THE APPELLANT PRLIC:  Mr. President, may I have just

 7     clarification.  What did you mean when you say "the worst one"?

 8             JUDGE AGIUS:  The worst one in the sense that it is -- I lost

 9     count of how many grounds of appeal there are.  We're talking of

10     hundreds.  Hundreds and hundreds of appeal.  In other words, when it

11     comes to the work involved, we've never had such a bad case, you know.  I

12     mean we really, really have a lot of work to do.  But, otherwise, no,

13     it's not what you think.

14             It's a humongous case.  It's a humongous case.  Also as was

15     hinted by Ms. Goy, there are several issues that are overlapping.  I mean

16     you raise them; Mr. Praljak raises the same issue; Mr. Coric raises the

17     same issue.  So one has to combine them.  But then there is a small

18     difference so you have to deal with it.  It really gets complicated.  It

19     really gets complicated.  But we are getting there.  We are getting

20     there.  And we've done a hell of a lot of work and I have a fantastic

21     team working, and I only keep my fingers crossed that the members of my

22     team will stay working for this Tribunal and not leave and find a better

23     job elsewhere as we prepare to close down towards the end of next year.

24     That's all.

25             Any further matter that you would like to raise?  None.

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 1             Okay.  I think that since there are no other matters to be

 2     raised, I wish to thank you all for your attendance, and I adjourn these

 3     proceedings.

 4             Thank you very much.

 5                      --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

 6                      at 11.51 a.m.