Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 145

1 Wednesday, 29th September, 1999

2 [Further Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.35 p.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vucicevic, have you now had

7 the opportunity of going through the indictment, as

8 amended, with your client?

9 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Is he ready to enter a plea?

11 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll deal with that

13 now.

14 Mr. Kolundzija, would you stand, please.

15 You have already entered pleas to this

16 indictment, but because it's been amended, there are

17 three counts, the first three counts which I must put

18 to you again. You've discussed this with your counsel,

19 and you're in a position to plead, are you? You

20 understand the indictment?

21 THE ACCUSED KOLUNDZIJA: [Interpretation]

22 Yes.

23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

24 Count 1, persecutions on political, racial or

25 religious grounds, a crime against humanity, punishable

Page 146

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

2 the Tribunal, how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

3 THE ACCUSED KOLUNDZIJA: [Interpretation] Not

4 guilty, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE MAY: Count 2, inhumane acts, a crime

6 against humanity, punishable under Articles 5(1), 7(1)

7 and 7(3) of the Statute, how do you plead, guilty or

8 not guilty?

9 THE ACCUSED KOLUNDZIJA: [Interpretation] Not

10 guilty.

11 JUDGE MAY: Count 3, outrages upon personal

12 dignity, a violation of the laws or customs of war as

13 recognised by Article 3(1)(c) of the Geneva Conventions

14 of 1949, punishable under Articles 3, 7(1) and 7(3) of

15 the Statute, how do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

16 THE ACCUSED KOLUNDZIJA: [Interpretation] Not

17 guilty, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The other matters

19 having been sufficiently put, that concludes that. If

20 you would like to sit down, Mr. Kolundzija.

21 Mr. Vucicevic, I understand that there is no

22 redacted copy of the indictment yet as confirmed, and

23 if that be right -- have we got one?

24 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MAY: It's the issue of the confirmed -

Page 147

1 Yes, the actual confirmation, the document

2 with the Judges' signature on it, that is what we don't

3 have.

4 MR. NIEMANN: No, Your Honour, and that's the

5 whole -- because this was part and parcel of other

6 matters at the time, there was an order for

7 confidentiality of those documents.

8 JUDGE MAY: Well, I didn't see any difficulty

9 about getting a redacted copy of it for our use.

10 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honours would

11 appreciate having a copy --

12 JUDGE MAY: If you would do that within seven

13 days, and serve it on the Defence too.

14 Now, this matter will stand down. It will

15 have to be adjourned.

16 We have under consideration the matter of the

17 joinder of this trial with another one. There will be

18 a written judgement on that matter fairly shortly.

19 Once that decision has been taken, no doubt other

20 decisions can be taken about this particular trial.

21 Mr. Niemann, is there anything you want to

22 raise about this matter?

23 MR. NIEMANN: No, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vucicevic, we will let you

25 know when the decisions are out, you'll see them, and

Page 148

1 we'll let you know when the next appearance is.

2 MR. VUCICEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 If I may address the Court on two issues that

4 are very critical to my representing my client before

5 this Court.

6 JUDGE MAY: You've got five minutes.

7 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honour, it too will be

8 plenty.

9 First, I have been thinking, you know, long

10 and hard over the decision that the Court has taken

11 yesterday, and it is -- I'm deeply concerned about the

12 decision. If the decision says there was no written

13 opinion of the Court, I'm not quite sure whether that

14 decision is only based upon my administerial omissions

15 and shortcomings, and in that case I do apologise and I

16 would like to correct my behaviour from here on.

17 However, if the decision is at all based on

18 my integrity or character or fitness, perhaps that

19 would deeply affect representation of my client, and if

20 there is a scintilla of any doubt in Your Honours'

21 minds about my willingness to faithfully serve this

22 Court, then I would tender my resignation.

23 JUDGE MAY: The matter has been reported on

24 the basis that you did not appear, as ordered in the

25 scheduling order, at the hearing on Monday. Now, we

Page 149

1 can't go over that matter again. It's a matter which

2 we shall refer to the Registrar, and you've got a

3 transcript, of course, of what was said yesterday.

4 Now, what was the next point?

5 MR. VUCICEVIC: The next point is, you know,

6 I haven't attended the hearing on the joinder of the

7 indictments, and if I may present an oral argument on

8 that point.

9 JUDGE MAY: Well, we heard all the

10 arguments. We've got your written submissions. You

11 were absent on the occasion on which it should have

12 been heard.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE MAY: We will allow you but only this:

15 to allow anything which isn't in the written paper,

16 isn't in the written paper. We don't want to hear a

17 repetition of what is in the written paper.

18 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honour, my recent

19 experience while investigating the matter in Prijedor,

20 I have come into contact with many, many victims of the

21 camps who clearly would like to come forward and

22 testify. However -- this is amplifying it very

23 great -- and adding a great weight to what I said in my

24 written submission. However, they would not be willing

25 to come and help the others whose behaviour and

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1 activities in the camps were not like Kolundzija's,

2 number 1. I believe, with a lot of persuasion, I would

3 be able to overcome this difficulty.

4 However, I'm very deeply concerned with the

5 attitude of the Muslim authorities in Prijedor, whom I

6 got a chance to talk to at length, and the attitude is

7 until the Serbs of Prijedor come out and tell their

8 story, then they will not encourage or help any

9 witnesses to come to testify. I have even spent a part

10 of an evening having a walk on the main street called

11 Korzo there with the vice-president of the assembly and

12 who has said, "The truth should come out, but perhaps

13 we should wait until other people are either accused or

14 until our pain is relieved, that the guilty are

15 convicted."

16 Your Honour, I have come across four

17 witnesses in Chicago who, having been removed from --

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]

19 Mr. Vucicevic, couldn't you -- I'm speaking to you in

20 French. I think you can hear me through the

21 interpretation, so let me start again.

22 Couldn't you limit your remarks to the

23 question of the joinder of the case of your client with

24 the other accused, in the case known jointly under the

25 name of Kvocka, without entering into the crux of the

Page 151

1 subject, because we don't have the time to go into the

2 substance of this matter in five minutes.

3 We are familiar with your arguments. Do you

4 have any other elements to contribute in addition to

5 what you have written regarding the question of

6 joinder, the joinder of this indictment with the affair

7 called Kvocka, that is, the Omarska case? Could you

8 limit your remarks to that? Please be kind enough to

9 do that.

10 MR. VUCICEVIC: Honourable Judge, in my

11 written submission, that was only a hypothetical

12 possibility that I have given; however, what I am

13 presenting now, that is real. Then by joining

14 Mr. Kolundzija to the others, where the command

15 structure was different, where the witnesses were

16 different, where only a few of the Prosecution

17 witnesses passed from one camp to the other, it will be

18 an extreme prejudice to join this man, who has helped

19 so many and hurt none, to put him in the same lineup

20 where the witnesses who would help you deliver the

21 justice would be taken back by their emotions and not

22 be willing to come forward. That would be an extreme

23 prejudice, not to him but to the justice that this

24 Court could deliver.

25 Because I do know Prijedor. I have

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1 cross-examined the whole crisis staff in the previous

2 case. We want -- to deliver the justice, the Court

3 needs counsel who is going to bring as much as

4 possible, and perhaps expediency could take a back seat

5 to justice. I respectfully ask you to do justice in

6 this case and to try my client alone.

7 Thank you.

8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. This matter now

9 stands adjourned. The next hearing will be announced

10 in due course.

11 --- Whereupon the Further Appearance

12 adjourned at 2.58 p.m. sine die