International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1271

1 Thursday, 3 May 2001

2 [Open session]

3 [Status Conference]

4 --- Upon commencing at 10.03 a.m.

5 [The accused entered court]

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, you may be

7 seated. Good morning to you all. Madam registrar, can you please call

8 the case.

9 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-97-24-PT, the Prosecutor

10 versus Milomir Stakic.

11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we have the appearances,

12 please, for the Prosecution.

13 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour, Susan Somers, for the

14 Prosecution.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.

16 MS. SOMERS: You, Your Honour, Susan L. Somers for the

17 prosecution, accompanied by Morten Bergsmo for the prosecution,

18 Mr. Dan Saxon for the Prosecution and Ms. Denise Gustin.

19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am

20 professor Radomir Lukic, proposed by the accused Stakic as accused

21 counsel. The process of my designation as such is still underway.

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I wish to

23 bid welcome to counsel, both for the Prosecution and for the Defence.

24 This Status Conference has been organised to permit the first

25 contact between the parties and the Pre-Trial Judge that has just been

Page 1272

1 designated, and that is myself. As announced by the order of the May 1st,

2 we may also touch upon the question of communication between the parties

3 which, as you know, is crucial for the progress of our work so as to

4 ensure for the accused here present, Mr. Milomir Stakic, a fair and

5 expeditious trial.

6 I would like to suggest for this Status Conference the following

7 agenda. First, we are going to take stock of the situation. Point two,

8 we are going to discuss some general ideas in connection with the

9 preparations of the trial which can help us all to improve our mutual

10 communications. Perhaps we need to synchronise our views with certain

11 procedures. And a third point would be other matters or other business,

12 if you yourself have anything to suggest, and it will be up to you to make

13 such suggestions which will not be connected with the two points that I

14 have mentioned previously, and at the end of the hearing, I will give

15 Mr. Stakic an opportunity to speak.

16 So we come to the first point. For today, I should like to know

17 where we stand as regards the disclosure of the material. You know how

18 important that disclosure is for the pre-trial and I would, in fact, say

19 that the pre-trial can actually begin only once the exhibits have been

20 disclosed in -- pursuant to Rule 66 and 68 and after all the preliminary

21 motions have been addressed pursuant to Article 72, and this is stated by

22 Rule 65 ter. So it is really important to see where we stand, as I was

23 saying, regarding the disclosure of evidence.

24 I should now like to turn to Ms. Susan Somers for her to tell us

25 how we stand in that regard.

Page 1273

1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 I had relayed through channels that on Friday last, which would

3 have been 27 April, the Prosecution, in the absence of having counsel upon

4 whom to serve the supporting materials for the original indictment, went

5 to the detention unit and met with Dr. Stakic to try to give him, as the

6 only logical recipient, the materials. It was indicated by Dr. Stakic

7 that he preferred to wait for counsel as he believed would be coming in

8 the next few days, and the investigator therefore unable to deliver to

9 Dr. Stakic the materials, returned them to the Office of the Prosecutor

10 where they are waiting now to be delivered to Professor Lukic.

11 I have, for the record, a declaration by the investigator as to

12 his visit to the Detention Centre and I would simply like to make it a

13 part of the record so as to make it clear that the Prosecutor did try to

14 carry out its obligations but was unable to for reasons peculiar to this

15 particular case.

16 I have checked on a regular basis with the Registry to see if and

17 when counsel for the accused would be assigned so as to try to have a

18 preliminary opportunity to meet with him or her. I am pleased that at

19 last, there is someone with whom I can deal and I have indicated to

20 Professor Lukic that immediately following this hearing I would like to

21 hand him the materials and to have an opportunity to speak with him.

22 I hope I am correct in and permitted to say that he agreed to do

23 the same. The Prosecution as I indicated at this point is proceeding with

24 a disclosure as to only the initial indictment and is in the process of

25 preparing an amended indictment which was indicated to the full Chamber at

Page 1274

1 the first appearance.

2 We will -- we are working diligently and if the Chamber requires,

3 from time to time, a progress report, we are prepared to make it.

4 The Chamber's -- may I ask for a moment of -- for a private

5 session, please. Private.

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let us go into private

7 session.

8 [Private session]

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Page 1275

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17 [Open session]

18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The question I have has to do

19 with the amendment of the indictment. From the point of view of the

20 pre-trial, I should like to ask you if you can tell us, I'm asking you,

21 from the standpoint of the pre-trial, it is important to know more or less

22 what type of modification the Prosecutor is going to make to the

23 indictment. That is to say, whether the facts are going to be more or

24 less the same and they will be distributed among several counts using

25 different legal qualifications for the same facts or are new facts going

Page 1276

1 to be added? I am putting this question to you because if the facts don't

2 change, and if there is only one legal qualification, we can work and make

3 progress in the pre-trial stage already. But if the Prosecutor is going

4 to add new facts, new material, new evidence, then there will have to be

5 fresh disclosure and that will mean delaying the real beginning of the

6 pre-trial stage.

7 Are you in a position to tell us a little more in response to this

8 question, please?

9 MS. SOMERS: The indictment will surround, Your Honour, the same

10 essential core of incidents; however, all that is charged, the sole charge

11 now is the genocide. There will be, as was consistent with the previous

12 co-accused, an expansion, based again, on facts that are certainly well

13 centred and known of some, perhaps most, of the charges that appeared in

14 that indictment, and we are looking very carefully at refining.

15 In addition, we have been able, pursuant to those same,

16 essentially the same types of facts and the same situation that prevailed

17 in Prijedor, we have the benefit of material that has come from a number

18 of sources since the original indictment was confirmed, and indeed, since

19 the amendment of Kovacevic and the Drljaca, Kovacevic, Stakic indictment

20 was confirmed.

21 So it will surround events in Prijedor. There will be an

22 expansion as to - which is appropriate - to a policy person, a person who

23 was in the type of role, occupied the type of role as is alleged to have

24 been occupied by Dr. Stakic. And I think at this point, I will not go

25 further, but that -- I think the Chamber has an idea of certainly the

Page 1277

1 types of events in terms of the underlying crime base plus policy and much

2 of which, of course, is an expansion or a clarification with more

3 specificity of the genocide charge.

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Ms. Susan

5 Somers.

6 So there are at least two points here that I would like to submit

7 to Professor Radomir Lukic for his consideration and comment, that is the

8 question of the disclosure of evidence, and also what we have just said

9 with respect to the amendment of the indictment.

10 Mr. Lukic, do you have any comments to make?

11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would have certain

12 comments to make regarding the explanations given by the Prosecution. It

13 seems to me that the explanation given by Prosecution counsel is such that

14 it is not possible to decipher what exactly the Prosecution is preparing

15 so that the Defence, at this point in time, finds itself in a rather vague

16 and unfavorable position for it is not clear whether only the genocide

17 charge will remain. What is clear is that there will be new facts which

18 further complicates this stage of our proceedings.

19 Therefore, it seems to me that the Prosecution should, in somewhat

20 greater detail, give us indications as to what it intends to do regarding

21 the expansion of the indictment.

22 Thank you.

23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Professor Lukic, regarding the

24 disclosure of evidence, have you any comments to make?

25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The Defence is ready to receive what

Page 1278

1 the Prosecution is ready to disclose at this point in time, and to act

2 accordingly. However, the Defence realises that things will be

3 complicated with the disclosure of new facts as a result of the expansion

4 of the indictment which complicates our pre-trial work.

5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Before giving

6 the floor to Ms. Susan Somers, I think that in -- up to a point, she has

7 clarified things because my concern was, indeed, to know what would be the

8 impact on the pre-trial stage of any modifications.

9 Ms. Susan Somers mentioned the indictment against Milan Kovacevic

10 and Simo Drljaca, at least the Kovacevic indictment is well known. It was

11 amended. It was the same indictment. I think we can speak about that

12 now. It was an indictment against three accused, one of whom was Milomir

13 Stakic, a second was Kovacevic and the third Simo Drljaca so the situation

14 will repeat itself in a sense, and that is why I asked the Prosecutor

15 whether the modifications consisted of new facts or not. If there are new

16 facts, then there can be an impact on the pre-trial preparations if we are

17 talking about the same facts, but distributed or qualified in a slightly

18 different manner, then that does not have any impact because maybe now I

19 will be generalising, but I think both from the point of view of the

20 Prosecution and the Defence, the pre-trial work, that is my opinion and my

21 view, is work that differs from the trial -- the work after the opening of

22 trial. Therefore, for the pre-trial stage is to discuss the points of

23 fact and law with the view to achieving an agreement on disagreements. In

24 other words, what is the actual object of the trial, what will be the

25 purpose of the trial, because there will be a whole series of facts and

Page 1279

1 law that we are agreed on, that are accepted. So that will not be the

2 object of the proceedings.

3 So when I say that we need to reach agreement on disagreements, it

4 is really a question of defining the subject of the discussions we are

5 going to have throughout the trial. So it is with that in mind that I

6 put this question, and the most important information given to us by

7 Ms. Susan Somers is that the facts that are going to serve as a basis of

8 the amended indictment are already present in the indictment with a single

9 charge. But to confirm that, and perhaps to provide additional

10 clarifications that Professor Lukic needs, I would like to give the floor

11 to Ms. Susan Somers.

12 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, there have been a number of cases before

13 the various Chambers of this Tribunal and there are, indeed, a number of

14 cases presently before the various Chambers concerning the events in

15 Prijedor as well as the impact of said events generally on the situation

16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole.

17 I would be unable and unwilling at this time to go much beyond

18 what I have said, however, the explanation as set forth in the genocide

19 count indicates that it did not happen overnight, that there were factors

20 that occurred in the implementation of whatever policy would be further

21 expanded in the amended indictment. I think this is evident in the

22 Kovacevic Drljaca indictment that had been confirmed.

23 We would be looking, so that there is a better understanding of

24 the direction, at counts perhaps of grave breaches, crimes against

25 humanity and war crimes in addition to the genocide count.

Page 1280

1 Again, these, by understanding the base which this -- the Chamber

2 has had a tremendous amount of contact with and understanding of, these

3 are the essential -- this is the core and from this core, we will find the

4 appropriate charges and we will put the appropriate charges in the amended

5 indictment.

6 I am turning over, of course, a copy of the original Drljaca,

7 Kovacevic -- sorry, before I say the date, let me make sure I'm correct,

8 of the 13 March 1997 confirmed indictment which should give some guidance,

9 I believe, to Mr. Lukic as to the sum of the nature of the charges.

10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, do you wish to ask

11 for any further clarification or are you happy for the moment with what

12 you have just heard?

13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the time being,

14 conditionally speaking, I could perhaps be happy with what the counsel for

15 the Prosecution has just said. However, there is one condition, the

16 Defence is going to proceed on the basis of the first indictment, and on

17 the first batch of supporting material while we wait for the expansion of

18 the indictment. At that moment, we will have to adjust ourselves with

19 respect to the new elements in the proceedings.

20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.

21 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Because we have indicated a

22 clear intent and are moving in the direction of amendment, I would ask the

23 Chamber to consider that the normal preliminary motions that are filed

24 perhaps be held in abeyance pending the amended indictment simply because

25 of the amount of energy that would have to be expanded on both sides and

Page 1281

1 certainly the requirements that would be upon the Chamber as well.

2 Whereas, we will begin the -- the process has been undertaken. I think if

3 the Rule 72 motions were now set in motion, it would be -- it would

4 require a relitigation of effectively the same motions at a later date and

5 if the Chamber is minded to hold in abeyance that process, mindful of

6 whatever time limits normally would be required pending confirmation of

7 the amended indictment, it may prove to be judicially economical as well

8 as economical from the stand point of energy expanded by counsel on both

9 sides.

10 I believe that in the amendment of the Kordic indictment there was

11 a similar request that had been made and the motions, if my memory serves

12 me correctly, were held after the amended indictment. I can check that,

13 but it strikes me that that was the case because it was clear that there

14 would be -- and the dual effort seemed wasteful.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but that raises another

16 issue. When do you intend to submit the amended indictment?

17 MS. SOMERS: Without being firmly bound because of the way we are

18 proceeding, I would hope by the end of the summer, and that is working at

19 a consistent pace. We are analysing and documenting material and -- to

20 make sure that we have everything in one round rather than have to return

21 to the Chamber. We want to make sure that it is judicially economically

22 done.

23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know what exactly you

24 mean when you say by the end of the summer. Could you be more precise,

25 perhaps?

Page 1282

1 MS. SOMERS: We have, as a target, between the middle and end of

2 July. That is a target date subject to any complications that may arise,

3 but that would be our goal.

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, do you wish to make a

5 comment on what we have just heard from Ms. Somers, that is, that

6 preliminary motions pursuant to Article 72 be held in abeyance pending the

7 submission of the amended indictment?

8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As regards the application of Rule 72

9 and the motions to be held in abeyance maybe it would make sense at this

10 point and in the interest of both the work of the Defence and the

11 Prosecution. I can give you my agreement in principle, however, the issue

12 should be dealt with cautiously and prudently when it comes to the

13 behaviour of the Prosecution in terms of dates, deadlines, and materials

14 that we are supposed to receive pursuant to the amended indictment because

15 that aspect of the problem can have a significant impact on the

16 preparation of the Defence.

17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think I should now hear

18 Mr. Lukic in respect of certain clarifications. If that beginning of the

19 proceedings is depending on the Prosecutor, who has a number of

20 obligations to fulfil, if we have a look at the relevant provisions

21 regarding the pre-trial proceedings, I think that we can now distinguish

22 two stages of the proceedings, the pre-trial phase of the Prosecution and

23 then after the Prosecution rests, there would be a pre-trial proceedings

24 for the Defence case.

25 As regards that second -- as regards the pre-trial proceedings of

Page 1283

1 the Prosecution, it is the Rule 65 ter (E) and (F) which provide for the

2 measures to be taken. That is to say, it is expected of the Defence to

3 participate in that part of the preliminary proceedings in order to state

4 in general terms the nature of the accused Defence, the matters with which

5 the accused takes issues in the Prosecutor's pre-trial brief and so on and

6 so forth as provided for by the Rule. That is to say, we have to find an

7 agreement on disagreement, that is on matters in dispute.

8 However, there are other obligations on the part of the Defence

9 and I should like to hear Mr. Lukic once again, if you can perhaps tell us

10 at this juncture whether you intend to submit any preliminary motions at

11 all and if you intend to invoke Rule 66(B) of the Rules of Procedure and

12 Evidence. Sometimes it is referred to reciprocal disclosure between the

13 parties. This Rule needs to be considered in light of Rule 67(C). So

14 whether you can tell us at this point whether you intend to present a

15 Defence of alibi or any special defence such as provided for by Rule 67.

16 So, Mr. Lukic, if you have a general idea, without committing

17 yourself one way or another, I should like to hear you regarding the

18 provisions that I have just quoted and these suggestions that I have just

19 made.

20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope that you will be

21 able to understand that at this point in time, I am really not in a

22 position to give you a precise answer whereby I would take it upon myself

23 to abide by what I say here. I was only informed on Friday about the

24 request of Mr. Stakic about my designation and I was invited to

25 participate in the Status Conference on the same day. Everything happened

Page 1284

1 very fast, and I really had no time to think about these issues. However,

2 I proceed with full responsibility before this honorable Tribunal and I

3 will endeavour to inform this Chamber about the issues that have just been

4 made as soon as I am able to do so.

5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.

6 We do understand your position.

7 As regards the issue of abeyance of preliminary motions, I think

8 that it is appropriate to proceed that way since we all have to wait for

9 the amended indictment. However, my objective was to complete the

10 pre-trial proceedings at the end of October, but I don't think that

11 preliminary motions prevent us from working in terms of facts, factual

12 issues during this pre-trial stage. But you're quite right, I hereby

13 decide to extend the deadline for the submission of preliminary motions,

14 that is, to hold them in abeyance once this future Initial Appearance is

15 held pursuant to the amended indictment, and only then are we going to

16 hear you on preliminary motions.

17 Which brings me to the second point, second item on our agenda for

18 today. That is, the procedures to be applied during the pre-trial

19 proceedings.

20 If you read the Rule 65 ter, you will see that the condition, the

21 requirement which enable us to work during this preliminary phase of the

22 proceedings is the completion of the disclosure of evidence and the

23 decisions pursuant to Rule 72. However, I don't think that we have --

24 that we can start with the preliminary proceedings without these

25 requirements being met. However, I think that we can proceed with matters

Page 1285

1 of dispute and matters not in dispute when it comes to facts. Because one

2 of the objectives of the pre-trial stage of the proceedings is something

3 that is announced, that is envisaged here in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter,

4 that is, we have to know what is exactly the case of the Prosecution, what

5 are the matters which are not in dispute, and also what are the contested

6 matters of facts and law.

7 This should constitute the first step that we have to take in this

8 pre-trial proceedings. Once we are aware of what the case actually is, we

9 will be in the position to define and streamline the evidence which will

10 bring us to the second stage of the preliminary proceedings, that is, the

11 list of witnesses and everything else that is contained in Item 4 of that

12 Sub-rule.

13 There are several, therefore, stages of this preliminary phase,

14 and we can also discuss the issue of the order of presentation of evidence

15 in the courtroom, witnesses, video material, affidavits, and so on and so

16 forth. Once we deal with that issue, we will be in the third stage of the

17 proceedings, that is, the issue of exhibits.

18 At Item 5 of Sub-rule (E), that, is the list of exhibits the

19 Prosecutor intends to offer stating wherever possible whether the Defence

20 has any objection as to their authenticity.

21 So I think that we can also deal at that time with the issue of

22 expert witnesses. I have, therefore, identified three stages of our work

23 and I don't think that there is anything that is preventing us from

24 proceeding with these issues, that is, the fact that we still do not have

25 an amended indictment, and that the preliminary motions haven't yet been

Page 1286

1 dealt with. That, I don't think, hinders us in any way in terms of steps

2 and procedures that are envisaged in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter; that is,

3 we should discuss the issues of matters of dispute and not in dispute.

4 I have to say at this point, Mr. Lukic, that we should not be

5 invoking the case law of the Tribunal at this point. There are always

6 precedents and we do not have a firmly-established case law on all of

7 these issues. If there is an appeal, the merits should be discussed later

8 on. But be that as it may, I do believe that we can proceed with certain

9 practical matters during this pre-trial stage of the proceedings, so I

10 invite you to start working on the amended indictment and let us have it

11 as soon as possible. Afterwards, we will be dealing with the preliminary

12 motions, but at the same time in parallel, we can, I think, proceed with

13 the work regarding the indictment that we already have in terms of facts,

14 because as we have heard, the facts will remain more or less the same. So

15 certain aspects of the work can already begin.

16 As you know, at the Plenary Sessions, the Judges have adopted a

17 number of provisions regarding the preliminary stage of the proceedings

18 and I believe that the said provisions enter into force today. The

19 Chamber has already applied those provisions in another case so we do have

20 some experience with these procedures which provide for the trial judge to

21 be able to participate in a more active way in this stage so that once the

22 trial begins, it can go on as fast as possible and as efficiently as

23 possible.

24 First of all, we have to have a work plan on the basis of which we

25 can proceed. Let me try to explain to you what I understand by work

Page 1287

1 plan. Any such work plan should have its objectives and appropriate

2 methodology. The objectives are provided for in Rule 65 ter, Sub-rule (E)

3 for the Prosecution and Sub-rule (F) for the Defence. There is a

4 methodology that goes with that objective and I believe that this

5 methodology is more or less the same mutatis mutandis as the methodology

6 of Rule 71 and the statements taken by a presiding officer.

7 It is one of the general ideas in terms of methodology. However,

8 there is another aspect of this issue of methodology and that is the

9 efficient use of time. In this Chamber, we have so far been applying a

10 methodology in terms of adequate use of time and space. It is very

11 important for the parties to be able to meet with each other and it is

12 also very important that the parties are also close in terms of space and

13 that they have adequate possibility to meet in order to discuss and

14 analyse the issues which only later on will come before the Judges and

15 will be discussed in the courtroom.

16 Once those issues are discussed in the courtroom, the parties have

17 to meet once again and see whether any progress, further progress can be

18 made and then after that, of course, they come back to the Judges and

19 inform them about the progress.

20 We have to have meetings. They can take place here in the

21 courtroom. They can also take place in my office or in the office of the

22 senior legal officer of the Chambers and I think that we will have -- that

23 we will achieve good results by applying this methodology of work.

24 So as I have just indicated, the work plan will be elaborated in

25 light of this perspective. We have to define the objectives and the

Page 1288

1 methodology. You can avail yourselves of the presence of the legal

2 officer, of the Chamber who is also presiding officer in some cases, in

3 order to discuss the issues. So in order -- we have to try to organise

4 the Pre-Trial Conference as soon as possible, but that means that we will

5 have to go through a number of stages that I have already identified.

6 The first stage being to reach agreement on the issues identified

7 in Sub-rule (E) of Rule 65 ter. The second stage concerns item 4 of

8 Sub-rule (E), that is, the list of witnesses or rather the presentation of

9 evidence in different forms in which it can be called. And finally, the

10 third stage being the list of exhibits including, if possible, if any, any

11 expert witness reports.

12 So those would be the three stages which will enable us to work.

13 The first one, once again, being trying to find an agreement on matters of

14 dispute, and not in dispute. However, we have to see what evidence we

15 will have to deal with in terms of material and documents that the

16 Prosecutor intends to present and what are, in general terms, the main --

17 what will be, in general terms, the Defence case. So I have just

18 identified a number of tasks for you so that you can start working during

19 this preliminary phase of the proceedings.

20 It is essential that the parties meet, and I said that we will do

21 so, but the parties also may do so on their own initiative. As has

22 already been decided as Rule 65(D) authorises me to do, that the legal

23 officer of the Chamber, Mr. Olivier Fourmy, to assist me in the pre-trial

24 proceedings of this case. It will be up to him to see with you, to

25 consider the questions that need to be addressed and to keep me informed

Page 1289

1 should any difficulties arise. And there, I see a comparison with the

2 system of evidence by depositions because the presiding officer is

3 delegated by the Chamber. In this case, he assists the Pre-Trial Judge.

4 He monitors the implementation of the work plan, but he must always

5 communicate to the Pre-Trial Judge any difficulties that may arise and

6 keep constantly in touch with him so that he can follow the progress of

7 the preparations. So you can ask him to organise a meeting, and also he

8 may request a meeting with you, that is, the Prosecution, the Defence

9 separately or together.

10 Proceeding in this way, I hope that we will relatively speedily

11 come to a point when the trial can begin towards the end of October or --

12 because or rather that the pre-trial phase be completed by October. That

13 is our target. If you calculate the time limits in the Rules, you will

14 see that the pre-trial stage has to be completed in more or less six

15 months. We have started now, but I think that we can complete this stage

16 towards the end of October. I say this because as you know, the Judges

17 that now constitute this Chamber will not remain as of November. But we

18 would like to complete our work before then. Therefore, it is the duty of

19 this Chamber to prepare this case, and we would like to achieve that.

20 It is up to the Chamber to do its work, and we are determined to

21 do so. I am saying this so that we might all achieve this objective of

22 the pre-trial proceedings. We will see what we can do.

23 In any event, I should like to give you a chance to present your

24 views or remarks or questions regarding what I have just said with regard

25 to the new rule of the pre-trial proceedings, the plan of work and the

Page 1290

1 methodology I have presented. I should like to hear your reactions.

2 Ms. Susan Somers.

3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution will of

4 course remain mindful of the timeframe the Chamber has pronounced. I

5 would also ask that the Chamber encourage the use of judicially noticed

6 facts which the Chamber has so wisely allowed us to use in other cases. I

7 think that it is a mechanism which will save potentially months of

8 litigation and works, I believe, to the advantage of all parties and in

9 the interests of justice.

10 Adjudicated facts, as well as, which may form the basis of notice

11 should be brought to the attention of the Chamber from -- as they become

12 appropriate after completion of all phases of other trials which may have

13 bearing on this case.

14 The issue which haunts every Chamber and Prosecution, of course,

15 is the need to bring in the same witnesses over and over again because of

16 the way accused come before the Tribunal perhaps serially delivered or

17 perhaps because of the way cases are broken up. And I would ask the

18 Chamber also to assist us in encouraging mechanisms that will not require

19 unnecessary burdens, where appropriate, on certain witnesses to come in

20 again and again.

21 There are pending, besides the Omarska case, the Keraterm case,

22 the Talic/Brdjanin case, and this case matters before various Chambers

23 that have of necessity repetition of witnesses and I would ask this

24 Chamber to assist us in not encouraging witness burn-out or failure of

25 witnesses to appear because of the repeated necessity of so doing.

Page 1291

1 I want to state that I am available to counsel for the Defence any

2 time he needs or wishes to see me, subject to my obligations in court or

3 with my office, and I maintain an open-door policy. I do want to indicate

4 that we did try to reach out as early as possible, and unfortunately

5 because of some red tape, we were unable to make contact but we will make

6 every effort to meet regularly as has been our practice in the other case

7 before this Chamber, and to try to reduce issues to the minimum so that we

8 can get on with the case.

9 Thank you very much.

10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, with respect

11 to the work plan regarding objectives and methodology, have you a word to

12 say about that?

13 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I think that it is a very sound plan. I

14 realise that a certain part of our work will be held up a bit because of

15 the amendment, but I agree fully that there are things that we can tackle

16 now that we should, indeed, begin to tackle now because when we are in

17 full swing, it will require our full energy. So yes, I think it's very

18 sound.

19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Ms. Susan Somers.

20 Thank you very much.

21 Mr. Lukic, have you any comments, remarks, or questions?

22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the plan that you have

23 set out may give us hope that the trial will proceed as expeditiously as

24 necessary so as to reach the actual trial stage. We are ready to

25 cooperate with you and the Prosecution to that end, and as regards time

Page 1292

1 limits, I hope that with your assistance, we will be able to observe

2 them.

3 The question just raised by the Prosecution, that is, the question

4 of adjudicated facts and the status of witnesses that have to appear in

5 several cases, in my view, are of a principle nature, and the Defence is

6 unable to take a position with that regard at this stage yet.

7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.

8 I would like to tell you that the concern of this Chamber have already

9 been implemented in the cases that are ongoing before this Chamber. We

10 have prepared trials, and I can tell you that in one particular case, we

11 achieved excellent results by a simple reading of the indictment by the

12 two parties and the Pre-Trial Judge. We read together the indictment

13 going through it and everyone saying, "I agree. I do not agree. I am

14 totally in agreement. I am partially in disagreement."

15 So it is possible to reach stipulations on the basis of the

16 indictment and I accept that. Why, because at the end, there will be a

17 whole series of facts that you will see in the indictment that have

18 nothing to do with the person of Milomir Stakic himself. It has to do

19 with history, the description of a conflict, the general background, but

20 what is important, in my opinion, for the Defence, and I would ask the

21 Defence to adopt an active Defence role, an attitude I do wish to discuss

22 these matters. Because very often, Defence counsel take a passive

23 attitude. It is up to the Prosecution to prove things and I will just

24 wait. However, as you know, in the language of football, defensive teams

25 as a rule lose the match. So it is important to attack to win.

Page 1293

1 So a good position to be taken by the Defence is a dynamic

2 position, a position of communicating with the other party and an active,

3 committed attitude. I do wish to discuss, and to go into the details. So

4 what I think is really important for the Defence is everything that really

5 affects the responsibility of the accused.

6 There are other things that are of a general nature that provide

7 the context, the framework. So in that regard, we can move forward. And

8 in the other case, we did make progress because there was judicial notice,

9 partly judicial notice and partly stipulations, on the basis of some 500

10 facts. Out of those 500, some 440 were accepted as adjudicated. So this

11 enormously facilitates the process of witnesses, the exhibits and so on.

12 Now, as regards this case, we have at least the Omarska case that

13 is related, the Keraterm case. We have the Talic and Brdjanin case,

14 then we have the Kovacevic case too, to a certain extent. So there are

15 many things, in my view, which have already been cleared up to a point and

16 it is possible to negotiate on condition that they do not concern the

17 responsibility of the accused.

18 There is something else that has to be borne in mind. Since we

19 have all these different cases, there is also a large number of witnesses

20 who have already appeared here in court and, in my opinion, it is not

21 useful, in the interest of justice, for the parties or for the Tribunal to

22 make a witness come back to repeat what he has already said and which has

23 been recorded in a transcript of which we have audio and visual record.

24 So I think that one should accept that there is one particular point that

25 this witness needs to clarify because this may be a point that another

Page 1294

1 Defence counsel had not raised because his Defence strategy was different

2 because he forgot or for any other reason.

3 But if there is a real reason to have a witness brought back, we

4 shall do so, but only to tell us something new. If he is to say what he

5 has already said, that has no sense. Therefore, I think that we must be

6 reasonable and, for instance, one could imagine a video conference for the

7 case of a witness who has already appeared in the Tribunal, who has

8 already made his testimony before the Judges after taking the solemn

9 declaration. But if there is one question with the Defence counsel or the

10 Prosecution wishes to put to him, then for that one question, the witness

11 can answer that question by video conferencing, avoiding his travel here,

12 wasting a lot of time bringing him here to the courtroom to give an

13 answer to one single question.

14 So you see, there is a whole series of issues from the practical

15 point of view that we will address, but at this stage of the beginning of

16 the pre-trial, perhaps we need to share them with you already so that the

17 parties may reflect upon them and give them thought. I think that we are

18 all keen on the trial being expeditious but also fair or, vice versa, the

19 trial should be fair but also expeditious. So that is the balance that we

20 wish to build as from now.

21 I should now like to go on to the third point of the agenda, and

22 that is other business or other questions. Are there any other questions

23 which have not been addressed and which should be addressed now?

24 I am looking at Ms. Susan Somers.

25 MS. SOMERS: I cannot think of anything procedurally that you have

Page 1295

1 not covered, Your Honour. I -- again, after I have a chance to speak with

2 Mr. Lukic after the session has ended there may be something, and I will

3 inform your officer if that's appropriate. Thank you.

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Ms. Susan Somers.

5 Mr. Lukic.

6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Also, at this point in time, Your

7 Honour, I have no question that I feel needs to be addressed just now.

8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.

9 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I was just reminded, this

10 may be absolutely superfluous, but because this is the first time I have

11 we've had dealings with each other, of course the materials which will be

12 given out as supporting materials are confidential and we have attached a

13 receipt which indicates their confidential nature and that they are not to

14 be disclosed to anyone.

15 I just wanted to inform the Chamber that we have so included this

16 caveat. Thank you very much.

17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I am going to issue

18 the work plan and a few guidelines with respect to the objectives and

19 methodology and especially scheduling formally designating Mr. Olivier

20 Fourmy as the legal officer who will assist me in this pre-trial

21 proceedings establishing the role that he will play, but from this moment

22 on, you are able to communicate through him with me.

23 I should like to give him the floor to see whether he has anything

24 to add for this Status Conference. Mr. Olivier Fourmy.

25 MR. FOURMY: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Page 1296

1 Thank you very much for the confidence shown in me, and by the Chamber

2 through you in designating me as a person who could facilitate the

3 pre-trial stage of these proceedings, and I should like to invite the

4 parties to contact me, either separately or together, whenever they feel

5 the need to do so. Thank you.

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you very much,

7 Mr. Olivier Fourmy. There is something I would like to address before I

8 give the floor to Dr. Stakic. That is the composition of Mr. Lukic's

9 team. I think to be able to develop their work and to be able to fulfil

10 our objectives in terms of the schedule, we really have to pay attention

11 to this and I am referring to the composition of Mr. Lukic's team.

12 I should like to ask Madam Registrar where we stand with

13 respect to that issue.

14 THE REGISTRAR: I just spoke with Chritain Rohde this morning and

15 he informed me that a decision a being made now to make Mr. Lukic counsel

16 for Mr. Stakic. And as far as getting more people for his team, Mr. Lukic

17 will have to ask Mr. Rohde for that.

18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. So Mr. Lukic, you

19 have an additional task, and that is to form your team and to communicate

20 with Mr. Christian Rohde so that the team could be constituted because

21 we wouldn't like to hear you say tomorrow that you were not able to

22 complete your work because you were alone, you have no co-counsel and no

23 proper team. I have made this remark to the Registry so that the Registry

24 take care of your requests so that the Registrar should be well aware of

25 our interest in working properly and completing our work by October. And

Page 1297

1 in order to achieve that, it is also important for the Registrar to

2 provide the necessary resources for you to compose your team.

3 Before adjourning this hearing, I should like to address

4 Dr. Stakic. Will you stand, please. I should like to ask you whether

5 there is anything in particular that you would like to say, specifically

6 regarding conditions of detention and your health. Are you feeling well?

7 Do you have anything to tell us?

8 THE ACCUSED: Your Honour, I believe that you know that I have

9 been operated on 14 or 15 days ago and, thank God, and thanks to the

10 doctors, my colleagues who did a good job, I am already feeling quite

11 well. The wound is healing and I hope everything will be fine and thank

12 you for your concern.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.

14 THE ACCUSED: Thank you, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I hope, after this first

16 meeting, we will really be able to begin establishing a good cooperative

17 strategy, a strategy from which all of us will gain, the accused, the

18 Defence, the Prosecution, the Chamber, and justice in general. It is not

19 a case when somebody gains and the other loses. It really is something

20 that all can benefit from if making the proper contribution.

21 So I encourage you to adopt such a working perspective, because

22 when somebody does not cooperate, it makes the overall task more

23 complicated. So I think the spirit of cooperation and communication can

24 make the work of all of us easier, simpler, but also more effective and

25 more beneficial. Having made that remark, I wish to say that I am very

Page 1298

1 happy to work with you. I am always available through Mr. Olivier Fourmy,

2 and we will do everything we can to complete the pre-trial stage by

3 October so that the trial can begin as soon as possible.

4 Thank you for your attention. Success in your work. The hearing

5 is adjourned.

6 --- Whereupon The Status Conference is adjourned at

7 11.15 a.m.