Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Monday, 2 June 2003

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3 p.m.

6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Could the

7 Registrar please call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Case Number IT-03-69-I, the Prosecutor versus

9 Franko Simatovic.

10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. May I have the appearances.

11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. For the Prosecution, Susan

12 Somers. Sitting in to assist administratively Ms. Britanny Kesselman and

13 Ms. Stephanie Wee, case manager. Ms. Camille Bibles was unable to attend.

14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Somers. And for the Defence, please.

15 Push the button.

16 MS. GAJOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good

17 afternoon, ladies and gentlemen from the Prosecution. I'm Neda Gajovic,

18 attorney from Belgrade. I will head the Defence counsel for Mr. Franko

19 Simatovic.

20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Gajovic.

21 This proceeding is the initial appearance of Mr. Franko Simatovic

22 pursuant to Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

23 Mr. Simatovic, if you could please rise and answer some questions. Can

24 you hear the proceedings in a language you understand?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

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1 JUDGE KWON: I will not continually ask you the same question

2 this afternoon. But if a related problem arises, please do not hesitate

3 to let me know.

4 Then, would you please state your full name.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Franko Simatovic.

6 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any nickname?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have. Frenki.

8 JUDGE KWON: And would you please state your date and place of

9 your birth.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 1st of April, 1950, in

11 Belgrade, the former Yugoslavia.

12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Simatovic. Please take a seat.

13 The indictment against the accused, Mr. Simatovic, was reviewed

14 and confirmed by a Judge of this Tribunal on the 1st of May of 2003.

15 Subsequently, the authorities of Republic of Serbia which were holding

16 the accused in custody transferred the accused to the Detention Unit of

17 this Tribunal on Friday, 30th of May, 2003. Upon transfer of the

18 accused, the President of the Tribunal assigned this case to Trial

19 Chamber III, and as one of its permanent Judges, I have been designated

20 as a Pre-Trial Judge.

21 At the initial appearance proceeding, the Judge is to be

22 satisfied that the accused understands the indictment against him.

23 Ms. Gajovic, if you could tell me whether your client has received a copy

24 of the indictment in a language he understands.

25 MS. GAJOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to assure you, Your Honour,

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1 that the accused has received a copy of the indictment, that he

2 understands the indictment, and that he will plead on all counts of the

3 indictment today. And with your permission, I would like to suggest that

4 the indictment not be read out.

5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Very well.

6 Then we've come to the most important formality of the initial

7 appearances, that is, plea to the charges of the indictment. Then I will

8 now proceed to ask the Registrar to read out each count of the indictment

9 and to ask Mr. Simatovic whether he pleads guilty or not guilty. When

10 pleading, Mr. Simatovic, confine your answer either to "guilty" or "not

11 guilty."

12 If you could stand up, please. Madam Registrar, please read out

13 counts in the indictment.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Count 1, persecutions on political, racial, or

15 religious grounds, a crime against humanity, punishable under Articles

16 5(h) and 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simatovic, do you plead guilty or not guilty to

18 count 1?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.

20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Now, please read count 2.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Count 2: Murder, a crime against humanity,

22 punishable under Articles 5(a) and 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simatovic, how do you plead to count 2?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.

25 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Count 3, please.

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1 THE REGISTRAR: Count 3: Murder, a violation of the laws or

2 customs of war, as recognised by common article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva

3 Conventions of 1949, punishable under Articles 3 and 7(1) of the Statute

4 of the Tribunal.

5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simatovic, do you plead guilty or not guilty to

6 count 3?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.

8 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Count 4, please.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Count 4, deportation, a crime against humanity

10 punishable Articles 5(d) and 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simatovic, do you plead guilty or not guilty?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.

13 JUDGE KWON: Would you please read the last count, count 5.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Count 5, inhumane acts, forcible transfer, a

15 crime against humanity, punishable under Articles 5(i) and 7(1) of the

16 Statute of the Tribunal.

17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simatovic, how do you plead?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not guilty.

19 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please sit down, Mr. Simatovic.

20 I would like to ask the Registrar to note that Mr. Simatovic has

21 pleaded not guilty to all five counts of the indictment. Then, as a next

22 step, I must now remind the Prosecution that pursuant to Rule 66 (A)(i) of

23 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, it has 30 days to disclose to the

24 Defence in a language which the accused understands all the supporting

25 materials which accompanied the indictment when confirmation was sought.

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1 Also, all prior statements obtained by the Prosecution from the accused

2 must be disclosed as well.

3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour. The Prosecution

4 is duly aware and is in the process of collecting and processing such

5 materials for disclosure to the Defence. We have spoken with

6 Mrs. Gajovic about this and have indicated that there will be certain

7 preliminary, initial motions for protective measures, of course, that I'm

8 sure the Chamber will be expecting. Thank you very much.

9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And for the Defence, it will have a

10 30-day period for filing any preliminary motions that it may care to do

11 once it has received all of the supporting material in accordance with

12 Rule 66 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

13 And finally, a Status Conference is to be held roughly within

14 about four months time from now. And before that, pursuant to Rule 65

15 ter, the Pre-Trial Judge may be assisted in the performances of his duty

16 by one of the Senior Legal Officers assigned to Chambers. So in this

17 regard, Ms. Yvonne Featherstone, our Senior Legal Officer, shall

18 undertake this task. So accordingly, Ms. Featherstone will meet you, meet

19 with the parties, to discuss the various matters arising from preparation

20 of the trial. And I wonder if there is any matter the parties wish to

21 raise at this stage?

22 Prosecution.

23 MS. SOMERS: Nothing at this time, Your Honour. Thank you.

24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. For the Defence?

25 MS. GAJOVIC: [Interpretation] We have nothing at this moment

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1 either, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

3 Mr. Simatovic, is there anything you'd like to raise regarding

4 your custody or anything else?

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE KWON: Very well. You may sit down, please.

7 Unless there's anything the parties wish to raise, this

8 proceeding is now adjourned.

9 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned

10 at 3.12 p.m.