Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1305

 1                           Wednesday, 12 November 2008

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The Accused not present]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Would the registrar call the case, please.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon to

 8     everyone in the courtroom.  This is case number IT-03-69-PT.  The

 9     Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.

10             JUDGE ROBINSON:  And the appearances for the Prosecution.

11             MR. GROOME:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  For the Prosecution

12     I'm Dermot Groome.  I'm accompanied by Doris Brehmeier-Metz.  I'd like to

13     introduce you to Klaus Hoffman, who will be the senior lawyer responsible

14     for disclosure in the case, and Thomas Laugel our case manager.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thanks.  And the Defence.

16             MR. KNOOPS:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  Geert-Jan Knoops

17     counsel for Mr. Stanisic, accompanied by, first, Ms. Amy Walsh, legal

18     assistant in this case, in the process of being admitted to the New South

19     Wales bar Supreme Court of Australia.  And Ms. Rima Dijkstra.  She is a

20     lawyer in the process of being admitted to the Dutch bar.  Thank you.

21             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.  And for Mr. Simatovic.

22             MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.  My name is

23     Zoran Jovanovic and I appear on behalf of accused Simatovic.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Well, I thank you all for attending this

25     conference, Status Conference.  I'm happy to see all of you again.  Those

Page 1306

 1     that I haven't seen for such a long time, Mr. Jovanovic and Mr. Knoops.

 2     Mr. Groome is virtually ubiquitous, so I see him all the time.

 3             We have some matters to consider, and I will deal with them as

 4     quickly, but as completely as possible.  Both Defence teams have filed

 5     notices evidencing the accuseds' consent to the status conference

 6     proceeding in their absence.

 7             I turn next to the review of the health of the accused,

 8     Jovica Stanisic.  You recall that the proceedings were adjourned on the

 9     20th of May, and final medical reports were submitted to the Chamber in

10     September.

11             On the 23rd of October, the Prosecution filed a motion for the

12     re-assessment of the health of Mr. Stanisic, and resumption of the

13     trial proceedings.  The Stanisic Defence filed its response on the 6th

14     of November, 2008, requesting continuation of the adjournment.

15             Mr. Jovanovic confirmed that the Simatovic Defence will not

16     file any submissions.  The Prosecution reply, I understand, has now

17     been filed.  The matter is, therefore, now ready for determination by

18     the Trial Chamber and we'll give our decision shortly.

19             Now, pending motions.  Question really arises as to whether

20     most of these matters should not really be left to the Chamber that

21     will actually be dealing with this matter, trying this matter.  I

22     would tend to think that that is the better course, but there are some

23     matters that could be dealt with by this Trial Chamber.

24             There's the Prosecution's fifth, sixth and seventh motions to

25     amend the Rule 65 ter exhibit list filed the 22nd of July, 2008, and

Page 1307

 1     the 2nd of October, 2008.  There's the Stanisic response to the

 2     Prosecution's fifth and sixth motion filed the 5th of August, and the

 3     response to the Prosecution's seventh motion filed the 16th of

 4     October.  And then we have the Simatovic response to the Prosecution's

 5     seventh motion to amend the 65 ter exhibit list filed the 16th of

 6     October.

 7             The Prosecution requests for leave to reply and reply was

 8     filed on the 22nd of October, 2008.  These motions are matters that, in

 9     our view, can be properly dealt with at this stage of the proceedings,

10     and are now ready for determination.

11             There's a Prosecution submission of the reports of Amor Masovic,

12     Visnja Bilic and Anna-Maria Radic, all filed the 22nd of September.  Both

13     Defence teams have filed responses requiring the expert to be called for

14     cross-examination.  The only matter arising in relation to these reports

15     is that the Prosecution withdrew one of its expert witnesses,

16     Ivan Grujic, whose report was replaced by other expert reports pursuant

17     to the Chamber's decision of 18th June.

18             Mr. Groome, I understand that you would welcome the Chamber's

19     guidance as to whether you should withdraw the report of this expert

20     from the record, or whether the present informal agreement that it

21     does not intend to reply upon the report is sufficient.  I would

22     tends to think it should be withdrawn.

23             MR. GROOME:  In a formal written submission, Your Honour?

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.

25             MR. GROOME:  Yes, then we will do that.

Page 1308

 1             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  Now, motions pursuant to Rules 92 bis, ter

 2     and quater.  The Prosecution has indicated it would welcome an early

 3     determination of these matters, including the Rule 92 ter quater motion

 4     to admit the prior testimony of Milan Babic, who is deceased.  The

 5     Defence take the view that these motions should be decided by the Judges

 6     who will hear the trial when resumed.

 7             There are also more recent applications to admit the further

 8     written evidence of Petar Jankovic, pursuant to Rule 92 ter, filed on

 9     the 28th of August, and further written evidence of Husein Ahmetovic,

10     pursuant to Rule 92 bis, filed on the 26th of August, 2008.

11             My own view is that the 92 bis, ter and quater matters should

12     be decided by the Chamber that will actually be hearing the trial when

13     it -- when it resumes.

14             The Prosecution's motions for protective measures and video

15     conference link.  There is a motion filed by the Prosecution for the

16     continuation of protective measures for Witness MM-078 on the 6th of

17     May, 2008, and a response filed by the Stanisic Defence on 20th of May,

18     2008.  No response has been filed on behalf of Simatovic, and at

19     present this has been left pending to await the decision as to the

20     resumption of trial.

21             Then there was a motion to hear the evidence of two witnesses

22     by video conference link filed by the Prosecution on the 2nd of May,

23     2008, with a response filed by the Stanisic Defence on the 16th of

24     May.  No response has been filed on behalf of Simatovic, and as is the

25     case with the protective measures application, this is currently

Page 1309

 1     awaiting the resumption of trial.

 2             You will, of course, be aware that the protective measures

 3     sought by the Prosecution continue to apply without further order

 4     pursuant to Rule 75(F)(i), and it would seem to be premature to determine

 5     the application for video conference link based on ill health until

 6     sometime nearer the testimony.  One of the witnesses is in his 70s.  The

 7     health condition of the witnesses may change, and no decision will be

 8     rendered on these matters until the resumption of the trial.

 9             Adjudicated facts.  Prosecution motion was filed on the 1st of

10     May, 2007, and is fully briefed.  I understand that at the 65 ter

11     Conference, the parties confirmed that they have held discussions but

12     agreement can only be reached on a very limited number of facts relating

13     to personal issues such as the date of birth of the accused.

14             That's not going very far.  Mr. Groome and Mr. Knoops,

15     anything on that, and Mr. Jovanovic?  Can we get any further on the

16     adjudicated facts, anything --

17             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, the Office of the Prosecutor remains

18     open to this and while there may be some facts that remain in dispute and

19     are core issues in the case, there are some that I must frankly say that

20     I have trouble seeing how they would be in any serious contention.  For

21     example, for the victims at Trnovo, is it really in contention who their

22     identity is, and do we really need to bring the family members to say

23     that was my son who is executed on the videotape?  It would seem to me

24     that that would be the type of fact that would be a matter of such little

25     controversy that it should be easily an agreed fact.

Page 1310

 1             The Prosecution remains open for any discussions about this and

 2     would welcome the Chamber's encouragement to the parties to make some

 3     better progress in this regard.

 4             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Knoops and Mr. Jovanovic.  Mr. Knoops,

 5     first, why would you be contesting a matter such as the one just raised

 6     by Mr. Groome, the identification of the victims at Trnovo?

 7             MR. KNOOPS:  Your Honour, we are willing to reconsider that

 8     position when it concerns the numbers of the victims and the names.  And

 9     on this issue I can reconsider the position of our Defence team.  Thank

10     you.

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.  And of course, I encourage you to

12     look at other matters that may be amenable to agreement.

13             Mr. Jovanovic.

14             MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our position is the

15     same as that of my learned friend.  We will reconsider this issue.  As

16     for the issue of the victims in Trnovo, we will reconsider it as well.

17     In particular, having in mind the judgement that was rendered before the

18     court for war crimes in Belgrade that dealt precisely with this event.

19             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.  Mr. Groome, I hope you are

20     encouraged by that, and you may want to put other matters to the Defence.

21             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.  And I know that Mr. Jovanovic has

22     travelled from Belgrade to be here, so I will have my staff available

23     later today or tomorrow or before Mr. Jovanovic goes back so we hopefully

24     can engage in fruitful negotiations on this matter.

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.

Page 1311

 1             Now, disclosure matters.  I understand the Stanisic Defence has

 2     prepared documents listing some outstanding items, and that these are

 3     being addressed by the parties.  And the Simatovic Defence has indicated

 4     it will seek to obtain access to confidential material in the Perisic

 5     case.

 6             May I ask whether there is any matter that any party wishes to

 7     raise?  First, Mr. Groome?

 8             MR. GROOME:  No, Your Honour.

 9             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Knoops.

10             MR. KNOOPS:  Thank you, Your Honour, no.

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Jovanovic.

12             MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] None, Your Honour.  Thank you.

13     The Prosecutor already announced that they will not object to our request

14     for access to material in the Perisic case.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Very well.  Now, the next Status Conference will

16     have to be held before the 12th of March, 2009, and you will be advised

17     as to the precise date.

18             There being no other matter to discuss, this hearing is

19     adjourned.

20                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference

21                           adjourned at 2.33 p.m.