Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 79

1 Tuesday, 8 July 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone.

7 Could the registrar please call the case number.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-96-23/2-PT, the Prosecutor versus

9 Radovan Stankovic.

10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, madam.

11 Could we have the appearances, please, for the sake of the

12 transcript. I'll turn to the Prosecution first.

13 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon to you as well, Mr. Judge. My name is

14 Jan Wubben. I'm senior trial attorney. To my side you see Manoj

15 Sachdeva, a lawyer; and at the other side, Ms. Djurdja Mirkovic. She's

16 the case manager. Thank you.

17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18 And appearances for the Defence, please.

19 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my name is Milenko

20 Radovic. I'm from Foca, Srbinje. I'm Defence counsel for the accused,

21 Radovan Stankovic.

22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23 Mr. Stankovic, can you hear me in a language that you understand?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I hear you very well, Mr. El

25 Mahdi.

Page 80

1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Very well.

2 Pursuant to the scheduling order of the 27th of June, 2003, this

3 conference will be dealing with certain matters. It is being held,

4 pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules in order to discuss the progress that

5 has been made in the preparation of the case. I would like to remind the

6 parties that this is the third Status Conference, and I want to reassure

7 myself as to the exchanges between the parties, and I also want to see

8 what the situation is with the preparation of the Defence's case.

9 I'll first address the first issue, which concerns exchanges

10 between the parties. Could the Prosecution please bring us up to date

11 with regard to carrying out its obligations pursuant to the Rules of

12 Procedure and Evidence.

13 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour, I will. With a view to

14 Rule 66(A)(i), supporting material, we handed it over to the accused

15 relating to -- with a view to the other material to be disclosed. We had

16 a meeting with counsel for Defence yesterday, before the 65 ter meeting,

17 and we made an agreement to proceed on this by handing over a substantial

18 package of material this very month and also to set up an extra side

19 agreement in good cooperation with counsel for Defence with a view to the

20 follow-up steps, also disclosing material, also with a view to research

21 criteria to be given to us to support him from his side as well with

22 disclosing of the material. If it comes up to further detail, I requested

23 my colleague at my side to give you further details. Anyhow, we discussed

24 it also at the 65 ter meeting. And both parties - and I speak at least

25 for myself - made this final agreement that we should proceed on this in

Page 81

1 this very way and to hand over the package of material to start this very

2 month.

3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I'm glad to

4 hear that cooperation is satisfactory.

5 As far as the Defence is concerned, after having heard what the

6 Prosecution has had to say, are there any comments you would like to make?

7 If I have understood things correctly, everything is unfolding quite

8 normally, and the cooperation between the parties is very good. Is there

9 anything you would like to say with regard to this matter?

10 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what the Defence would

11 like to point out, first of all, is that after the previous

12 Status Conference there was still problems between me as the Defence

13 counsel and Mr. Stankovic with regard to the conception of his defence.

14 And we have managed to bring our positions into agreement.

15 Defence counsel, having informed the Registry on the 17th of May,

16 2003, that it would continue to defend Mr. Stankovic; having done this, we

17 have designated our associates, two investigators, who immediately

18 commenced with their work in the field. And I expect that within a few

19 days my team will be complete and I will have a legal representative as a

20 member of my team. And agreement has been reached with the accused,

21 Mr. Stankovic, with regard to co-counsel, who will be joining Defence

22 counsel in accordance with the Rules of the Tribunal. Defence counsel has

23 been preparing the Defence case intensively. As counsel, I have examined

24 all the material that the Prosecution has provided me with to date. And

25 once other exhibits have been provided to me and after I have examined

Page 82

1 this material, we will be in a position to provide the Prosecutor with our

2 material, the material we have gathered in a written form. In my opinion,

3 in my estimate, this will take place in the course of the month of

4 September and the month of October.

5 I have also informed my learned colleague, Mr. Wubben, about this

6 at the meeting that we had yesterday, and we reached full agreement on

7 this issue.

8 What I would like to point out here - and this is an obligation I

9 have with respect to my client - I would like to point out that the

10 decision of the Trial Chamber, according to the request of the Prosecutor

11 for the recognition of adjudicated facts, facts have been accepted, the

12 facts that the Prosecutor presented and facts which are contrary to the

13 position of the Defence. However, Defence counsel is very satisfied with

14 the Trial Chamber's position presented in item 12 of the decision dated

15 the 16th of May, 2003, which makes it possible for either of the

16 parties - and this is of a special significance for the Defence- it

17 enables any of the parties to present evidence in order to counter

18 adjudicated facts, in accordance to -- with the Rule 94(B). And in this

19 manner, the Defence has greater obligation when presenting its Defence

20 case, because Mr. Stankovic, and myself as his Defence counsel, we believe

21 that the adjudicated facts mentioned in the Kunarac case have not been

22 adequately established, and Defence counsel will strive to prove that this

23 is the case by presenting the appropriate evidence.

24 I hope that with our learned colleagues from the Prosecution we

25 will manage to establish full cooperation, as we have been able to to

Page 83

1 date, with regard to our obligations to disclose, for disclosure, in

2 accordance with the Rule 66 and 67 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

3 And this is the agreement that we reached at the meeting that we had

4 yesterday. Thank you.

5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

6 Mr. Radovic, if I have understood you correctly, the preparation of the

7 Defence counsel is proceeding well and you are going to be assisted by an

8 assistant and by investigators that you will select. This is a matter of

9 satisfaction for me. I'm satisfied to see that very soon you will have a

10 precise idea, as precise as possible, about the defence, at least with

11 regard to the broad outlines that your Defence case will have.

12 And I appeal to both parties to continue to cooperate in the same

13 manner, in the same spirit, and I believe that our legal officer is at the

14 disposal of both parties. So I think that I am now going to turn to

15 Mr. Stankovic.

16 And, Mr. Stankovic, I would like to ask you about your health.

17 How do you feel?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As other people want me to feel.

19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What I wish to hear regarding

20 your health. How do you feel?

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused. Microphone for the

22 accused.

23 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone for the accused, please.

24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. I didn't hear that. Could

25 you please repeat.

Page 84

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. El Mahdi, what I'm saying is

2 that my health is relatively good. But I would like to ask you if I can

3 have ten minutes.

4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just something that you want to -- I

6 want to say something regarding your decision pursuant to Rule 94(B),

7 which -- that you are accepting the allegedly adjudicated facts - 37 of

8 them - from some previous cases. More precisely, you are referring to the

9 judgements from the Kunarac case. I'd like to ask you --

10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And if you'll allow me,

11 Mr. Stankovic, I understood from your Defence counsel, he's got a certain

12 plan how to defend you, and together you have agreed how to do this, and

13 nothing will prevent you from presenting your case and refuting this state

14 of affairs. It is your right to present evidence to the contrary, and you

15 can be certain that your Defence counsel, as well as the Trial Chamber,

16 will hear with a great deal of care and interest every evidence to the

17 contrary. So please do not feel that the adjudicated facts, that being a

18 judicial formula, and your Defence counsel is well aware of it. That does

19 not prevent you from bringing evidence -- presenting evidence to the

20 contrary. Nothing has been done or decided. You have all the rights to

21 refute what is on this list of adjudicated facts. I would like to

22 reassure you on this point.

23 Now, is there any other topic that you would like to raise?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. El Mahdi, why on the basis of

25 the assumptions and the alleged facts that have been proven from some

Page 85

1 other cases, from some previous cases, and the allegedly proven facts, why

2 would I be judged on the basis of that? What I'm asking you is that I

3 should be set aside from that, so that I should not be linked to the case

4 Kunarac and the other cases.

5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, we'll come to

6 that. We are now in the phase of the pre-trial. We are here at the

7 Status Conference. What I have asked you is about your state of health.

8 We are not talking about the case. We have discussed the case. You have

9 all the rights to prove the opposite your Defence counsel mentioned and

10 explained that his intention was to prove the contrary. The entire

11 Defence team that will help him is in place. And I hope we'll continue to

12 do that. But in order not to waste time -- I have mentioned that this is

13 the third Status Conference, and if you want -- it's actually the fourth,

14 because there was a Status Conference which was dedicated to arguments.

15 So I want to reassure you that we will do our best, your Defence team and

16 the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber. We will further this case.

17 Everything that you say, everything that you're raising now, these are

18 legal points that the Trial Chamber -- the Trial Chamber is --

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I just please say something?

20 I'm just asking you, because this is about individual responsibility. It

21 is -- the Prosecution is charging with individual responsibility. So what

22 I'm asking is that all facts are established in the course of my trial, my

23 own trial, of my own case, and not to take the adjudicated facts from some

24 previous cases, from some previous trials, to be taken as a given. So you

25 are now taking as a given some facts from some other trials. I'm sorry.

Page 86

1 Just -- just I'll be very brief. I'll be very brief. I'll be very brief.

2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] No. Mr. Stankovic, please, what

3 I can tell you - and I'm repeating - we are in the stage at -- of a Status

4 Conference. We are not treating here the merits of the case. Your

5 Defence has raised the issues. You have all the rights to coordinate your

6 point of view, your opinions, and to submit any point of view that you

7 have to the Trial Chamber. You have all these rights. Your Defence

8 counsel is here to defend your interest, to advise you, and you can be

9 certain that when the time comes, all your worries and concerns will be

10 heard and studied and resolved. So for the moment, as far as your health

11 is concerned, do you have any complaints? Can I help you in any way

12 regarding your health?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My health is relatively good. I

14 don't know what to say. There are certain experts who are dealing with

15 that, and they can assess that, doctors. They can say regarding -- they

16 can say what the psychological and physical condition is of every man. In

17 the course of the war, I have had problems and I have had injuries which

18 have incapacitated me by 60 per cent. I also have deafness in one ear. I

19 have certain problems while I'm speaking because I am not certain about

20 the tone of the voice that I'm speaking, and so perhaps I may appear a

21 little aggressive to you. But, in fact, that's not true. That's not

22 true.

23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just -- just one sentence. Just

25 let -- one sentence. Just regarding what I had said earlier.

Page 87

1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Go on.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you take the allegedly proven

3 facts from some certain cases and your Rule 96 is pursued, in which it

4 says literally if the person is just pointing with a hand to the accused

5 and says, "This is the person who has committed the rape," that cannot be

6 opposed. Nobody can refute it. Now, if you take these facts and this

7 Rule 96, then I don't have need for a trial. I can just be just issued

8 with a verdict. So any Serb like this can be judged and given a verdict

9 and sentenced, any Serb who was in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thank

10 you very much. Thank you very much.

11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, you have expressed

12 your thoughts extremely well. I have listened carefully and with a great

13 deal of patience to what you said, and I would like to reassure you that

14 your Defence is well placed to defend your interest, to defend your

15 rights. And having heard that you have no mental and physical problems,

16 that is a piece of news that I am pleased with.

17 Having said that now, is there anything else that the parties

18 would like to add? If not -- yes, the Prosecution? Is there anything

19 else?

20 MR. WUBBEN: No, thank you, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

22 The Defence? Yes, please.

23 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, regarding the health

24 condition of Mr. Stankovic, as his Defence counsel, I have to inform you

25 about certain facts, and these facts, I have given them to the Prosecutor,

Page 88

1 Mr. Wubben, and your legal advisor, Mr. Harhoff. Mr. Stankovic said that

2 he had certain problems, health problems, because of his neck and because

3 of the 60 per cent of deafness that he feels, because of -- he stepped on

4 a mine and he has had problems with the communication.

5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Sir, could I propose that we go

6 into private session, please.

7 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So Madam Registrar, can we go

9 into private session, please.

10 [Private session]

11 [redacted]

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14 [redacted]

15 [Open session]

16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Stankovic.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In respect of my behaviour, thank

18 you very much for what you said, because I really respect you as a man.

19 Thank you.

20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Not at all. Not at all.

21 Thank you, everyone. And considering that we're coming now to the

22 end of this hearing, I would like to wish you a good afternoon. And until

23 next hearing, we're adjourned.

24 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

25 at 3.28 p.m.