Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 162

1 Wednesday, 22 June 2005

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

5 [The accused entered court]

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, could you call

7 the case number, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-97-25/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Mitar

9 Rasevic and Savo Todovic.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar. I

11 would now like to have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is

13 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff. I appear here for the Prosecution together with

14 trial attorney Christina Moeller, and we are accompanied by our case

15 manager Sebastiaan van Hooydonk.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you, and could we have the appearances for

17 Defence counsel, please.

18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour. My name is

19 Vladimir Domazet and I represent Mr. Mitar Rasevic. I am his Defence

20 counsel.

21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Counsel Aleksandar

22 Lazarevic for Mr. Savo Todovic.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to

24 greet everyone present in the courtroom: Members of the Prosecution,

25 Defence counsel, Mr. Rasevic and Mr. Todovic, and I would also like to

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1 greet everyone else in the courtroom; the registrar, the Chamber's legal

2 officer, and naturally I wouldn't want to forget to mention the security

3 officers, the interpreters, and the technicians who are assisting us.

4 I would first like to ask Mr. Rasevic and -- and Mr. Todovic

5 whether they are able to follow the proceedings in a language that they

6 understand.

7 Mr. Rasevic, can you hear me?

8 THE ACCUSED RASEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can hear me?

10 THE ACCUSED RASEVIC: [Interpretation] I can hear you well.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.

12 Mr. Todovic, can you hear me?

13 THE ACCUSED TODOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.

15 THE ACCUSED TODOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This Status Conference is being

17 held pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules, as you're well aware, and every

18 120 days it is necessary to have a Status Conference. The purpose of the

19 Status Conference is to organise exchanges between the parties so as to

20 ensure expeditious preparation for trial and also in order to review the

21 status of the case and to allow the accused the opportunity to raise

22 issues relating to the mental and physical condition or to the conditions

23 of detention.

24 The last time we saw each other was on the 21st of March, 2005.

25 There are a number of issues that I would like to deal with. First of

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1 all, there is the issue of the motions that are currently being examined

2 by this Chamber, and then I would like to deal with the motion pursuant to

3 Rule 11 bis.

4 As far as the pending motions are concerned, the Trial Chamber was

5 seized of a preliminary motion filed by Defence for the accused Todovic.

6 This motion was filed on the 10th of March, 2005, pursuant to 72(A)(ii) of

7 the Rules. By a decision of the 23rd of March, 2005, the Trial Chamber

8 granted the Prosecution's request dated the 14th of March, 2005. In this

9 motion, the Chamber was requested to defer decision on the motion filed by

10 the accused Todovic pending the filing by the Prosecution of a motion for

11 leave to amend the indictment.

12 There was a second motion that was filed on the 25th of May, 2005,

13 by the Prosecution in order to obtain leave to amend the indictments

14 against the two accused. This motion was a response to an order issued by

15 this Chamber dated the 17th of May, 2005. In this order, the Prosecution

16 was requested to file a new motion to amend the indictment in which the

17 indictments would be joined by the Prosecution against the two accused.

18 The accused are the subject of the same charges and as a result it would

19 be best to have a single indictment and not two separate indictments.

20 As far as the two motions that I have just mentioned are

21 concerned, the Trial Chamber will render its decision as soon as the

22 Defence has filed its written submissions pursuant to Rule 72. These

23 written submissions should be filed by the 27th of June, 2005, at the

24 latest, in accordance with order issued by the Chamber on the 17th of May,

25 2005. We are waiting for these written submissions from the Defence, and

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1 we will then be in a position to immediately render our decision. This

2 should not pose any problems as far as the time limits are concerned.

3 We have also received a motion from the Defence for the accused

4 Todovic filed on the 13th of May, 2005. In this motion, Defence counsel

5 for Mr. Todovic requested access to all the confidential documents from

6 the Krnojelac case. We will render our decision expeditiously in the

7 coming days, a decision concerning this motion. And this means there will

8 be no other pending motions in the following weeks, because we will have

9 dealt with almost all of the motions.

10 I would now like to deal with the 11 bis motion. This Chamber

11 hasn't been charged with examining this motion since it is a particular

12 Bench that has been appointed to deal with this motion. However, as

13 Pre-Trial Judge, I have to ensure that preparation for the case proceeds

14 expeditiously, and this is my responsibility pursuant to Rule 65 ter (B),

15 because according this Rule, the Pre-Trial Judge should ensure that the

16 proceedings fall -- proceed expeditiously, and the Pre-Trial Judge should

17 also take all necessary measures to ensure that a fair trial is organised.

18 It is necessary to respect these provisions. It's necessary for me to

19 respect these provisions.

20 I could refer to precedent, the Krnojelac case, and I would like

21 to inform the parties that in the Krnojelac case this accused was

22 transferred to The Hague on the 15th of June, 1998, and his trial

23 commenced on the 30th of October, 2001 [sic], and the judgement of the

24 Trial Chamber was delivered on the 4th of July, 2001. The Trial Chamber

25 had 65 days of hearing. 45 Prosecution witnesses were called in the

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1 course of the case, and there were 30 Defence witnesses who were called to

2 testify.

3 When the judgement was delivered on the 4th of July, 2001, the

4 accused, Krnojelac, had been in detention for three years and nine months,

5 and the trial -- the Appeals Chamber delivered its final judgement on the

6 17th of September, 2003. From the time that the accused arrived here and

7 up to the time a definitive judgement was delivered, five years had

8 passed.

9 In the present case, we have been in the pre-trial stage for two

10 years now. As you know, on the 4th of November, 2004, as Pre-Trial Judge

11 pursuant to 11 bis -- Rule 11 bis (B), I seized Trial Chamber II,

12 requesting that they rule on the possibility of referring the case to the

13 competent national authorities. However, on the same day, on the 4th of

14 November, 2004, although I wasn't aware of the fact when I rendered my

15 order, the Prosecution seized the President and requested that the

16 President appoint a competent Bench to rule on the 11 bis motion.

17 Rule 11 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence was then

18 amended, which resulted in forming a Bench to examine the referral motion

19 pursuant to 11 bis.

20 Personally, I note that if Trial Chamber II, of which I am a part,

21 with regard to the responsibilities I had in November 2004, if this Trial

22 Chamber had been forwarded this request for referral, we would have ruled

23 on the motion awhile ago, but I note that a decision has not been rendered

24 with regard to this motion. Regardless of the time that has elapsed, I

25 must do everything that is possible in case this case is put on trial

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1 here. All the preparations must be made.

2 So I would like to invite the Prosecution today to file, by the

3 17th of September, 2005, the final version of their pre-trial brief, a

4 list of witnesses, and a list of exhibits. Once these documents have been

5 filed and on the 10th of September at the latest, the 10th of September,

6 2005, I will order pursuant to paragraph (F) of Rule 65 ter, I will order

7 the Defence to file their pre-trial brief once they have received the

8 Prosecution's brief. This should be done by the 1st of October, 2005 at

9 the latest.

10 I have to mention these time limits because there will be a

11 decision rendered with regard to Rule 11 bis. I don't know whether leave

12 will be granted for referring the case. If one decides to refer the case,

13 the accused might appeal the decision, or this takes a lot of time. But

14 on the basis of the Rule 11 bis procedure, I must ensure that if this case

15 goes to trial here, everything is ready, because we cannot accept any

16 prejudice being caused to the accused because the proceedings have been

17 delayed.

18 The constitution of this case is not complicated. The case is not

19 complicated, because in the list of witnesses that we have, there are a

20 lot of witnesses who have already been called in the Krnojelac case. And

21 as far as the exhibit list is concerned, again many of the exhibits are

22 familiar. So this should not be an impossible task for the Prosecution.

23 And by the 10th of -- and until the 10th of September, the Prosecution

24 will have two or three months to prepare their case.

25 I believe the Prosecution has taken note of my requests.

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1 There are other issues that I would like to deal with that have to

2 do with the disclosure of material pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) and Rule

3 66(A)(ii).

4 As far as -- and also pursuant to Rule 68. As far as 66(A)(i),

5 documents have been disclosed for the accused Rasevic. As far as the

6 accused Todovic is concerned, on the 21st of March, 2005, the Defence of

7 Mr. Todovic informed me that they had received from the Prosecution a

8 total of six binders.

9 I will now turn to the Prosecution, and could the Prosecution tell

10 me whether material that falls under Rule 66(A)(i) has been disclosed to

11 the accused Todovic.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I can confirm that we have

13 disclosed all the materials according to Rule 66(A)(i) to both accused.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. There are no

15 comments to be made as far as the accused Todovic is concerned? You have

16 received all the material? Mr. Lazarevic.

17 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, Your Honour. What we have received recently

18 was one extensive disclosure by the Prosecution on EDS, and we are now

19 examining very carefully all these documents. Also, I have received a

20 number of transcripts from the Krnojelac case, and I will also have to

21 take a look at all these documents, and I will submit my receipt for the

22 documents received to the Prosecution and -- but basically, we do receive

23 disclosures from the OTP.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As far as Rule

25 66(A)(ii) is concerned, the Prosecution has to make available to the

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1 Defence - naturally to the accused as well - copies of the statements of

2 all witnesses that the Prosecution intends to call to testify at trial, as

3 well as copies of all written statements taken in accordance with Rule 92

4 bis. As far as the accused Rasevic is concerned, this has been done. As

5 far as Todovic is concerned, I don't know what the situation is. Could

6 you tell me what the situation is.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, most of the statements were

8 actually part of the supporting material and therefore the Todovic Defence

9 got these materials. In addition, they got all the public transcripts

10 from the Krnojelac case. The only thing outstanding is actually the

11 confidential parts of the transcript of the Krnojelac case, and as Your

12 Honour has said, this decision is pending and the Prosecution of course

13 did not oppose the Defence request, and we are prepared, as soon as the

14 decision is delivered, to provide these materials as well.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. As far

16 as Rule 66(A)(ii) is concerned, Mr. Lazarevic, is there anything you would

17 like to say?

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one issue I believe that this Trial Chamber

19 is entitled on the information. It is not -- well, Your Honour has

20 already noted that we filed a motion and you informed us that a decision

21 will be rendered soon, but we also filed two more motions in two other

22 cases before this Tribunal because we do believe that we will find some

23 information and some documents in those two cases. Also, this Trial

24 Chamber is -- will not deal with these issues. This has to do with

25 Milosevic and with Krajisnik cases, and we will also have to wait for the

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1 decisions for these two Trial Chambers to grant us access to confidential

2 materials.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I now have to deal

4 with Rule 68. As you are well aware, the Prosecution has to make

5 available to the Defence any exculpatory material or any material that may

6 suggest the innocence or mitigate the guilt of the accused or affect the

7 credibility of Prosecution evidence. This has been done in the case of

8 Rasevic, but in the case of accused Todovic I would like to know whether

9 this Rule has been complied with or whether the Rule will be complied

10 with.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, as it is an ongoing obligation,

12 we have complied with the Rule. We have provided all the Rule 68 material

13 that was given to the Defence of Mr. Rasevic. The same material the

14 Defence of Mr. Todovic got as well. In addition, we have conducted

15 electronic searches for Rule 68 material. The review of these

16 electronically provided materials is ongoing, and as soon as we find

17 something which is Rule 68, it will be disclosed.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 Does Mr. Todovic's Defence counsel have any comments to make?

20 Mr. Lazarevic.

21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... has anything

22 to add to what the Prosecution says.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask

24 Mr. Rasevic to stand up.

25 I have to put the usual questions to you about your health and the

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1 conditions of detention. As far as your health is concerned, is

2 everything fine? Are there any problems?

3 THE ACCUSED RASEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. My

4 health condition is good. I feel well. And if you will allow me, I would

5 like to repeat what I said already last time. The -- this -- these

6 proceedings are dragging on. I've been here for two years. I was ready

7 to go into trial as soon as I arrived. There has been a delay, 11 bis,

8 and so on and so forth, and objectively I don't see any need for this

9 delay.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I've taken note of your

11 comments, and as far as I am concerned, I am doing all that is possible to

12 ensure that you stand trial as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this does

13 not just depend on me.

14 As far as your conditions of detention are concerned, have you

15 been receiving any visits? Is everything fine? Is there anything you

16 would like to say about those conditions? Are you allowed to make phone

17 calls to the outside?

18 THE ACCUSED RASEVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like

19 to thank you for your kind attention. As far as the Detention Unit is

20 concerned, I personally don't have any problems there. I am receiving

21 visits from my family in keeping with their financial possibilities. So

22 far, I have not had any problems. Thank you very much for your kind

23 concern.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Rasevic. You may

25 sit down. Please sit down.

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1 I would now like to put the same question to Mr. Todovic.

2 Mr. Todovic, please stand up.

3 As far as your health is concerned, do you have any problems or is

4 there nothing worthy of note?

5 THE ACCUSED TODOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have

6 any problems.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the conditions of

8 detention are concerned, are you receiving any visits? You're allowed to

9 make phone calls? Have you been receiving any mail? Given the

10 circumstances, are the conditions of detention ideal or are there any

11 complaints that you would like to make or any comments you would like to

12 make?

13 THE ACCUSED TODOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have

14 any complaints. I have had two visits so far. I have regular telephone

15 conversations, and I am satisfied with that. Thank you very much.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Todovic. You may

17 sit down now.

18 THE ACCUSED TODOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to deal with any

20 other issues that need dealing with, and I will first turn to the

21 Prosecution. Are there any issues the Prosecution would like to raise?

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. I would like to ask for a

23 clarification. When you first mentioned the deadline for the pre-trial

24 brief, you spoke of the 17th of September, but when you mentioned it

25 further on, you then said the 10th of September. I just want to know

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1 which date it is.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You're quite right. The

3 date is the 10th of September, not the 17th. It's the 10th of September.

4 I apologise if an error was made, but the date is the 10th of September.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will now give the

7 floor to Mr. Domazet. Mr. Domazet, are there any issues you would like to

8 raise?

9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We have no issues

10 we would like to raise. We are waiting for a decision to be rendered.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Lazarevic?

12 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Nothing. Thank you, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As everyone has understood, we

14 are waiting for a decision that will be rendered by the Chamber of which

15 Judge Orie is the President. As soon as the decision is rendered, a

16 certain procedure will have to be followed. And in the light of the

17 decision rendered, if the case shall go to trial here, the Prosecution

18 will have to abide by my order and issue a list of witnesses and a list of

19 exhibits, and will have to file their pre-trial brief by the 10th of

20 September.

21 However, if the case is referred to the local authorities or if an

22 appeal is made by one of the accused or both of the accused, the

23 Prosecution will have to respect this request. However, if the

24 Prosecution -- or, rather, if the motion is not granted, if the case goes

25 to trial here, then after written submissions have been filed on the 10th

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1 of September and after we have received written submissions from the

2 Defence on the 1st of October, we will have a Status Conference in order

3 to set in motion the steps that have to be taken to prepare for the trial.

4 It is now the 22nd of June, so we will see each other again before

5 the 22nd of October at the latest. So I should have the written

6 submissions from the Defence by the 1st of October, and then we can embark

7 on the final stages with a view to going to trial.

8 If there are no other issues to be raised, I would like to thank

9 you, and we will now adjourn.

10 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

11 at 2.46 p.m.