1 Thursday, 15 July 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.06 p.m.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, everyone. I
7 would like to ask the registrar to be kind enough to call the case,
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
10 Number IT-96-23/2-PT, the Prosecutor versus Radovan Stankovic.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. For the record, could
12 we have the appearances of the parties, please. For the Prosecutor,
14 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Jan Wubben,
15 senior trial attorney. At my side, Ms. Djurdja Mirkovic, case manager.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 And for the Defence.
18 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I am
19 attorney Milenko Radovic from Foca or Srbinje, representing the accused
20 Radovan Stankovic.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 I wish to ask Mr. Stankovic whether he can follow the proceedings
23 in a language he understands.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am getting the French
25 interpretation, so I was not able to follow. Which channel should I
1 switch to?
2 [In English] Six?
3 [Interpretation] I am not getting the interpretation. I am
4 getting French on channel six.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call a
6 technician to fix this, please?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am getting it now. I am hearing
8 you now. Thank you.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Stankovic, are you
10 hearing me now in a language you understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, thank you.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 It is my understanding that there was a meeting between the
14 parties within the framework of Rule 65 ter, when the parties confirmed
15 that the obligations stemming from Rule 68 are being implemented and that
16 there are no complaints in that connection. Unless I hear the opposite
17 from either party, then I assume that that is the case.
18 I think we should now move on to another topic which has to do
19 with a motion that Mr. Stankovic has filed with the registry a few days
20 ago. As the rules require that the motions need to be drafted in one of
21 the official languages of the Tribunal, the translation has still not been
22 completed and therefore I have not been able to familiarise myself fully
23 as to what it is about. But I understand that in general terms in this
24 document Mr. Stankovic is endeavouring to develop his views with regard to
25 his defence. Without entering into any detail regarding the content of a
1 document which I have not had a chance to study in detail, it is in a
2 sense my duty in order for justice to be served to advise Mr. Stankovic to
3 organise and coordinate his views and defence strategy with his counsel.
4 And that way, one can be sure that the same defence strategy is applied
5 that fully corresponds to the interests of Mr. Stankovic.
6 Having said that, I should also like to state that we believe that
7 the pre-trial stage has been completed and that it is now up to me to
8 prepare the report as required by the -- of the Pre-Trial Judge by the
9 rules and to submit it to the President of the Chamber so that we can move
10 on to the next stage, the second stage, of the proceedings. And as I hear
11 no opposite views I assume that the parties are in agreement that the
12 pre-trial stage is indeed -- has indeed been completed and that the case
13 is ready to be transferred to the Trial Chamber.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
16 MR. WUBBEN: When it comes to finalisation of this proceeding,
17 indeed I would like to put forward a question to you. When Your Honour
18 confirmed that there has been a kind of motion and this motion referred to
19 some defence, should it be my conclusion that this is a motion towards the
20 Registrar that isn't included in the proceedings so far in an official
21 way? Because I haven't seen such a kind of motion and I can hardly accept
22 that whenever such a motion is filed to the Registrar without
23 being -- without any notification to the Prosecution team, that we as a
24 Prosecution team should be able at least to consider the content of it.
25 Now, to -- in sum, my question is: The motion you referred to from
1 Mr. Stankovic, is it part of the filed -- of the filings in this
2 proceeding or should it be considered as a separate filing on the own
3 responsibility of Mr. Stankovic?
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. That is a
5 highly relevant question, but to the best of my knowledge this is a kind
6 of declaration by Mr. Stankovic in which he clearly explains that he is
7 not responsible of any of the crimes that he is accused of. Therefore, I
8 believe that this, in a sense, strengthens the motion already filed by the
9 Defence and in response to the pre-trial brief of the Prosecutor. So I
10 don't see that that can change in any way the position of the Prosecutor,
11 who has said what she thinks. And it is now up to the Defence to express
12 itself. The Defence counsel has filed a brief and quite recently, if I'm
13 not mistaken, I think it was the 28th of June, that this filing was sent
14 to the Registry. So this is a statement by Mr. Stankovic, whereby he
15 reiterates his position in principle and that is to say that he is -- was
16 not involved in the events of which he is accused. I am telling you this
17 even though until now I have not been able to have a complete insight into
18 the contents of that statement, but through a nonofficial translation
19 which was provided to me, I believe that it contains the same position
20 that Mr. Stankovic upheld from the very beginning and it goes along the
21 same lines as already indicated by the Defence counsel. So if you find
22 nevertheless that before we can state that this pre-trial stage has been
23 completed, if you need to have time to make any remarks or
24 observations - however you can always do that - and should your
25 observations be of such a nature as to require a revision of the decision
1 closing the pre-trial stage, then my position could be reviewed on the
2 basis of your own submissions or observations.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. I -- to a minimum, I would
4 like to see the content. Because we are discussing something now that --
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right.
6 MR. WUBBEN: And a second issue is that -- the issue of the alibi
7 defence, and I would further on have a -- would like to present a
8 submission for that, because before finalising this stage I would like to
9 refer to Rule 67 with a view to further explain the witnesses and the
10 concrete evidence referred to in the pre-trial brief with a view to alibi.
11 But please give me your opinion with a view to give the Prosecution team
12 the time to translate this motion, to consider whether or not this is a
13 motion because it was not filed in a copy towards us, and we have to see
14 what's in it. It might be also a kind of alibi defence, and then we have
15 to further go and follow a proceeding according to Rule 67.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In order to meet the requirements
17 of the parties and also the interests of justice, I will wait before
18 drafting my report for a certain period of time once this statement has
19 been registered - and I will call it a statement - so you will have an
20 opportunity to make your submissions or observations that you may have and
21 I will give them my full attention.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Well, Your Honour, thank you. And then if
23 you -- would you allow me, please, to make the submission according to
24 Rule --
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you. According to Rule 67, it should be that
2 whenever the Defence intends to offer an alibi defence that there should
3 be a specification of the place or places at which the accused claims to
4 have been present at the time of the alleged crime, and the names and
5 addresses of witnesses, and any other evidence upon which the accused
6 intend to rely to establish this alibi. We already put Defence counsel on
7 notice of that obligation whenever it had been initially raised that in a
8 letter of the 16th of September, 2003, but that was a kind of initial
9 consideration by the Defence. And then we immediately as a kind of
10 response confirmed to the Defence counsel, please be aware of the
11 obligation of Rule 67(A)(i).
12 When I reviewed to that extent the pre-trial brief by the Defence,
13 I noticed that in paragraphs 63 and 68, together with paragraph 173,
14 explicitly evidence had been offered not being in Miljevina in period
15 August-November 1992 and that the exact time periods will be provided when
16 it comes to those places, including Foca. So explicitly offers done for
17 evidence -- through this evidence it can be established and in various
18 paragraphs in addition every time reiterated that its evidence is
19 available after investigation by the Defence, meaning that now has the
20 time come that the pre-trial Judge is able to set a time limit according
21 to Rule 67 to provide the Prosecution, and of course the pre-trial Judge,
22 with this specific information as envisaged in Rule 67. Now I would like
23 to draw your attention to this specific rule and the interest of the
24 Prosecution to take a look at this information, because it might as well
25 be a support of the fact finding.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I believe
2 that what you are saying is based on the wording of Rule 67(A)(i), and
3 perhaps that is the reason why I advised Mr. Stankovic to coordinate with
4 his counsel when preparing what I call the defence strategy. However,
5 you're raising a point which is very valid and I'm referring to the letter
6 of the rule and I quote in English: "The Defence shall notify the
7 Prosecutor of its intent to offer." Therefore, the word is "shall," which
8 means that it is an obligation. It is not optional. And in that
9 connection, I would like to hear the Defence counsel, what he intends to
10 say in paragraph 63, 68, and 173 of his pre-trial brief and also has he
11 familiarised himself with the content of what Mr. Stankovic has filed and
12 what his opinion is with regard to the implementation of Rule 67(i). So I
13 would like to hear the Defence counsel now please.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before that, Mr. El Mahdi, may I be
15 given a minute to say something with respect to --
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I'll give you the floor, however
17 we're talking about a point of law, now. So I would prefer to hear your
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All I wanted to say was that it is
20 my pre-trial brief and my response to all the paragraphs of the pre-trial
21 brief submitted by the Prosecution. That's what I wanted to address.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. But it hasn't been
23 translated yet, so the parties are not abreast of the contents of the
24 document. And there's a point of law that we've come to now which we're
25 discussing. It is a point of law which consists of the following on the
1 basis of the clear letter of the rule of Rule 67 which states that: "If
2 an accused wishes to defend himself with the defence of alibi, he must
3 notify the -- the Defence shall notify," is the exact wording, "shall
4 notify the Prosecution of its intent to offer by a deadline stipulated by
5 the Trial Chamber or the pre-trial Judge."
6 So it is on this point of law that the Prosecution has now raised
7 an issue, a point of law in fact, and it is on this matter that I would
8 like to hear your Defence counsel.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] However, I do apologise,
10 Mr. El Mahdi, if the Defence gives a precise alibi, that is to say, the
11 time period incorporated by the alibi, then this gives the Prosecution a
12 chance of moving their assertions outside that time period and outside the
13 alibi itself.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Will you
15 listen to me. We're not going to invent things here. I would like you to
16 follow the proceedings, to follow what I'm saying, and to follow the
17 reading of the rule itself. And the rule specifies, and I quote: [In
18 English]: "The defence of alibi; in which case the notification shall
19 specify the place or places at which the accused claims to have been
20 present at the time of the alleged crime and the names and addresses of
21 witnesses and any other evidence upon which the accused intends to rely to
22 establish the alibi."
23 [Interpretation] So I understand your concern. You're saying that
24 if you reveal all this information then the opposite side is going to make
25 use of that --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's precisely it. They're
2 not going to claim that something happened on the 5th of August, for
3 example, but they're moving the date to the 10th of August, for instance.
4 So I'm giving an example, a hypothetical, which means that if I state the
5 time relevant to the alibi and if I give the precise date, then that means
6 that this gives the Prosecution the opportunity of changing its claims
7 outside that time frame and not to say that something happened, say, on
8 the 1st, but to move it on and say it happened on the 15th. Do you
9 understand me? I'm not a lawyer, of course --
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, just a moment.
11 Would you wait a moment, please. If I give you the floor, if I give you
12 an opportunity to express yourself, that does not mean that you can use
13 every opportunity to speak. Everybody here in the courtroom must abide by
14 the strict rules of the Tribunal, and they can be summarised in a word and
15 it is the Judge who decides on the procedure to be followed. So you have
16 expressed your point of view, we have heard you out. I would now like to
17 ask you to be quite certain of one thing and that is that first of all,
18 I'm going to ask your counsel to present his views on this point of law
19 that we're discussing. So I'm not going to ask him to address the facts.
20 It is a point of law. The Prosecution raised a point of law and it is now
21 up to your Defence counsel to respond to that point of law. He's not
22 going to disclose anything, any information that you don't want him to
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I apologise
25 Judge El Mahdi. I do apologise. It was not my intention to irritate you.
1 I wanted to present my views. All I wanted to do is say what I thought.
2 I didn't mean to irritate you at all.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. That will do. Let us
4 hear Mr. Radovic now. Counsel Radovic has the floor now on this point of
5 law we have been discussing.
6 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I come to the
7 point of law we're discussing, I would just like to say a few words with
8 respect to the pre-trial brief which I submitted as the lead counsel on
9 behalf of Mr. Radovan Stankovic. The brief, or rather, pre-trial brief
10 was compiled by me and written out by me with full acquiescence from
11 Mr. Stankovic. With respect to all the observations set out in the brief,
12 there was full agreement between myself and Mr. Stankovic. Having
13 received the go-ahead from Mr. Stankovic for me to compile the pre-trial
14 brief, I filed the pre-trial brief, I handed it over to the Court, in
15 fact. It is Mr. Stankovic's discretionary right -- and there are no
16 restrictions on him being able to present his own views in the matter and
17 especially with respect to some questions that he considers to be vital
18 for him personally and were not dealt with and elaborated in my pre-trial
19 brief. I have told Mr. Stankovic that I have to write the brief, to
20 compile the brief, on the basis of Rule 65 ter (F), and that is what I did
21 indeed do. And that is why I would like to say that the brief was
22 compiled with full agreement reached between myself and Mr. Stankovic.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] May I say something at this
24 point? I would like to congratulate you for the cooperation that there
25 has been between Mr. Stankovic and yourself. However, my question now is:
1 Can we take it -- are we to understand that your brief which refers to a
2 defence of alibi, is that what it does? Because the Prosecution made
3 specific reference to paragraph 63, 68, and 173, which leaves some doubt
4 as to whether you are indeed going to raise the defence of alibi. So the
5 Prosecution is quite clear. They say if the Defence raises the defence of
6 alibi, then this comes under Rule 67 and they have the obligation to
7 convey all the information mentioned in the rule. So my question is: In
8 your brief did you have and do you have the intention of resorting to the
9 defence of alibi? Is that what you're going to do.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Microphone, please.
12 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] It is true that the Defence
13 previously in one of its written motions and indeed at the last Status
14 Conference and in its pre-trial brief did mention that the defence of
15 Mr. Stankovic would also rest on a defence of alibi. The Defence is still
16 working on the evidence, and at all events it will, in a timely fashion
17 through its preliminary brief and in conformity with Rule 67(A)(i), inform
18 the Prosecution and Chamber thereof so that our colleagues of the
19 Prosecution and their investigators will certainly be able to, if they so
20 desire, and before the witnesses are heard before the Trial Chamber, talk
21 to them. The Defence will certainly file the written motion before the
22 deadline stipulated by Rule 65 ter (G) when it will finally give the
23 witnesses to testify to the alibi and state the exact locations at which
24 Mr. Stankovic was during the time when the alleged crimes were committed,
25 which he has been accused of and other evidence in proof will also be
1 presented, upon which the Defence is going to rest its defence case as the
2 defence of alibi.
3 The Defence did not wish to file the brief before its pre-trial
4 brief was sent in. That was one reason. And also because of the
5 processing of this case, bringing it to court in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where
6 according to the laws of the land in force at present there is no
7 obligation of a defence -- no obligation on the part of the Defence to
8 present to the Court evidence and proof of a defence of alibi.
9 Finally, Your Honour, if you order, or rather, decide and rule
10 today that the Defence is duty-bound to present and file the brief within
11 the deadline given, the Defence will, as has been the case so far, abide
12 by your ruling and fulfill its obligation. With respect to evidence and
13 proof of the defence of alibi, I have talked to Mr. Stankovic. However,
14 with respect to all this evidence and the time period and time frame
15 concerned as well as the names of the witnesses, we have not reached a
16 final agreement in that matter. Thank you.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, counsel. I see that
18 there is a question of law which merits reflection, and that is to know
19 whether paragraph (G) of Rule 65 ter allows the Defence not to reveal the
20 information related to the defence of alibi, because alibi -- the alibi
21 you say is linked to the testimony of witnesses which -- and you're afraid
22 that the witnesses might change their testimony or point of view. So it
23 is because of the very nature, if I understand you correctly, of the
24 defence case resting on the defence of alibi which is fundamentally based
25 on the testimony of witnesses, and you're saying in fact that in that
1 specific instance the application of Rule 67 must bear in mind and take
2 into account what was said -- what is in fact stated in Rule 65 ter
3 paragraph (G).
4 At all events I invite the parties to communicate their point of
5 view with respect to this issue, and I think that there is no deadline, no
6 specific deadline for that to take place. Let's say a month and a half,
7 two months for you to have enough time to clearly state your point of view
8 on this point of law without going into the details of course, but to
9 address this point of law specifying the specific nature of the situation
10 in this case and that the alibi is linked to the testimony of witnesses
11 and that you are afraid that the witnesses themselves, if their names are
12 known, might be upset, or rather, that the proceedings might suffer if the
13 names were known in advance. So I am going to give you until the end of
15 Does that suit you, counsel? Is the end of August sufficient
17 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you're going to set
18 a deadline, as I said a moment ago, I am -- and I am discussing the
19 defence of alibi with Mr. Stankovic, then this will be based on witness
20 testimonies. We have selected a list of witnesses and the events that
21 these witnesses are going to testify about. Now, in view of the fact that
22 you're giving me a deadline today within which I have to file my brief
23 linked to the allegations of a defence of alibi, I should like to ask you
24 to enable me to have sufficient contact with Mr. Stankovic and to hear his
25 ideas and his presentation of the case so that I could present it in
1 the brief, that you give me until the end of September if you would.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. So I'm going to give you
3 all the time you need to reflect upon the matter, to discuss it with
4 Mr. Stankovic. I'm not going to set a limit or deadline. I'm not going
5 to set a date as a deadline. I'm going to give you a free reign, enough
6 time to think about the matter and consult Mr. Stankovic for as much as
7 you need because it is a question that deserves a lot of thought. But I
8 would like to ask you to focus and concentrate on how you're going to
9 coordinate the provisions of Rule 67 with Rule 65 ter paragraph (G) to
10 marry the two in this particular case.
11 Having said that, I think that this answers the queries of the
12 Prosecution and concerns. We're going to leave the question open. We're
13 going to give the Defence every possibility of thinking about the matter,
14 and then presenting their views to the Chamber and to myself and that will
15 of course be conveyed to the Prosecution. In the meantime if the
16 Prosecution is going to have all knowledge of the filings of
17 Mr. Stankovic's brief, he has asked to be able to file them until the 28th
18 of June -- they were filed on the 28th of June, in fact.
19 And now this brings me to the last question, which is to
20 inform -- to see about Mr. Stankovic's health. So I'm going to ask
21 Mr. Stankovic what his health situation is like and would he prefer that
22 we go into private session for him to be able to give us an update? If he
23 wishes to raise any matters.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's no need, Mr. El Mahdi. With
25 respect to my health it would be better for you not to ask me anything.
1 How can my health be after all these false accusations and threats that
2 have been made, threats by the Prosecution, rulings that are not in
3 conformity with the law and everything else that you are doing to me
4 against the law and you're not allowing me to take the floor and speak
5 myself? So I should like to ask you to give me 15 minutes to be able to
6 state my views clearly.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, I think that with
8 full appreciation of your desire to express yourself and to speak, and it
9 is precisely why I asked you about this and made myself acquainted with
10 the document that you redacted, however unfortunately it was not
11 registered. So I don't think that you can say that I am not sensitive to
12 your situation. It is I who am speaking and when I speak please listen to
14 Therefore, as I was saying, I am very much aware of your situation
15 and sensitive to it. And I think that everyone has made a great effort to
16 bring things out into the open and make things as clear as possible. So I
17 think that you had ample opportunity to express yourself through a
18 document even more than the rules stipulate for, the Tribunal's interior
19 rules. I think your document was 146 pages long, unless I am much
20 mistaken. So you did indeed have ample opportunity to present your views
21 as far as I know and you let them be known to the Chamber and to one and
22 all. So I don't understand how it is that you say that I'm not giving you
23 the opportunity to present your views. And let me remind you of something
24 else. Throughout the last audience, the last proceedings and
25 Status Conference that we held, I gave you the opportunity of speaking.
1 You took the floor, but I also said -- I said to you: Mr. Stankovic, this
2 isn't the right time, the proper time, to go into the basics of your
3 defence case. It is a Status Conference, a preparatory stage leading up
4 to the trial, and it -- the affair will of course be tried before the
5 Trial Chamber when the time comes. Perhaps I wasn't being clear enough,
6 but I did give you at least 15, if not 20 minutes, to take the floor. You
7 availed yourself of that opportunity and you spoke about the substance and
8 basics. I told you that that was not the time or the place to do that.
9 Of course I understand that you wish to assert and confirm and reiterate
10 your own positions, namely that you say again that you're innocent. I do
11 understand your position and I think that you indicated this feeling to us
12 very well through the document that you filed with the registrar.
13 Therefore, I do not see how it is that you can say that I don't
14 give you the opportunity of expressing yourself. You know to express
15 yourself need not be orally during the proceedings. You can also express
16 yourself to your counsel, and he will compile a brief and you yourself
17 wrote a document. And so I'm sure that in both these instances you set
18 out your thoughts fully. So all I'm asking you to do now, in view of
19 these circumstances - and I sympathise with your situation and
20 circumstances being in detention - if you're suffering from any disorders
21 or anything like that, perhaps I can help you to alleviate your suffering
22 in any way, if you are indeed suffering. So that is all I wanted to ask
23 you. And if I understand you correctly, you just said that you are not
24 complaining of anything specific, except the general situation that you
25 find yourself in, that is to say in detention. And I can sympathise with
1 that fully.
2 Having said that, would any of the parties like to add anything
3 else? The Prosecution?
4 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I would please raise
5 four issues. The first issue is the label of the personal statement given
6 by the accused. It had been qualified by the accused himself as a
7 pre-trial brief. It had been confirmed by you as a pre-trial Judge that
8 he has the right to file his personal view, but in addition --
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting. I
10 didn't qualify the document; I just said that he filed a statement, which
11 you can qualify as a statement. Therefore, when not really going into the
12 substance of that document, I'm fully aware of your concern and I
13 specified that it was a document submitted by the accused. So I think we
14 can agree on that point.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. That means for me that I will not label this as
16 the official -- the statement by the -- this document referred to by the
17 accused as the official pre-trial brief as 65 ter under (F).
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] It was described as a document
19 filed by Mr. Stankovic, and the Defence counsel took the position that he
20 filed his pre-trial brief. So one can assume that we have the pre-trial
21 brief, the one submitted by the defence counsel for Mr. Stankovic and that
22 Mr. Stankovic himself filed a statement. One can call it a statement; he
23 expressed his views.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you very much for this confirmation.
25 The second issue is the document itself, the number of pages: If
1 I recall, it's around 140 pages. If that's correct and if it is indeed in
2 B/C/S, that means a problem for both Chambers and Prosecution and also
3 yourself, Your Honour, whenever you want to read this document to the full
4 extent, as it is not in another language of the Tribunal. But --
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Allow me to respond immediately.
6 Mr. Stankovic wanted to express himself and when he expresses himself he
7 may be repetitive occasionally. I cannot impose on him the rule that one
8 imposes on counsel, a jurist who knows full well how to summarise his
9 thoughts. But someone else who is not, by training, a jurist, for him it
10 is very difficult to express his views in summary form. Therefore, it is
11 in accordance with the very substance of justice to allow Mr. Stankovic to
12 express himself even if he goes beyond certain quantitative limits in
13 terms of pages.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you for that. My question -- the
15 question -- the request I would put forward is that: With the backlog of
16 translation facilities by CLSS, it is of importance as we are not now in
17 trial, so we have no trial priority, that I request to you the support by
18 you to translate this on short term in English in such a way --
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Let me answer immediately. It
20 has been taken up by the translation section, which will probably finalise
21 the translation today. So you may have it even today or maybe tomorrow in
23 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you very much.
24 The third out of four issues is that I really regret, Your Honour,
25 that there is no deadline for the request done by me -- put forward by me
1 within the framework of Rule 67. The deadline has officially gone but
2 might be taken and interpreted by you as a request by Defence counsel for
3 a new deadline. Within your discretion, and of course I respect it, you
4 prefer not to give a deadline and to give the full possibility in time to
5 prepare by Defence counsel. That also means that we might end up
6 somewhere in October or November or December whenever filings are not
7 according to speed pre-trial. And I regret that in advance because, well,
8 I would like to support at least a speeding up in such a way that you
9 grant -- if you prefer an extended time, but at least set some time limit
10 at the end.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I would again like to respond
12 immediately to this point. Not to impose a limit means that the limit is
13 120 days, in fact, because if one follows the rules - and we have to
14 follow the rules - we need to meet for another Status Conference within
15 120 days at a maximum. And I think that it is quite in order to allow the
16 Defence to, in consultation with Mr. Stankovic, to file a clear position
17 within that time period. I should also like to point out that I am fully
18 aware and willing to grant a reasonable time period -- maybe not
19 reasonable, but reasonable for you. You will mean one thing but
20 reasonable in a neutral sense, reasonable that is in accordance with the
21 Defence strategy. It is not quite clear that one can lay down once and
22 for all the strategy that will be pursued. And we must give the Defence
23 time to prepare, to consult, to elaborate its own position regarding this
24 subject. And I would also like to indicate that, a priori, we need to get
25 to the bottom of things. In explaining Rule 67(ii) [as interpreted] in
1 the light of what is said in Rule 65 ter, especially regarding the
2 testimony of witnesses. It must be said that I expect the Defence to
3 express its views regarding this point of law. And if the Defence is not
4 obliged to convey to its list of witnesses except at the end of this
5 stage, there could be an argument of law which I would like to hear from
6 both parties, primarily the Defence but also from you, to see whether this
7 is a witness that I am going to call in the Defence case or would I be
8 obliged from the very outset to reveal the witness's name to the
9 Prosecution. This could lend itself for reflection at least. And it is
10 with regard to this point of law that I've asked the Defence to submit a
11 filing to us on that point.
12 In response to what you said, I indicated a time period that does
13 not exceed 120 days, number one. And number two, this is something that
14 reconciles the strategy on the one hand and the requirements imposed by
15 Rule 67 but read in the light of Rule 65 ter. I think that it is quite in
16 order to say in summary that the Defence has 120 days on the outside.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
18 Last issue. It's more a confirmation from my side. I was -- I
19 noticed that Defence counsel was confirming a kind of argumentation with a
20 view to his strategies that there is a court proceeding for a kind of
21 referral of the case. Well, officially, from my point of view there is no
22 decision in that regard made by neither the Trial Chamber or by Prosecutor
23 or whoever in that regard. So that's totally new for me. Thank you.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] To the extent to which nothing
25 has been decided - and one cannot speculate - it is not a question for
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. El Mahdi, I would like to say
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I will give you the floor. Go
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. First of all, I wish to
7 say that my filing consists of 73 pages and not 149. It consists of 149
8 paragraphs and it contains that many paragraphs --
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, please. Wait a
10 minute. We've resolved that. We can't allow unnecessary debates.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, you can't. I'm not a lawyer,
12 that is true. But I'm not so ignorant as to have to repeat myself a
13 hundred times. As you said a moment ago, I was repetitive occasionally
14 because the Prosecution in its brief is constantly repetitious in the
15 belief that a lie repeated 100 times become the truth. Just look at their
16 pre-trial brief and you'll see.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you cut off
18 the microphone, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So many indictments have been
20 changed --
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Defence counsel, do you have
22 anything to add?
23 MR. RADOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to refer
24 to a point made by the Prosecution that the Defence has exceeded the time
25 limit for submitting notification of defence of alibi. If I interpret
1 correctly Rule 67(A) what it explicitly says is it is the duty of the
2 Defence to notify the Prosecution of its intent to offer the defence of
3 alibi but certainly before the beginning of trial. The trial has not yet
4 been scheduled. Rule 67 doesn't say how many days before the beginning of
5 trial it is our duty to submit this notification. Since I have said that
6 Mr. Stankovic's defence will be based on statements of witnesses when it
7 comes to the alibi and in view of the fact that Rule 65 ter (G), as I have
8 already said, says that we are obliged to provide a list of witnesses that
9 the defence intends to call before the beginning of the defence case. So
10 we haven't failed in any respect with regard to the time limits. As lead
11 counsel, I will fully abide by your ruling and will submit my submissions
12 after consultation with Mr. Stankovic within the deadlines you have set.
13 And with regard to Mr. Stankovic's statement, I have said that it
14 is his discretionary right to file such a statement, because the rules of
15 procedure do not impose any such restrictions on him as would prevent him
16 from doing so. And finally, I wish to say that in our view the pre-trial
17 stage has been completed and the Defence is quite ready for trial, or
18 rather, for the pre-trial conference, which we feel should be scheduled as
19 soon as possible. The more so as Mr. Stankovic has been held in the
20 Detention Unit for a whole of two years now, and sending him or referring
21 him to a court in Bosnia and Herzegovina would certainly further prolong
22 his detention which would undermine the fairness of the trial.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] The question of referring the
24 case I don't think is a question to be discussed, because in my opinion
25 this is a matter that is quite unknown to me. I need to specify, however,
1 that what we need from you during the time ahead is a response to what the
2 Prosecution has raised. They are saying that as soon as you declare your
3 intention to offer a defence of alibi, you have to fulfill the conditions
4 specified in Rule 67. What I am suggesting to you is that you respond to
5 this argument within a time limit that you may choose. If I have given
6 you up to 120 days, it doesn't mean necessarily that you have to wait for
7 120 days. You can file it tomorrow, a note saying and specifying your
8 point of view. So it is in your interest that I didn't impose on you any
10 Finally, before we adjourn this Status Conference I think we can
11 say that we are waiting for the Defence to file a submission regarding the
12 point raised by the Prosecution with respect to the obligation of the
13 Defence to provide the information clearly indicated in Rule 67.
14 Finally, Mr. Stankovic, I give you the floor now. Quietly and
15 slowly and calmly, please, so that I can follow what you're saying. Go
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wish to inform you of
18 the illegal decisions made by the Tribunal's registry. You would not
19 allow me to speak about it last time and you asked my attorney,
20 Mr. Radovic, whether he was unable to have any contact with his client.
21 Let me tell you: It wasn't that he was prohibited from contacting me, but
22 I was prohibited from contacting him. So I had a prohibition on
23 contacting my lawyer, my family, and my consulate. There were dual
24 decisions; one said that -- the illegal one, and which says a prohibition
25 on contact with all persons, including attorney. Please don't interrupt
1 me --
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, wait. You have to
3 hear what I'm saying after all.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But you gave me the floor.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Wait.
6 Mr. Stankovic, I cannot allow such behaviour. I'm telling you
7 once and for all: I give you an opportunity to speak which means that
8 you, too, have to respect the rules that I am imposing. I am telling you
9 that all the measures that you were referring to were passed on to the
10 competent authorities, the President of the Tribunal, and it is not within
11 the competence of this Chamber. And I quite understand and I am au
12 courant with your requests.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no one else to complain to.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I understand you're complaining
15 against the decisions taken by the Registrar.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They're illegal.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic --
18 From the Prosecution, do you have any observations to make?
19 MR. WUBBEN: Nothing, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Cut off the microphone for the
21 accused, please.
22 Do you have anything to add, Mr. Prosecutor?
23 MR. WUBBEN: No. Thank you, Your Honour. It is my observation
24 that the pre-trial phase has not finalised, pending this information
25 provided by the Defence counsel.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I think that that is quite clear.
2 And with that, the hearing is adjourned. Thank you.
3 ---Whereupon the Status Conference
4 adjourned at 4.18 p.m.