Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Thursday, 15 October 2015

 2                           [Status Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The appellants entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  Good morning, everybody.

 7             Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honour.  This is case

 9     IT-08-91-A, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes.  Could I have appearances for the parties,

11     please.  Prosecution.

12             MS. BAIG:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Laurel Baig for the

13     Prosecution, joined my colleague Katharine Marsden, our Case Manager

14     Colin Nawrot, and interns Marcel Kolesar and Caspar Plomp.

15             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, madam.

16             Appearances for Appellant Stanisic.

17             MR. ZECEVIC:  Good morning, Your Honour.  Slobodan Zecevic and

18     Stephane Bourgon appearing for Mr. Stanisic this morning.  Thank you.

19             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

20             And appearances for Appellant Zupljanin.

21             MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.

22     Dragan Krgovic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.

23             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

24             Before I proceed any further, can all parties follow the

25     proceedings in a language that they understand?

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 1             Mr. Stanisic.

 2             THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.  Thank you.

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Zupljanin.

 4             THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I can follow.

 5     Thank you.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  The same applies to the Defence counsel.  All of

 7     you?  Okay.

 8             Now this Status Conference is called in accordance with Rule 65

 9     bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal.  Rule 65

10     bis, paragraph (B), requires a Status Conference to be convened within

11     120 days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal and, thereafter, within

12     120 days after the last Status Conference.  The purpose is to allow any

13     person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to raise issues in

14     relation thereto, including the mental and physical condition of that

15     person.

16             In the present case, the parties filed their notices of appeal on

17     13th May 2013, and the first Status Conference was held on 4th September,

18     2013.  The second to seventh Status Conferences were held on 11 December

19     2013; 9th April, 24th July and 12th November 2014; and 9th March and 30th

20     June 2015 respectively.

21             Today's Status Conference is the eighth in this appeal and was

22     scheduled pursuant to an order issued by myself on the 8th of September,

23     2015.

24             I will now proceed first to inquire in the status of the

25     detention conditions and health situations of the two appellants,

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 1     Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zupljanin.

 2             I start with you, Mr. Stanisic.  If you have any concerns in

 3     relation to the condition of your detention or your state of health, I

 4     would invite you to raise them now.  And, if you prefer, this discussion

 5     with take place in private session.

 6             THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is

 7     nothing to raise.  Things are normal for the time being.

 8             Thank you.

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  I thank you.

10             Now I refer to you, Mr. Zupljanin.  Same question:  If you have

11     any concerns in relation to the condition of your detention or your state

12     of health, I would invite you to raise them now.  And, again, if you

13     prefer, this discussion can take place in private session.

14             THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] As Mr. Stanisic said,

15     the situation is normal.  The conditions are the same.  It is only time

16     that is passing by, and we are getting older.

17             Thank you.

18             JUDGE AGIUS:  So am, I Mr. Zupljanin.  Thank you.  And so is

19     everybody else.

20             Usually at this point in the proceedings, I would outline the

21     recent procedural history in this case.  However, I note that there has

22     been no publicly filed motions or decisions since the last

23     Status Conference of 30th June, and I will therefore now move onto the

24     final part of today's Status Conference, which is any issues that you

25     would like to raise.

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 1             I'll start with the Prosecution.  Ms. Baig, is there any issue

 2     the Prosecution would like to raise.

 3             MS. BAIG:  Your Honour, I only wish to reiterate our request to

 4     have as much possible advance notice of the scheduling of the eventual

 5     appeals hearing.  As we get closer to the judicial recess, the winter

 6     judicial recess, it becomes more and more important for us to know

 7     whether the hearing is happening before the recess or after the recess so

 8     that we can enable our staff to take a holiday, for example.  We're all

 9     waiting to get more information, and we'd appreciate any guidance that

10     you might be able to give us.

11             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, Ms. Baig.

12             Mr. Zecevic or Mr. Bourgon.

13             MR. ZECEVIC:  We join with the Prosecution concerning the date of

14     the oral hearing, oral appeal hearing.  And we don't have anything else,

15     Your Honour.

16             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

17             Mr. Krgovic.

18             MR. KRGOVIC:  Your Honour, we also join with the Prosecution

19     concerning the date of the oral hearing.

20             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  Do the appellants, Stanisic and Zupljanin,

21     have you got any issue that you would like to raise?

22             Okay.  I saw both indicating that they don't.

23             So let me explain this.  When we had the last Status Conference,

24     and I checked to make sure that I will be as precise as possible, I

25     remember that the Prosecution, in particular, but also the Defence,

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 1     raised the same concerns, and you had at the time renewed your requests

 2     to have at least eight weeks' notice of the appeal hearing.

 3             Now, during that same Status Conference, I had informed you that

 4     the plan was to have the appeal hearing this year.  At the time, we were

 5     aiming for November.  The idea being to then deliver the Judgement next

 6     year in June.  Let me put it like this:  The end date for the appeal,

 7     June of 2016, remains, and our plan is firmly to deliver the Judgement

 8     during that month.  However, as of today, I am not in a position to

 9     confirm for sure if the hearing will take place in December - certainly

10     not November - in December or early in January.  It's not because we have

11     fallen behind in our work.  It's a combination of reasons.  One reason is

12     that I am obsessed with making sure that the prep doc that will be

13     circulated to my colleagues is of the highest quality possible, and it

14     would enable them to follow the submissions that we will receive during

15     the hearing.  So that is a laborious exercise, and it may take a little

16     bit more time.  However, the real problem is that due to the changes in

17     the composition of the Benches in Butare and Stanisic and Simatovic and

18     in my case, the Stanisic and Zupljanin case, we have ended up with four

19     Judges being on all these three Benches.

20             Now, there are priorities in life, as you know, and we have to be

21     careful to respect those priorities, and two priorities which are very

22     important - believe me - is that both Butare and Stanisic and Simatovic

23     have to be concluded before the end of this year, have to be concluded

24     before the end of this year for a very simple reason.  Butare is an ICTR

25     appeal, and after December 31st, the ICTR will no longer exist, so it has

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 1     to be -- the Judgement has to be delivered before the demise of the ICTR.

 2     And in Stanisic and Simatovic, one the Judges, if not two, I think one is

 3     an ICTR Judge, and since there cannot be any ICTR Judges beyond the

 4     31st of December of this year, that case also has to finish before that

 5     date.  That creates problems in the sense that the same Judges have to

 6     look into draft Judgement running into several hundreds of pages in one

 7     case, another draft Judgement of considerable importance and length in

 8     another case, plus deal with the prep doc that I will be circulating.

 9     And the prep doc in this case, in Stanisic and Zupljanin, will certainly

10     be circulated pretty soon, I can tell you, pretty soon, because we are

11     almost ready.  But whether I will be in a position to summon the hearing

12     or to fix the hearing in December, I am beginning to have doubts.  I'm

13     making an effort.  It depends on the date when we deliver the Judgement

14     in Butare.  Because basically that - economising the utmost on time -

15     basically means four days.  To go there and to prepare, have the delivery

16     of Judgement, and fly back it takes you four days, and those are four

17     days which are taken from a crucial week when I can't do much more.  And

18     it coincides also with the beginning -- or with the end of the session.

19     That is the last week that we are working before we go on holiday.

20             So the problem of needing to know when is not only your problem,

21     it's also my problem.  I also have staff that need to go on holiday.  I

22     also have colleagues that have a right for their recess break, so please

23     understand and believe me that I'm doing my absolute best.

24             Now you requested eight weeks.  If I can manage to fit the

25     hearing in December, I'm still in time to give you eight weeks

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 1     pre-advance notice.  If we're talking of January, I have to take into

 2     account the end of the recess.  I can't expect anyone to come here before

 3     the end of the recess.  And probably if we're speaking of January, it

 4     will be the -- the earliest will be probably the 15th or something like

 5     that.  However, that would mean that you would -- if I were to give you

 6     that advance notice now, you would have three months.

 7             So what I can tell you is I am in discussions with some of my

 8     colleagues who are involved in the other cases and need to know for them

 9     to be able to prepare, and once we come to an agreement, which should

10     happen either this week or latest next week, I will be in a position to

11     give you a definitive answer with a definitive approximate date.  All

12     right?

13             Thank you.

14             Is there anything else you would like to raise?  No.  So that's

15     all for today.

16             I close this Status Conference and I thank you all for attending.

17                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

18                           at 9.51 a.m.