1. 1 Tuesday, 17th November, 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.39 a.m.

    4 (The accused entered court)

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Good

    6 morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to the

    7 Prosecution, to the Defence, the technical booth, the

    8 interpreters and court reporters. Are you all ready?

    9 First of all, shall we call the case for the

    10 record? Can you call the case, please?

    11 THE REGISTRAR: It is case number

    12 IT-95-14/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.

    14 Mr. Niemann, can we have the appearances for

    15 the Prosecution, please?

    16 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, Your Honours. My

    17 name is Niemann, and I appear with my colleague,

    18 Mr. Meddegoda.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And for the Defence,

    20 Mr. Mikulicic?

    21 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

    22 My name is Goran Mikulicic, representing the Defence,

    23 together with my colleague, Joka.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. I

    25 think it would be appropriate for today, in order to

  2. 1 position the question we are going to deal with, to

    2 review in summary form the case as it stands.

    3 I wish to remind you that on the 10th of

    4 November, 1996, the indictment against Mr. Aleksovski

    5 was confirmed. On the 8th of June, 1996,

    6 Mr. Aleksovski was arrested by the Croatian authorities

    7 and transferred to The Hague on the 28th of April,

    8 1997. On the 29th of April, 1997, he appeared before

    9 the Tribunal, and at his initial appearance, he pleaded

    10 not guilty.

    11 The trial started on the 6th of January,

    12 1998. The proceedings evolved until the month of May.

    13 The conditions which prevented making more expeditious

    14 progress were the existence of only one courtroom and

    15 the holding of sessions for a half day only due to the

    16 state of health of Mr. Aleksovski. Even under those

    17 conditions, the Chamber intended to complete the case

    18 towards June 1998. However, the Defence requested

    19 twice that the dates proposed by the Chamber be

    20 postponed, and these dates would have allowed the case

    21 to have been completed somewhere around August or

    22 September 1998.

    23 The Prosecutor called 38 witnesses, and the

    24 Defence started its case on the 20th of May and called

    25 23 witnesses. The Prosecutor, in rebuttal, called two

  3. 1 witnesses and the Defence, in rejoinder, another

    2 witness, as well as two character witnesses. In total,

    3 the Chamber heard 66 witnesses. You have in the file

    4 38 documents for the Prosecution and 37 for the

    5 Defence. We have held 41 half days of hearings.

    6 The situation as it stands now: On the 6th

    7 of November, 1998, the Prosecutor requested permission

    8 from the two Judges of the Appeals Chamber to appeal

    9 against two decisions of the Chamber. The first, dated

    10 the 22nd October, 1998, which authorised the admission

    11 into the file the public statements of Admiral Domazet

    12 in the Blaskic case. The second, dated the 3rd

    13 November, 1998, was a decision rejecting a motion by

    14 the Prosecution for the admission into evidence of the

    15 confidential statement of another witness in that same

    16 case.

    17 On the 11th of November, 1998, the Prosecutor

    18 requested a stay of proceedings awaiting the decision

    19 of the Appeals Chamber. It is about this latter motion

    20 that we are going to discuss today.

    21 The Chamber, after allowing several delays at

    22 the request of the parties, fixed today as the date for

    23 the completion of the case against Mr. Aleksovski and

    24 in order to hear the closing brief of the Prosecution

    25 and the closing statement of the Defence.

  4. 1 As I pointed out a moment ago, but I think I

    2 need to insist on this point in particular, the trial

    3 started on the 6th of January, 1998, and the accused

    4 has been in detention since the 8th of June, 1996.

    5 In my view, the request for a stay submitted

    6 by the Prosecution raises several difficulties. At

    7 first glance, there is logic between this request and

    8 the double appeal against the decisions of the Chamber

    9 that I have mentioned. Actually, the appeal has to do

    10 with an essential aspect of the debate, that is,

    11 whether the conflict in question is of an international

    12 nature or not.

    13 It is, of course, not up to me to prejudice

    14 the decision of the three Judges who will be authorised

    15 to deal with this appeal. Allow me, however, to note

    16 that the Prosecution could claim that the delay for the

    17 appeal against one of the decisions in a version that

    18 is in French cannot begin to count until this decision

    19 exists in the English version.

    20 Be that as it may, a review of the request of

    21 the Prosecution in case of its being admitted will

    22 require several weeks. There is no need for me to

    23 recall that we are approaching a period of festivities

    24 which is hardly favourable for the organisation of

    25 work. So let us try and be more precise, particularly

  5. 1 in view of the accused who may have a less clear

    2 understanding than professionals of the delays.

    3 I repeat that this is based on a very rough

    4 estimate. The three Judges that will be dealing with

    5 the case will be appointed on the 17th of November.

    6 They will certainly need about two weeks to issue a

    7 decision, which brings us to the 30th of November. If

    8 the appeal is authorised, it will take the Appeals

    9 Chamber several weeks to rule, no doubt a month, and

    10 this would bring us to the end of the year and,

    11 therefore, to the beginning of next year at the

    12 earliest.

    13 It remains for us to schedule a hearing to

    14 debate the matter following the decision of the Appeals

    15 Chamber. It is only subsequently that the Chamber

    16 would be able to organise a hearing for the rebuttal

    17 and the rejoinder. We must also bear in mind the very

    18 heavy schedule of the Appeals Chamber for next year, of

    19 which my colleagues, Judges Vohrah and Nieto Navia, are

    20 normally members. Under these conditions, it appears

    21 to be reasonable to expect that we would not be able to

    22 complete the trial before the end of February at the

    23 earliest.

    24 My colleagues and myself must then take the

    25 necessary time to make our judgment which would not

  6. 1 allow Mr. Aleksovski to have a judgment by our Chamber

    2 before the end of May 1999 at the earliest, which means

    3 close to three years after the beginning of his

    4 detention.

    5 The question I am asking, therefore, is to

    6 see whether, in view of the advanced stage of our work,

    7 the scope of the debate that we have already had

    8 regarding the international character of the conflict

    9 and the final briefs have already been tendered by both

    10 parties, it would be preferable to stop our work for an

    11 indefinite period or, rather, to continue it under the

    12 reservation, of course, that we can resume it depending

    13 upon the decision of the Appeals Chamber.

    14 I note, Mr. Prosecutor, that you yourself

    15 expressly referred in your brief, which I have read in

    16 English, to the testimony of Admiral Domazet, a

    17 testimony you yourself opposed the admission of and

    18 which was the object of one of the decisions that you

    19 have appealed against.

    20 Finally, I ask myself the question regarding

    21 the respect of the Rules of the Statute. Article 20 of

    22 the Statute requires that the Chamber ensures a fair

    23 and expeditious process. Equality, without any doubt,

    24 applies to both parties, and expeditiousness applies

    25 more particularly to the accused.

  7. 1 Finally, can there be equality without

    2 expeditiousness? The rights of the accused, are they

    3 not called fundamentally in question in the absence of

    4 expeditiousness? And the rights of the victims and the

    5 interests of the administration of justice? A delay in

    6 justice may become lack of justice.

    7 Therefore, after having said all this, the

    8 proposal of the Chamber would be the following: To

    9 continue our work as we have envisaged it, bearing in

    10 mind the procedure pending the appeal. When the Appeal

    11 Judges rule, we will resume our debate if either of the

    12 parties or the Judges find it to be necessary.

    13 We should therefore like, Mr. Prosecutor,

    14 Mr. Niemann, and Mr. Mikulicic, to hear you on this

    15 issue because the Chamber is of the opinion that it is

    16 very important to hear both parties on this issue.

    17 Therefore, Mr. Niemann, will you please address the

    18 Court and tell us what is your opinion regarding what I

    19 have just said.

    20 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Mr. President, may I

    21 interrupt you? May I ask for a glass of water?

    22 MR. NIEMANN: Having heard Your Honour's

    23 comments on the issue of potential delay and so forth,

    24 please allow me to respond as follows to that, Your

    25 Honour.

  8. 1 Firstly, for the most part, I could not help

    2 but comment upon the fact that any delay in these

    3 proceedings has not been brought about by the

    4 Prosecution. The Prosecution has been diligent in

    5 presenting this case. It is not the Prosecution's

    6 fault and there is no blame attached to the fact that

    7 Mr. Aleksovski has been ill. Had he been able to

    8 attend the proceedings for full-day hearings, we would

    9 have disposed of the matter earlier. It is not the

    10 Prosecution's fault, and we make no blame on the

    11 Defence that they sought various delays in this matter

    12 as the proceedings went through. The Prosecution had

    13 presented its evidence in as orderly and as efficient a

    14 manner as it possibly could do.

    15 So when it comes to this issue at this stage,

    16 it is, in my respectful submission a little unfair if

    17 it is suggested that the length of these proceedings is

    18 any way attributable to the way the Prosecution has

    19 conducted its case.

    20 I might add to that, Your Honours, that this

    21 delay would not be brought about by anything that the

    22 Prosecution has done. It has been brought about by a

    23 development in the case, which we frankly submit has

    24 disturbed the equilibrium of the case to such a point

    25 the International Community cannot have a fair trial in

  9. 1 this matter until it has been rectified by the Court of

    2 Appeal. I'm not asking Your Honours to agree with that

    3 statement, but that is our position, and that is

    4 certainly our position and it will be our position

    5 before the Court of Appeal, should Their Honours grant

    6 leave for this appeal to be heard.

    7 Your Honours, there is one easy way, it seems

    8 to us, in which the Defence can achieve the objective

    9 of a speedy conclusion to this matter so that we can

    10 get on with our business today, deliver our final

    11 addresses, Your Honours can deliberate and return your

    12 verdicts, and that is for the Defence to withdraw the

    13 evidence of Admiral Domazet. When that is out of the

    14 way, any objection that we might have to the matter

    15 falls away with it. So it is upon their heads to not

    16 come before you and complain about any delay but take

    17 the decisive step necessary to allow these proceedings

    18 to proceed expeditiously to a conclusion.

    19 Your Honours, our application for a stay of

    20 the proceedings in these circumstances is not an

    21 unusual application; it is an application which, in

    22 many instances, would be dealt with and would be

    23 decided in favour of the applicant as a matter of

    24 course.

    25 Why is that so? It is so because if this

  10. 1 appeal is not permitted to proceed and therefore these

    2 proceedings go on in these circumstances, we have a

    3 major aspect of the case which becomes disjunctive to

    4 the case and we cannot respond effectively to it, and

    5 ultimately, in our submission, any decision that we

    6 might receive could well become hollow and of no value

    7 to the applicant should we be successful.

    8 It is our submission also that, as a matter

    9 of courtesy to the Appeals Chamber, this matter should

    10 be stayed pending their investigation of the issue of

    11 leave. They should be permitted to examine the issue

    12 to determine whether or not there is a case there that

    13 they would entertain and grant leave. In our

    14 respectful submission, to proceed in these

    15 circumstances before that is the case could amount to a

    16 discourtesy to the Court of Appeal.

    17 Your Honours, we could have filed an

    18 application for a stay before the Appeals Chamber, but

    19 we thought at the time, and we think now, that to have

    20 done that would have been discourteous to you because

    21 the matter is proceeding before you and it seems to us

    22 that this was the appropriate forum for which we should

    23 address this matter.

    24 As I have said, Your Honours, the equilibrium

    25 of this case has now been upset, and, Your Honours,

  11. 1 until that issue can be addressed, in our submission,

    2 the proceedings should go no further. We can do

    3 everything within our power to expedite the matter

    4 before the Appeal Chamber; indeed, the Appeal Chamber

    5 can decide the matter without an appearance of the

    6 parties, simply do it on the papers, if necessary, and

    7 it is perfectly satisfactory from the point of view of

    8 the Prosecution.

    9 We cannot see, Your Honours, that there is

    10 necessarily going to be any time gained at all because

    11 it seems to us that if the Appeals Chamber must go

    12 through its course, the timetable that has been laid

    13 out by Your Honours is likely to be similar to that in

    14 any event because it will take whatever time it takes

    15 them to reach their decision.

    16 Alternatively, if Your Honours were disposed

    17 not to grant Prosecution leave, the matter would resume

    18 immediately, and could resume immediately, having

    19 regard to the late stage of this case, the submissions

    20 have been filed in relation to the parties, there's no

    21 delay in relation to that, we could be called upon

    22 immediately. That decision is made.

    23 If Your Honours then decide, however, that

    24 leave should be granted and that the appeal should

    25 proceed, then, Your Honours, that establishes our

  12. 1 position as we put it now. Your Honours obviously

    2 would have come to the same conclusion that we have,

    3 and that is that the equilibrium has been disturbed and

    4 that a fair trial cannot be rendered until such time

    5 the matter is considered and dealt with.

    6 So in our submission, Your Honours, the

    7 justice of the matter, respectfully, requires a stay in

    8 these proceedings, and we can do all that we can to

    9 expedite any proceedings before the Court of Appeal so

    10 the delay is reduced to an absolute minimum, but to

    11 proceed today would be unfair. It would be unfair,

    12 Your Honours, for a number of reasons.

    13 It's unfair because we don't accept the

    14 evidence of Admiral Domazet. It's unfair, Your

    15 Honours, because we see from your judgment, and this is

    16 entirely a matter for Your Honours and we make no

    17 criticism of this, but see from Your Honours' judgment

    18 that you describe the issue of international armed

    19 conflict as fundamental, and then Your Honours go on to

    20 say that in the interest of proper administration of

    21 justice, the value of the testimony of Admiral Domazet

    22 is indisputable. This is indisputable evidence that

    23 the Prosecution hasn't been permitted to dispute.

    24 We haven't been permitted to dispute it,

    25 because we haven't had the right to cross-examine, we

  13. 1 haven't had the right to call any evidence in rebuttal,

    2 and so we are left with an imbalance on one side with

    3 the Defence being in the very lucky and luxurious

    4 position of having evidence in their favour which is

    5 not in any way, in our respectful submission, been

    6 properly or effectively contested.

    7 I suggest, Your Honours, that because we had

    8 the right to cross-examine in the Blaskic case, that

    9 somehow or other resolves all the issues in this case

    10 is not the point. In the Blaskic case they had

    11 evidence that contested of this evidence, so any

    12 cross-examination would have been moderated having

    13 regard to that.

    14 Your Honours have described this as

    15 indisputable. It may well be that the Blaskic Chamber

    16 may find it incredible and disregard it. So we have,

    17 on the one hand, evidence that's come before Your

    18 Honours, which you describe as indisputable, which we

    19 haven't had an opportunity to dispute, which another

    20 Chamber could turn around and regard as incredible.

    21 Your Honours, I speak firmly of this and I

    22 don't apologise for it. The issue is a very serious

    23 one, and we are aggrieved by the position. Our

    24 position is that the situation can only be restored if

    25 two things happen: The Defence withdraw the evidence,

  14. 1 or, alternatively, the matter goes before the Court of

    2 Appeal and that they resolve the matter.

    3 Your Honours, I can take the matter no

    4 further, other than to say that in a similar case which

    5 came before Judge May in the case of Kovacevic, it came

    6 before His Honour, and His Honour there said because

    7 the matter was pending before the Appeals Chamber he

    8 had no option but to stay the matter. In our

    9 respectful submission, that is the appropriate and

    10 proper course that he took.

    11 When Your Honours look Rule at 102, paragraph

    12 (A), you will see that in the event that sentences are

    13 challenged, that the proceedings are stayed, the

    14 sentence is suspended pending the outcome of the

    15 appeal. The Rules reflect a procedure, in that

    16 instance, identical to the sort of issue that we're

    17 discussing here.

    18 Your Honours, if we were at a different stage

    19 in the proceedings it might well be different. If we

    20 were at the beginning of the case and it could -- there

    21 was an opportunity available for things to be rectified

    22 by the calling of rebuttal evidence or further evidence

    23 in the case, that may be -- that may have been easier

    24 for us to simply say, well, let's proceed and allow the

    25 Appeal Chamber to deal with the matter in due course,

  15. 1 but hopefully before either party close their case.

    2 We're beyond that now. We're at the crucial

    3 and final stage. In my respectful submission, it

    4 cannot be done in bits and pieces. If we are to make

    5 our final addresses, we should be permitted the

    6 opportunity to do so, having regard to the totality of

    7 the case that we have to meet. We should know, Your

    8 Honours, precisely what it is, precisely the evidence

    9 that Your Honours will consider. At this stage, Your

    10 Honours, we don't know that, because we don't know what

    11 the Appeal Chamber is going to do with the matter.

    12 In my respectful submission, Your Honours',

    13 concern about delay is a justifiable and proper one and

    14 I don't challenge that, but what I do say is we may

    15 well have a decision soon from the Appeals Chamber on

    16 the question of leave, and when we know that it may be

    17 a time to perhaps reconsider the issue, but in my

    18 submission, Your Honours, I believe that it can be

    19 disposed of expeditiously by written submissions of the

    20 parties. And I respectfully request, Your Honour, that

    21 these proceedings be stayed at the moment pending the

    22 outcome of that decision. There are my submissions

    23 unless I can help Your Honours with any other matter.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, please sit

    25 down, and thank you very much for the argument you have

  16. 1 just put forward.

    2 It is a bit difficult for me to intervene in

    3 this question that is now in hands of the Judges of the

    4 Appeals Chamber. We have given our decision on this

    5 issue, and this is not the time to come back on this

    6 decision and to discuss the reasons which motivated

    7 this decision. We have set forward our arguments, and

    8 it is your right to appeal a decision made by the Trial

    9 Chamber, but we are happy to know that our decisions

    10 are worthy of an appeal, of worthy of such examined

    11 review on your part, so there's no question of us going

    12 back on our decision. The only possibility for us is

    13 to hear you, and to hear your arguments on your

    14 application to the Trial Chamber to stay proceedings

    15 until the final determination of the appeal Chamber.

    16 Now I turn to the Defence, because I think

    17 that the Defence was not given any opportunity to reply

    18 to your arguments, to reply in written form to your

    19 arguments, Mr. Niemann.

    20 So Mr. Mikulicic, I turn to you. The

    21 Prosecutor has just put forward a particular proposal,

    22 so could you please tell us what you think about this

    23 proposal and please share your reflections on that.

    24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, the Defence has

    25 very carefully listened to the additional arguments of

  17. 1 my learned colleague the Prosecutor. So, with your

    2 permission, just a few brief comments on some of the

    3 aspects of what was said.

    4 I believe that with respect to the leave for

    5 appeal lodged by the Prosecution, one issue can be

    6 resolved today, and this is his motion regarding the

    7 decision by this Trial Chamber regarding the inclusion

    8 into evidence of the testimony of Admiral Domazet.

    9 We note that this application was filed after

    10 the deadline, and pursuant to Rule 73(C) of the Rules,

    11 the deadline is seven days from the time when the

    12 decision was rendered.

    13 Your decision was issued on the 27th of

    14 October, whereas the Prosecution has filed its defence

    15 on the 6th of November, which is well past the seven

    16 days after the decision.

    17 So the first issue I have to deal with, was

    18 this application filed appropriately, and this is

    19 something that you can decide on. This is a procedural

    20 issue, and the parties in this matter are bound by this

    21 Rule, to respect and observe these Rules. So this is

    22 with respect to the inclusion of Admiral Domazet's

    23 testimony into the evidence.

    24 The Defence asked for the inclusion of this

    25 on the basis of basic principle, which should be part

  18. 1 of any proceedings, which is a search for truth. We

    2 believe that this principle overrides every other

    3 principle in these proceedings, and this is why the

    4 Defence was very happy by your decision which we see as

    5 having been rendered in the spirit of this principle.

    6 The Defence is not prepared to withdraw this

    7 evidence as proposed by my learned colleague from the

    8 Prosecution, even though the Defence is aware of all

    9 the circumstances which you have mentioned, which refer

    10 to Mr. Aleksovski's detention of over two and a half

    11 years. Even though the Defence is aware of the fact

    12 that a part of a fair and just trial is its

    13 expeditiousness, the Defence, nevertheless, believes

    14 that a component of ascertaining the real truth is a

    15 crucial one, and this is why the Defence was not

    16 prepared to withdraw this evidence, which in the final

    17 analysis, has been introduced into the evidence by your

    18 decision.

    19 We believe that there are no obstacles to

    20 continue the proceedings, have the final summations

    21 conducted according to the schedule that you have set

    22 out, and in due course that we will get the decision of

    23 the Appeals Chamber. We do not know what it will be,

    24 but at least a part of the job, in any event, will have

    25 been done.

  19. 1 So the Defence requests that we continue with

    2 our proceedings and then await the Appeals Chamber's

    3 decision. Thank you.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. Mr. Niemann, do

    5 you have anything to add in view of the arguments set

    6 forward by the Defence?

    7 MR. NIEMANN: I have a couple of points Your

    8 Honours. Firstly, the issue of whether or not we're

    9 in time for appeal is for not a matter for Your

    10 Honours, it's a matter for the Appeals Chamber. So I

    11 submit that that point is not a matter that Your

    12 Honours should be concerned with.

    13 Yes, I am not at all surprised that

    14 Mr. Mikulicic is happy that the evidence has been

    15 admitted, I wouldn't expect anything else, but that

    16 doesn't address the issue of the Prosecution's

    17 position, and in our respectful submission, Your

    18 Honours, that, I think, in itself, demonstrates the

    19 imbalance that's been introduced into the matter.

    20 Unless there's any other matters, they are our

    21 submissions, Your Honours.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In any case, Mr. Niemann,

    23 you did, I mean, find some interest in what Admiral

    24 Domazet has said. It was of some use to you, whatever

    25 your position now. But now the decision rests with the

  20. 1 Appeals Chamber.

    2 The question now is to see whether the

    3 proceedings should be stayed or not. Do you want to

    4 add something, Mr. Niemann? You have the floor.

    5 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honour. I

    6 should address that. Yes, Your Honours, we proceed on

    7 the basis that once Your Honours have made a decision

    8 we may not like it, but we accept it and we live with

    9 it. Your Honour has made a decision to admit the

    10 evidence of Admiral Domazet, so to an extent we

    11 addressed it as best we could. The way we addressed it

    12 was pointed out, so that there is an aspect of it that

    13 was favourable.

    14 It would be discourteous and inappropriate

    15 for us to say, well, we are going to ignore that

    16 evidence once Your Honours have made a decision, and so

    17 that's why we did address it. But we have little

    18 comfort, Your Honours, in what we were able to extract

    19 from it. We were able to extract a small parcel and we

    20 did, and we used it for that purpose because we must

    21 proceed on the assumption that once Your Honours have

    22 made a decision we are bound by it and we must follow

    23 it, and we accept that Your Honours have admitted it.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, for the last

    25 time, would you like to add anything on this particular

  21. 1 issue, should we stay proceedings or should we not? Do

    2 you have anything to add on this particular issue?

    3 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, Defence does

    4 not want any delay in the proceedings. We stay with

    5 our position to continue with the proceedings.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: As far as I'm concerned, I

    7 would like to hear what Mr. Aleksovski has to say.

    8 Mr. Aleksovski, would you please stand?

    9 Please stand up, Mr. Aleksovski. Thank you.

    10 You have heard all the arguments set forward

    11 by the parties, but I wonder if you've understood the

    12 issue in its details. Do you have anything you would

    13 like to say on this particular issue? You may switch

    14 on your microphone and answer my question.

    15 THE ACCUSED: Mr. President and Your Honours,

    16 first of all, thank you for having allowed me, after

    17 two and a half years, to address you, to speak to you,

    18 after two and a half years.

    19 First of all, I'm a bit excited. I am

    20 addressing you for the first time, and what can I say?

    21 The Prosecution is doing its job as the Prosecution

    22 should, and I have previously stated that they have

    23 been very correct.

    24 At first I had no objection to the behaviour,

    25 I can put it that way, of the Prosecution, but now we

  22. 1 are in a situation when I am asked how I feel. Since

    2 the beginning I have not felt well, and you may have

    3 noticed this. Part of it was that the proceedings were

    4 shortened to half-day sessions, but right now I feel

    5 awkward that I have to talk about this.

    6 You know that I am a parent of -- my son Sasa

    7 is now in the third grade. I was not able to be there

    8 to take him to school, and what I -- from what you have

    9 talked about, I -- at best, I could take him to school

    10 at the start of his fourth grade.

    11 Your Honours, I am not going to try to

    12 anticipate the final outcome of this trial, but, as in

    13 the beginning, I said that I am not guilty, and the

    14 Prosecution insists that I was guilty. And I'm not

    15 angry at them for that, but I repeat to you, I'm not

    16 guilty. I did not want to harm anybody at any time.

    17 If anything happened, it happened not from my -- of my

    18 own will. I did what I could.

    19 However -- yes. Thank you. However -- and I

    20 don't want to depart and stray off the course. Our job

    21 is almost done. You should render your decision soon.

    22 From whatever I've heard in terms of information or

    23 rumours, I was supposed to know what the outcome of

    24 this trial is by Christmas. However, I'm afraid that

    25 this is not where the things are going.

  23. 1 When I say I'm afraid, I really have fear,

    2 I'm not indifferent, after the trial, after the main

    3 proceedings. And I'm not going to say the Prosecution

    4 is trying to abuse anything, but -- because of the

    5 procedural reasons, not because I am a criminal. I am

    6 supposed to stay in detention, in prison or whatever,

    7 and I would like to go back to my family. And if I may

    8 say this without abusing the opportunity which I was

    9 given, you may rest assured that I will come back

    10 because of my children and because of justice.

    11 Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Aleksovski.

    13 You may sit down.

    14 Well, the Judges of the Trial Chamber will

    15 examine the various arguments that have been put

    16 forward. I think that we need to take a break. I'm

    17 not sure if half a hour would be enough, but let's say

    18 that we'll meet in around 30 to 35 minutes. The

    19 hearing is suspended.

    20 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.

    21 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.

    22 (The accused entered court)

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This is our decision.

    24 The Chamber has taken note with great

    25 attention to the explanations of the Prosecution and

  24. 1 the Defence regarding the Prosecution's motion for a

    2 stay of proceedings until the Appeals Chamber rules on

    3 the motion of the Prosecution regarding the admission

    4 of the testimony made within the framework of the

    5 Blaskic case. It has also heard a statement by

    6 Mr. Aleksovski.

    7 Upon deliberation, the Chamber finds that the

    8 proceedings should be stayed until the Appeals Judges

    9 have reviewed the Prosecutor's motion and conveyed

    10 their decision and their ruling to the Chamber.

    11 Therefore, that is our decision.

    12 I think, however, that we can take advantage

    13 of the presence of the parties here in order to discuss

    14 another matter which we have already discussed to some

    15 extent and we agreed to come back to it, and I think

    16 that opportunity has arisen, that is, to see what is

    17 the position of the parties regarding the request of

    18 Kordic and Cerkez to admit non-public testimony from

    19 the Aleksovski case into their record. We have already

    20 announced this matter. I don't know whether the

    21 parties are ready or not to discuss this question.

    22 I am raising the issue because, as we need to

    23 sit on Friday afternoon, we could perhaps organise our

    24 time bearing in mind the availability of the parties to

    25 give them an opportunity to express their opinions on

  25. 1 this matter.

    2 Therefore, I am asking you, Mr. Niemann and

    3 Mr. Mikulicic, if you are ready to discuss this matter

    4 or not.

    5 MR. NIEMANN: Do Your Honours wish us to

    6 discuss it today or tomorrow? I mean, I haven't come

    7 here at the moment ready to discuss it. I could. But

    8 I think I would be relying primarily on what we had put

    9 in our written submissions.

    10 If Your Honours were disposed to adjourn

    11 today, which it is getting on anyway, we could

    12 certainly deal with it tomorrow morning, if that was

    13 convenient to Your Honours, or any other time that is

    14 convenient.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Tomorrow morning, no.

    16 Thursday morning or Wednesday afternoon, that is,

    17 tomorrow afternoon.

    18 Mr. Mikulicic, what do you think about it?

    19 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence

    20 agrees that we discuss this tomorrow afternoon if that

    21 is convenient for Your Honours.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, Mr. Mikulicic,

    23 but I wasn't listening to the right channel. Could you

    24 repeat what you just said, please?

    25 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence

  26. 1 agrees that this matter be discussed tomorrow

    2 afternoon.

    3 However, if I may be allowed, you have just

    4 told us what your decision is, and that is to stay the

    5 proceedings until the decision of the Appeals Chamber,

    6 and the Defence would like to address you with a few

    7 words, with your leave, on this matter, or would it be

    8 more appropriate for us to address you on this matter

    9 later on, after dealing with the procedural issues,

    10 simply so as not to confuse the items on our agenda?

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think, Mr. Mikulicic,

    12 that what you may have to say about it should be said

    13 in the Appeals procedure because the Chamber has taken

    14 its decision.

    15 MR. MIKULICIC: I had not intended to say

    16 anything regarding the substance of the problem, I just

    17 wanted to repeat a proposal that the Defence made at

    18 the beginning of the proceedings, and that has to do

    19 with the release of Mr. Aleksovski.

    20 The Defence wanted to repeat the proposal

    21 that it already made in the course of these

    22 proceedings, and that is that Mr. Aleksovski, in view

    23 of his long detention and in view of the fact that the

    24 proceedings will probably be prolonged for some time,

    25 we would like to request the Trial Chamber to

  27. 1 reconsider once again the Defence proposal for the

    2 provisional release of Mr. Aleksovski. So if this

    3 Trial Chamber considers it necessary, the Defence is

    4 ready to prepare a written motion to that effect and to

    5 explain its proposal in writing.

    6 Thank you, Your Honours.

    7 MR. NIEMANN: If I may just respond briefly

    8 to that, Your Honours?

    9 I think it would be much better if it was

    10 provided by way of written motion and we responded

    11 accordingly and then perhaps address Your Honours

    12 orally on the matter. But that could be done this

    13 week. I mean, we are ready to respond to it

    14 immediately. If Mr. Mikulicic makes it available to us

    15 in writing, we will respond immediately in writing.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Certainly, Mr. Niemann.

    17 Mr. Mikulicic did intend to address the matter in

    18 writing, and that indeed would be the best procedure

    19 because, after all, it is a very important issue. So

    20 that a written motion should be prepared, the

    21 Prosecution can respond, and then the Chamber will

    22 render its decision.

    23 As for the Kordic matter, we are going to

    24 have a discussion on it tomorrow, and you will have the

    25 time required to prepare yourselves because I think

  28. 1 Mr. Mikulicic and the Defence has never taken a

    2 position on this matter; therefore, we are giving you

    3 an opportunity to work on it, and we too will study the

    4 matter, and we will meet again tomorrow -- just a

    5 moment, please. Mr. Fourmy has a comment for me.

    6 Mr. Fourmy is drawing my attention to the

    7 time limit required for the Defence motion. So as that

    8 is in the interests of the Defence, I'm sure that the

    9 Defence will make its motion as quickly as possible so

    10 we will not fix any time limit for that.

    11 Have you got anything to say regarding the

    12 submission of your motion and the deadline for that,

    13 Mr. Mikulicic?

    14 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence, of

    15 course, bearing in mind its own interests, will prepare

    16 its motion within the shortest possible delay, and, of

    17 course, we are aware that the sooner we prepare the

    18 motion, the sooner a decision on it will be taken. We

    19 cannot at this moment state exactly when we will do it,

    20 but we will in the immediate future.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going

    22 to adjourn until tomorrow. I don't quite know the

    23 time. I think it is 2.00. Anyway, until the time

    24 scheduled for tomorrow afternoon's session.

    25 No, 2.30. Two-thirty tomorrow afternoon.

  29. 1 The hearing is adjourned.

    2 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    3 11.36 a.m., to be reconvened on

    4 Wednesday, the 18th day of November,

    5 1998, at 2.30 p.m.