IN TRIAL CHAMBER II
Before: Judge David Hunt, Pre-Trial Judge
Registrar: Mr Hans Holthuis
Decision of: 3 May 2001
Radoslav BRÐANIN & Momir TALIC
DECISION ON PROSECUTIONS REQUEST FOR INDICATION OF A TRIAL DATE
The Office of the Prosecutor:
Ms Joanna Korner
Mr Nicolas Koumjian
Mr Andrew Cayley
Ms Anna Richterova
Ms Ann Sutherland
Counsel for Accused:
Mr John Ackerman for Radoslav Brdanin
1. The prosecution has sought from the Trial Chamber an indication as to the date upon which the trial in this case will commence.1 This is to enable the prosecution to warn its witnesses, so that their own personal arrangements may be made, to arrange for their appearance here in The Hague and to ensure that all documents are translated in time.2 The application is opposed by both defendants,3 on various bases concerning their readiness for trial and the problems said to have been created by the prosecution which prevent them from being ready.
2. Brdanin says that there are a number ofmatters outstanding:
(a) He has not yet been given access to documents seized by the prosecution from the Security Services Building in Banja Luka, sought by him in May 2000.4 The prosecution has replied that an electronic copy of these documents was supplied to the defence in August 2000,5 but it concedes that it has been necessary to re-scan these documents because the poor quality of some of the documents has made it difficult to copy them. There are just under 900,000 pages involved. To enable these documents to be searched, they are being re-scanned with Optical Character recognition, and this involves over 2,000,000 pages. The prosecution has also discovered that these documents include a quantity of material to which Rule 66(C) applies, in relation to which it is permitted to apply to the Trial Chamber sitting in camera to be relieved of the obligation to disclose certain information to the accused. This material is expected to be placed before the Trial Chamber by 8 May.6
(b) He has not yet received documents relating to other proceedings before the Tribunal which concern the same geographical region and the same period as the events alleged in the present indictment, to which the President ordered that he be given access in September 2000,7 as they remain the subject of an appeal by the prosecution.8 It is not correct to suggest that the prosecution has appealed the Presidents decision. An application for an extension of time in which to seek leave to appeal was filed by the prosecution,9 but it appears that this has not been pursued because the prosecution sought instead to have the President reconsider his decision.10 That application was unsuccessful.11 The prosecution has not in its Reply addressed the non-delivery of these documents since last January, when its application for reconsideration was unsuccessful.12
Brdanin says that, with the limited resources permitted by the Tribunal, the extent of the investigation into these documents required will take about a year and a half. The Trial Chamber has been informed by the Registry that additional resources have been granted to Brdanin for this reason.13
3. Talic also says that there are a number of matters outstanding:
(a) He has not yet received a translation of the Further Amended Indictment in a language which he understands, but it is conceded that he has nevertheless been able to object to the form of the Further Amended Indictment.14
(b) The form of the Further Amended Indictment is not yet settled.15 The pleadings in relation to this motion are not yet complete.
(c) He has not yet received all of the supporting material which accompanied the indictment when it was confirmed.16 The prosecution has replied that the only supporting material not served are the unredacted copies of those statements where the prosecution was granted protective measures delaying the disclosure of the identity of certain witnesses.17 Once the trial date can be fixed with a reasonable degree of certainty, the dates for the disclosure of those identities can be fixed by the Trial Chamber.
(d) He has not yet received, as promised by the prosecution, copies of the documents seized by it from the Security Services Centre Building.18 The prosecution has replied in the way already indicated.19
(e) The prosecution has failed to make it clear whether there are any further documents to be disclosed under Rules 66(A), 66(B) or 68.20 The prosecution has replied that there are still additional witnesses and documents to be disclosed in accordance with Rules 66 and 68, because the geographical area and time-span covered by the indictment is extensive, the number of documents seized or provided by outside agencies is huge, and the resources provided for translation are inadequate to enable their translation with greater speed.21
4. It is clear that, before any indication of the trial date can be given in any meaningful way, there are a number of issues to be resolved. The Trial Chamber has already indicated to the parties that, for the reasons stated at the time, the trial cannot now start until early September.22 There is a Status Conference fixed for 18 May, when there will be a discussion concerning an application by the prosecution for the appointment of a Presiding Officer for the purposes of Rule 92bis.23 It would be appropriate for these other issues also to be discussed at that Status Conference.
5. Accordingly, it is not appropriate to give the indication sought by the prosecution at this stage.
Done in English and French, the English text being authoritative.
Dated this 3rd day of May 2001,
At The Hague,
Judge David Hunt
[Seal of the Tribunal]