1 Wednesday, 21 May 2008
2 [Initial Appearance]
3 [Open Session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this courtroom.
6 Madam Registrar, will you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is the case
8 number IT-04-84-R77.5, the Prosecutor versus Baton Haxhiu.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Haxhiu, can you hear me in a language you understand? Could
11 you please give an answer, because nodding does not appear on the record.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 Could we have the appearances, the Prosecution first.
15 MR. RE: For the Prosecution, David Re, with Vincent Lunny, and
16 case manager Crispian Smith.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Re. Could I have the appearances for
18 the Defence.
19 MR. KEMPERDICK: For the Defence, Christian Kemperdick.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kemperdick.
21 Mr. Haxhiu, could you please state your full name for the record.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Baton Haxhiu.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And could you tell us, what is your date of birth?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 24 February 1965.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. And where were you born?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was born in Poklek, Kosovo.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Re, the indictment gives the date as the
3 24th of August, rather than the 24th of February. We'll deal with that
4 at a later stage and see whether that's a mistake or not.
5 Mr. Haxhiu, could you tell us, Poklek, as you told us, is that
6 part of or situated -- located near to Khodra Didllit?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I lived in Pristina from the
8 very beginning, but I was born in Poklek. It is situated 24 kilometres
9 away from Pristina.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
11 Mr. Haxhiu, first of all, I'd like to know whether your family is
12 informed about your transfer to and your detention at this moment in the
13 United Nations Detention Unit.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it is informed. It was
15 informed one day before I was brought here. Everything was in conformity
16 with the rules.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Then I hear that you are here represented by Mr. Kemperdick.
19 Mr. Kemperdick, of course the accused is entitled to be represented by
20 counsel. Are there any problems in relation to your appointment, which
21 is, I take it at this moment, still a temporary appointment as duty
23 MR. KEMPERDICK: Your Honour, no, there are no problems.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No problems in relation to that.
25 Then, Mr. Haxhiu, we are here at an initial appearance. The
1 Bench in this case is composed of myself, being Presiding Judge, and
2 Judge van den Wyngaert and Judge Stole.
3 Mr. Haxhiu, you are charged with one count of contempt of the
4 Tribunal pursuant to Rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. It
5 is alleged that you have written and published an article which did
6 reveal the identity of a protected witness in the Haradinaj, et al case.
7 And according to the indictment, you thereby knowingly willfully
8 interfered with the administration -- willingly interfered with the
9 administration of justice and knowing violation of an order by Trial
11 Mr. Haxhiu, have you received the indictment in a language you
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is the -- do you understand the indictment, the
15 content of it?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Haxhiu, you have the right to have the
18 indictment read out to you in full. Do you wish to exercise this right
19 or would you waive this right?
20 MR. KEMPERDICK: My client wishes to waive his right.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kemperdick.
22 Have you had an opportunity to discuss the indictment with
24 MR. KEMPERDICK: My client and I have discussed the indictment,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And your client is, just for the record, nodding
2 "yes," so he apparently agrees with that.
3 Pursuant to Rule 62(A)(iii) of the Rules of Procedure and
4 Evidence of this Tribunal, Mr. Haxhiu, you have the right to enter a plea
5 of guilty or not guilty on each count today or within 30 days from this
6 initial appearance. Have you discussed with counsel and are you able to
7 tell us whether you are prepared to plead today?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I've discussed this with my
9 counsel, and I'm absolutely not guilty.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll come to that, but I understand this to
11 be that you're prepared to enter a plea today.
12 Mr. Haxhiu, would you please stand up.
13 Mr. Haxhiu, you are charged with one count of contempt of the
14 Tribunal by commission punishable under the Tribunal's inherent power and
15 Rule 77(A)(ii) of the Rules. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Absolutely not guilty.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that. Please be seated.
18 Madam Registrar, would you please put on the record the plea of
19 not guilty entered by the accused.
20 Mr. Re, the Prosecution is invited to file a redacted indictment,
21 a public redacted indictment, and perhaps that gives you an opportunity
22 also to perhaps correct the date of birth, place of birth, and order how,
23 at least as far as confidentiality is concerned, how the indictment has
24 to be corrected, I think, was filed yesterday or is filed today.
25 MR. RE: Your Honour, on that, could we just move into private
1 session for one moment just on that issue of the indictment?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We move into private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 6 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 Mr. Kemperdick, a decision was taken, a decision on review of the
7 indictment, a decision that was filed confidentially and ex parte on the
8 10th of April, and the ex parte status is lifted. Nevertheless, in that
9 decision the material -- supporting material is considered to be
10 confidential. And I read the operative paragraph of the decision to you,
11 which is that:
12 "At the time that the filing of an indictment and supporting
13 material against Baton Haxhiu for contempt of the Tribunal, it should be
14 re-filed as ex parte and confidential, and not be subject to public
15 disclosure until further order."
16 That order of confidentiality still stands in relation to the
17 supporting material and any material that will be disclosed to you by the
18 Prosecution. This is again until further order, but you should treat
19 that material confidentially.
20 Mr. Re, disclosure will be completed when?
21 MR. RE: I have provided Mr. Kemperdick with the confirmation
22 material this morning, so disclosure of everything in English is
23 complete. He will receive -- well, I'll give him the Albanian
24 translation of everything as soon as we finish court today. We have it
25 in court with us. So disclosure will be complete at the conclusion of
1 these proceedings today.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And, again, as I said before, disclosed
3 material is still confidential.
4 Then you'll be further notified about deadlines for filing of
5 pre-trial briefs and the scheduling of the trial. I'll not invite at
6 this very moment to set a date for trial, because usually there will be
7 some communication between the legal officer of the Chamber's and the
8 parties in order to find out how much time you are asking for pre-trial
9 briefs, whether there will be any motions, such as a motion on the form
10 of the indictment, which is a motion which could be filed if it's not
11 clear enough. But, therefore, there will be communication with both
12 parties about the practical matters.
13 And, Madam Registrar, once this has been finished, the Chamber
14 will ask you to fix, then, the date for trial, but not at this moment.
15 MR. RE: Your Honour, just on that, could I just indicate, just
16 so the record is clear from the Prosecution's point.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. RE: This is a trial that the Prosecution could complete in a
19 matter of hours. We wouldn't propose calling any witnesses. The only
20 witness is an investigator who took some interviews. So we have three
21 interviews and one newspaper article, and that is the entirety of the
22 Prosecution material against the accused, and that could be done in less
23 than an hour, including opening.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would be a record, I think, trial of --
25 MR. RE: Indubitably.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kemperdick, of course you're not bound by any
2 ambition of the Prosecution to set a new record, but you'll hear from the
3 legal officer and there will be some communication about the practical
5 Then you, Mr. Haxhiu, you will remain in custody for the time
6 being, and of course you can file an application for provisional release
7 pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the
8 Tribunal, and Mr. Kemperdick will certainly assist you if you wish to
9 make such an application. But at this moment, your custody is ordered by
10 this Tribunal.
11 MR. KEMPERDICK: Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. KEMPERDICK: Your Honour, would you allow an oral motion for
14 provisional release at this moment?
15 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, I would prefer a written
16 motion, and I could give you the reasons why.
17 Usually, some guarantees are given by the state of residence, and
18 unless you have them here, but I take it that that takes a while to
19 prepare. That's one reason. The second one is that, of course, a
20 decision whether or not to grant provisional release is a decision taken
21 by the Chamber, and since I'm here alone today and not with my two fellow
22 Judges, I think they'd prefer to receive this in writing. Of course,
23 they could read the transcript, but also in view of the undertakings,
24 usually an undertaking by the accused, supported by undertakings of the
25 local government, or it might be UNMIK under these circumstances, that is
1 more fit, I think, for an application in writing. Nevertheless, I
2 understand your words to be that you'll not hesitate, as quickly as
3 possible, to request provisional release of Mr. Haxhiu. I take it that's
5 MR. KEMPERDICK: That appears to be paramount for, well, me as
6 Defence counsel and my client, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and the Chamber will deal with it as quickly as
8 possible. So the sooner you file it, the sooner there will be a decision
9 in whatever direction that decision will go.
10 Is there any other matters that the parties would like to raise?
11 I'm also thinking in terms of whether there are any problems in your
12 detention situation, Mr. Haxhiu, or your health, or whatever you think
13 that I should know at this moment.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you -- the microphone is fixed on now.
16 I add to that that if there's any health issue or any private
17 matter which you would like to deal with in private session, then please
18 ask me, and then we'll move into private session. If not, please address
19 whatever matter you --
20 MR. KEMPERDICK: No, nothing -- sorry, Your Honour, sorry.
21 My client would like to say that there's no health issue on his
22 behalf, but his father is diagnosed with prostate cancer, and that's an
23 issue my client would naturally wish to be considered when determining
24 the application for provisional release, and that's something which is
25 very upsetting to my client.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that.
2 Now, Mr. Kemperdick, it is common knowledge, I would say, that
3 prostate cancer sometimes takes years and years, and as some people
4 sometimes say, you may die with it but not die from it. Could you
5 provide information about how acute -- how urgent the condition of
6 Mr. Haxhiu's father in this respect is, because sometimes it stretches
7 over years. And if you make an application for provisional release, and
8 if you would raise this issue, could you then please provide us with
9 details, such as when it was diagnosed, what the progress is since then,
10 what the expectations are, so that we, with full knowledge of the
11 situation, can consider, among other matters, this one as well.
12 MR. KEMPERDICK: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any other thing?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This one, but the cancer is at its
15 ultimate phase. I would wish that this part of my statement goes into
16 private session. So --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Either if you want to say something in private
18 session --
19 THE ACCUSED: No.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, fine. Then especially in view of what
21 Mr. Haxhiu tells us, it would certainly help if you could get some
22 medical reports on that situation, which gives the objective grounds for
23 that; not to say that I want to delay matters, but it's usual in this
24 Tribunal that we work on the basis of solid material, and that's best
25 done by a medical report.
1 Any other matter?
2 MR. RE: If I could just indicate for the record today, on the
3 provisional release, the Prosecution won't be opposing any application
4 for provisional release by Mr. Haxhiu.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Even if -- without guarantees, even without
6 medical records?
7 MR. RE: We don't view Mr. Haxhiu as a flight risk.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. RE: We're aware of the likely penalty in this sort of case
10 if convicted. The precedent generally hasn't been imprisonment, it's
11 been a fine generally. I'll make a submission here, of course.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Generally, not always.
13 MR. RE: I understand. In terms of guarantees, this isn't in the
14 same category as most of the other cases in which guarantees have been
15 required. It's something the --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kemperdick, under those circumstances, I
17 would not be surprised if you file a motion for provisional -- let me
18 first say: It's clear that you're seeking the provisional release of
19 Mr. Haxhiu. In view of what Mr. Re said, I suggest to you the following:
20 that we understand what you just said is that you want to make an
21 application. May I take it that one of the reasons is the medical
22 condition of the father of Mr. Haxhiu, and the other reasons are case
23 related, seriousness of the case. The Chamber therefore is now seized of
24 an oral application. You're invited to file, as soon as possible, then,
25 a written application setting out the reasons in a bit more detail, and
1 the Chamber would not be surprised and not be offended in any way if you
2 would announce in that application what you are seeking in support; that
3 is, medical records, guarantees from UNMIK. The Chamber would then
4 consider whether we'll wait for that material to be received or whether
5 we think that on the basis of the arguments, we could already reach a
6 decision. Of course, a denial of provisional release -- a decision to
7 deny provisional release will not be taken until we have received that
8 material. However, if the Chamber would be inclined to grant the
9 application, then we might proceed even before we have received that
11 Is this procedure clear to you?
12 MR. KEMPERDICK: That is very clear, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Any other matter, Mr. Re?
14 MR. RE: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn the proceedings, sine die.
16 --- Whereupon the initial appearance adjourned
17 at 2.46 p.m.