1 Tuesday, 31 January 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE MORRISON: Good afternoon, everybody.
6 Can we call the case on, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case IT-98-32/1-R77.2, the Prosecutor versus
9 Jelena Rasic.
10 JUDGE MORRISON: And may I have appearances, please.
11 MR. ROGERS: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honours. Paul Rogers
12 appearing for the Prosecution, together with Mr. Kyle Wood. And our
13 Case Manager today, Ms. Carmela Javier.
14 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
15 My name is Mira Tapuskovic. I appear as counsel for Ms. Rasic.
16 With me is my assistant, Liane Aronchick.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you.
19 I note the presence of the accused. Does the accused hear the
20 proceedings in a language which you understand?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MORRISON: And I appreciate there may be submissions later
23 on, but is there anything that needs to be raised at this stage
24 concerning the health of the accused?
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 The health of the accused can -- and its status can be found in
2 the report by the duty physician, and there were no significant changes
3 relating to the status after the report, which preceded it.
4 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you very much.
5 I think it's necessary for a short time for us now to go into
6 private session, please.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 36-37 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
15 MR. ROGERS: Your Honours, there was a plea agreement that has
16 been signed by the accused, dated the 24th of January, 2012.
17 Your Honours, there's no reason why that document cannot now be made
18 public. And the Amended Indictment what is attached thereto also to be
19 made public.
20 Your Honour, essentially, the Prosecution and the Defence move
21 you to accept an amended indictment which slightly changes the emphasis
22 of the criminal behaviour of the accused from the original indictment and
23 is one to which she is prepared to plead guilty. And the amendments are
24 set out in the Amended Indictment. The factual basis for the
25 plea agreement is not set out separately because the facts upon which she
1 enters her plea, obviously subject also to an opening, but the basic
2 facts which you would have to satisfy yourself under Rule 62 bis (iv) are
3 all set out within the indictment itself, and we see that there is no
4 basis for the plea to be equivocal. I know that Your Honour will no
5 doubt deal with Ms. Rasic's understanding in due course, because she
6 clearly understands the nature of what it is she is doing, so her plea is
7 informed, it's voluntarily, it's not equivocal, and the fact, and
8 sufficient are set out, we submit, for you to be able to accept her
9 guilty plea.
10 In due course I will open the case fully around the indictment as
11 is currently put, the Amended Indictment.
12 JUDGE MORRISON: Very well. I'll just consult with my colleagues
13 as to the acceptance of that indictment.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MORRISON: Yes, we're unanimous in accepting the proposed
16 Amended Indictment.
17 MR. ROGERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 I don't know whether you would wish to have the indictment read
19 out fully again to the accused. From our perspective, I don't speak for
20 Ms. Tapuskovic, but we both know that this has been gone through fully
21 with Ms. Rasic and we see that there is no need for the indictment to be
22 put to her again unless Your Honours feel that it is essential, because
23 the plea agreement makes it very clear that she accepts responsibility
24 for all five Counts in the Amended Indictment.
25 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, the Amended Indictment will become a
1 public document.
2 MR. ROGERS: Yes, it will.
3 JUDGE MORRISON: And therefore it's available for anybody who has
4 an interest to see it and read it in full.
5 MR. ROGERS: Yes.
6 JUDGE MORRISON: So for myself, I don't see the need to repeat it
7 now unless either of my colleagues - no - or the Defence think that is an
8 essential course.
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree absolutely
10 with your conclusion and my learned friend's position. Jelena Rasic and
11 I went through the Amended Indictment on a number of occasions in the
12 past few days, not only during the process of drafting the plea agreement
13 but before that as well. Hence, I believe it is not necessary to go
14 through the procedure of reading out the indictment again.
15 JUDGE MORRISON: In which case I propose simply to ask the
16 accused in short form whether or not she understands the nature of the
17 Amended Indictment and wishes to change her plea from one of not guilty
18 to one of guilty in respect of each of the five counts.
19 MR. ROGERS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MORRISON: I address the accused. Ms. Rasic, I think you
21 have already heard what I said, I hope, in translation.
22 Do you confirm that you now change your pleas from pleas of not
23 guilty to pleas of guilty in respect of each and every one of the five
24 counts of the now-Amended Indictment?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I plead guilty on all five
1 counts, and I'm ready to meet whatever consequences come my way.
2 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you. I now ask the Prosecution to open
3 the case, please.
4 MR. ROGERS: Your Honour, yes, before we do, I think perhaps
5 Your Honours need to formally enter verdicts of guilty.
6 JUDGE MORRISON: You're absolutely right. We do so.
7 MR. ROGERS: I'm grateful.
8 Your Honours, turning to deal, first of all, with Count 1.
9 Zuhdija Tabakovic is a former resident of Visegrad in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is a Muslim. Prior to the war he was a police
11 officer in the Visegrad area. In the Autumn of 2008, Mr. Tabakovic was
12 unemployed and living with his family in difficult financial
13 circumstances in Sarajevo.
14 In about October 2008, Mr. Tabakovic received a telephone call
15 from a man he knew in Visegrad. This man said that there was a young
16 woman coming from Belgrade and suggested that he get in touch with her
17 and meet her for coffee as there was a chance that he may be able to earn
18 some money. Mr. Tabakovic provided the man with his telephone number so
19 that the young woman could contact him.
20 Some days later, around the 18th of October, 2008, he met with
21 this woman, who was the accused, Ms. Rasic. She was staying in a hotel
22 in the Bistrik district of Sarajevo.
23 When they met, the woman introduced herself as Jelena, they sat
24 down at a table to talk, and she placed upon the table a folder. At that
25 time, Ms. Rasic was acting as the Case Manager for the Defence team of
1 Milan Lukic in the case of Prosecutor against Milan Lukic and
2 Sredoje Lukic, which, at the time, was in its trial phase before this
4 Ms. Rasic asked Mr. Tabakovic if he knew Milan Lukic, and he said
5 that he did not. She asked him if he knew Sredoje Lukic, and he replied
6 that he did, as they had worked together previously whilst colleagues in
7 the police in Visegrad.
8 Ms. Rasic told Mr. Tabakovic that she worked for Milan Lukic, and
9 she said she had come to Sarajevo because she was looking for people to
10 confirm the statements that she had with her.
11 After some informal discussion, Ms. Rasic pulled from the folder
12 a pre-prepared witness statement for use in the Lukic and Lukic case.
13 She showed it to Mr. Tabakovic and asked him if he would be prepared to
14 confirm, sign, and verify the statement in exchange for 1.000 euros cash.
15 She promised him more money if he came to The Hague and testified in
16 accordance with the statement on behalf of Milan Lukic in the case being
17 brought against him here. Ms. Rasic clearly knew that the statement was
18 for use in the Tribunal proceedings relating to Milan Lukic. At the
19 time, she was not aware that Tabakovic was unfamiliar with the events
20 described in the statement.
21 Mr. Tabakovic asked what his total financial compensation would
22 be if he agreed to the statement. He recalls that she replied he would
23 receive 2.500 euros. That he would get 1.000 euros immediately after
24 signing the statement, and the rest would follow after he testified here
25 in The Hague. In addition, he would receive paid travelling expenses for
1 the trip, a new suit, some shoes, and accommodation in The Hague.
2 Ms. Rasic says that the total sum offered was 2.000 euros; 1.000 to sign
3 and a 1.000 after testifying.
4 And, Your Honours, I've mentioned this already to my learned
5 friend. For Your Honours information, the average wage in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina, average net wage in Bosnia and Herzegovina in
7 July 2008 was 381 euros, or 763 convertible marks. And it's -- there
8 was --
9 JUDGE MORRISON: Sorry, that's a monthly wage, is it?
10 MR. ROGERS: A monthly wage, yes. And there was a similar amount
11 in Serbia at the time as well.
12 Ms. Rasic explained in broad terms to Mr. Tabakovic what the
13 statement was about; namely, that he witnessed the execution of some
14 Bosniaks near Sase village and that some of them survived by swimming
15 across the river. Mr. Tabakovic read through the statement and saw that
16 it indeed concerned the execution of some Bosniaks by the Drina river and
17 it was about three pages long.
18 Also during the meeting, Ms. Rasic gave to Mr. Tabakovic a
19 hand-drawn map, which is Exhibit P5 in the case. The map purports to
20 identify the location of the crimes described in the statement that he
21 was to sign, and the place at which Mr. Tabakovic was supposed to be when
22 the events depicted in the map, and about which he was to testify, took
23 place. Ms. Rasic told him that the map had been drawn by Milan Lukic.
24 And on the back of the map, she wrote her name and her contact telephone
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Kindly slow down when
2 reading for the sake of interpretation. Thank you.
3 MR. ROGERS: Mr. Tabakovic agreed to sign the statement, and it
4 was arranged that he would meet Ms. Rasic at the Novo Sarajevo
5 municipality building to complete it. They met on the
6 20th of October, 2008, at that municipality building to sign the
7 statement, have the signature certified, and for certified copies of the
8 statements to be made. That statement is Exhibit P2.
9 After the statement was signed and the signature certified by
10 municipal authority official and certified copies of the statements were
11 produced, Ms. Rasic gave to Mr. Tabakovic 1.000 euros, in twenty 50 euro
12 notes folded in a piece of paper taken from a green folder that she had
13 with her. She asked if this was all right, and he said "yes." They then
15 Your Honours, it's perhaps important to understand that the
16 verification process at the municipality does not involve a declaration
17 that the statements themselves are true, but merely confirms the identity
18 of the person signing. Indeed you can see, if you look at the exhibits,
19 that in fact none of the statements signed by any of the three
20 individuals in this case, Mr. Tabakovic, Mr. X, and Mr. Y, contain
21 actually any declarations of truth.
22 Turning, Your Honours, then to Count 2.
23 At around the same time on the 18th of October, 2008, Ms. Rasic
24 incited Mr. Tabakovic to find other men from Visegrad who had served in
25 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to sign similar pre-prepared
1 statements to his own and to offer them the same amount of money to do so
2 as he had been paid, with an additional promise of more money should they
4 She provided to Mr. Tabakovic copies of the statements they were
5 to sign. One of those is Exhibit P1. And that is a copy of the
6 statement Mr. X eventually signed.
7 Mr. Tabakovic agreed to find some people, and a few days later he
8 contacted her again to say that he had found two people. Those were
9 Mr. X and Mr. Y.
10 Turning then to Counts 3 and 4, which deal with X and Y.
11 Around the 18th of October, 2008, Mr. Tabakovic arranged to meet
12 Ms. Rasic to introduce her to X and Y. Tabakovic knew both X and Y from
13 before. He had previously met with them and asked them if they would be
14 willing to sign a statement in exchange for payment of 1.000 euro. Both
15 men agreed to sign the statements.
16 Mr. X says that he was approached by Mr. Tabakovic in
17 October 2008. He had known Tabakovic for about 30 years. He arranged to
18 meet Tabakovic at a restaurant near the Novo Sarajevo municipality
19 building and Tabakovic told him that he needed to bring identification
20 and go with a woman to the Novo Sarajevo municipality building.
21 Tabakovic told him that he and Mr. X were to testify about some sort of
22 execution that had taken place and that he would be paid 1.000 euros to
23 sign the statement, with more to follow if he testified in accordance
24 with the statement.
25 Mr. Y says that he, too, was contacted by Mr. Tabakovic and asked
1 to go to a cafe near to the Novo Sarajevo municipality building and to
2 bring with him some identification. The next day, he went. At the same
3 time, at that time, the witness was drinking, that is Mr. Y, was drinking
4 extremely heavily and said that he really wasn't thinking too much about
5 what he was doing.
6 On the 23rd of October, 2008, Tabakovic, X, and Y met together in
7 a cafe close to the Novo Sarajevo municipality. Mr. Tabakovic introduced
8 first Mr. X, then Mr. Y to Ms. Rasic in the municipality building itself.
9 X and Tabakovic went across to the municipality building and were gone
10 for about 30 to 45 minutes. They left Mr. Y in the cafe. When they came
11 back, Tabakovic told Mr. Y not to talk too much and just sign, as there
12 would be something in it for him.
13 At the municipality building itself, the same procedure was
14 followed for both X and Y, but separately. They were given a
15 pre-prepared statement to sign and have their signatures verified in the
16 same way as it happened with Mr. Tabakovic. Neither X or Y had ever met
17 or been in contact with Ms. Rasic before this meeting in the municipality
19 Mr. X described the process in this way. He said Ms. Rasic had a
20 laptop with her. She took some papers from the bag. She asked him if he
21 was familiar with the paper and had read it. He said he had, but he had
22 not read the paper. She asked him his first name and his last name and
23 his date of birth. She asked him about the dates mentioned in the
24 statement, "Were you there?" and he said yes, although he, in fact, had
25 not read what was written on the papers, as he was just interested in the
1 money. They waited in line to sign the statement and then certify the
2 signature. He confirms that he witnessed none of the events and that the
3 matters in the statement he signed were false.
4 At the conclusion of the signing of the statements, he was
5 provided with a copy of the statement and he left the municipality
6 building. He was given 1.000 euros in twenty times 50 denominations by a
7 man identified by Mr. Tabakovic at that time as a man known as
8 Dragan Sekaric, and later identified as Sekaric by Mr. X from a
9 photoboard. After the payment of the money, Ms. Rasic called Mr. X back
10 to the building and asked for his telephone number.
11 Mr. Y, who had been drinking heavily, was then taken by
12 Mr. Tabakovic to the municipality building, where Tabakovic introduced Y
13 to Ms. Rasic. Mr. Y then went with her to sign some papers. Again, he
14 says he didn't read them. The first time he says he saw the document
15 properly was after it had been signed.
16 Ms. Rasic told him that she was investigating crimes in Visegrad
17 and needed witnesses. He says she was with two men. He went with Rasic
18 to the counter in the municipality and signed the statement, and the
19 statement that he signed is Exhibit P8, which, Your Honour, in due course
20 I'll move to place under seal because it identifies him. After
21 signature, he was given copies of the documents and an envelope by one of
22 the men with Ms. Rasic. She asked for his telephone number, and he gave
23 her a made up number. And the girl said something like, We'll see each
24 other if a passport is needed. Inside the envelope was 1.000 euros in
25 50-euro notes.
1 He says that he guessed that he would be asked to testify in
2 The Hague, but it wasn't important to him as he was just interested in
3 the money. When the witness was shown the statement he signed during his
4 witness interview and read through it, he stated, This is all news to me.
5 He was simply signing the papers to make money, and he confirms that he
6 did not witness any of the events or matters described in the statement
7 he signed and like Mr. X, this statement was also completely false.
8 Later, Mr. Y said that he saw Tabakovic about passports but said
9 by then he, Mr. Y, was starting to drag his feet, stalling, as he really
10 didn't want any more to do with it. He spoke himself to Ms. Rasic on the
11 telephone, he believed, around Christmas or New Year 2008/2009.
12 Your Honours, it's accepted that Ms. Rasic knew that Mr. X and
13 Mr. Y were to be paid 1.000 euros after signing their statements, with
14 more to follow when they testified in The Hague. And it is accepted that
15 at the time they signed their statements Ms. Rasic was aware of the
16 substantial likelihood that they were false.
17 Subsequent to the signing of those statements, Mr. Tabakovic had
18 further contact with Ms. Rasic. Tabakovic says that Rasic told him that
19 Milan Lukic was funding the payments of money through his sister and that
20 the sister could not make any payments without Milan Lukic's approval.
21 Your Honours, Mr. X's statement is almost identical to that of
22 Mr. Tabakovic, which is Exhibit P6. Again, will be under seal.
23 The signed and certified statements of Mr. X, Mr. Y, and
24 Mr. Tabakovic were sent to the lawyers acting for Milan Lukic. A summary
25 of each of those statements appeared on the 65 ter witness summaries
1 filed by the Defence for Milan Lukic in his case on the
2 19th of November, 2008. They appeared again on the
3 2nd of December, 2008, and as late as the 5th of January, 2008 [sic].
4 However, there were problems, there were mistakes in those first
5 false statements, leading to there having to be new versions of those
6 statements signed, and that is Count 5.
7 Sometime at the end of November 2008, or early December 2008,
8 Ms. Rasic contacted Mr. Tabakovic again and asked him to meet her. She
9 needed the statements previously provided by Tabakovic, X, and Y to be
10 corrected and re-signed. This time, the municipality process was not
11 used. She met with Tabakovic in Sarajevo and handed to him there the
12 unsigned revised statements for all three witnesses for signature. At
13 this time, she knew that all three revised statements were false. She
14 asked him to re-sign his statement and to take the statements for X and Y
15 and get them to sign them. Tabakovic took them, signed his and returned
16 it, and took the statements for X and Y. And he returned those
17 statements to her the next day.
18 Your Honours, those are Exhibits P10, for Mr. Tabakovic, and
19 11 and 12 for X and Y respectively. Those 11 and 12 will need to be
20 under seal. And we also -- I'll move, in due course, to deal with
21 redacted versions of those.
22 Mr. X spoke to Tabakovic again several times, and in around
23 December 2008 Tabakovic informed X that he needed to provide another
24 signed statement as there was something wrong in the last statement he
25 had signed. X said that he did not sign the second statement, and Y also
1 said that he had only ever signed one of the statements. When shown the
2 revised 5th December statements, Exhibits P11 and 12 under seal, both
3 Mr. X and Mr. Y said they had never seen them and the signatures on them
4 were not theirs. The only statement they had signed had been stamped at
5 the municipality and was dated the 23rd of October, 2008.
6 Those revised statements were also provided to the lawyers acting
7 for Milan Lukic in The Hague. And on 20th of January, 2009, copies of
8 them were provided to the Prosecution in advance of those witnesses
9 coming to testify. However, on the 23rd of January, the Defence applied
10 to remove all three witnesses from their 65 ter lists and replace them
11 with other witnesses. They were never called by the Defence.
12 Your Honours, Mr. Tabakovic is the person who revealed these
13 crimes to the Prosecution. He approached the OTP in the field office in
14 Sarajevo at the end of December 2008 and he was interviewed at length
15 about his involvement in these events and identified Ms. Rasic as a
16 person also involved. In due course Mr. Tabakovic was prosecuted for his
17 part in what had happened, and he pleaded guilty on the
18 11th of March, 2010, pursuant to a plea agreement, to three counts of
19 contempt. That's relating to his own statement and obtaining the
20 statements of the other two.
21 He was sentenced on the 18th of March, 2010, to a total sentence
22 of three months' imprisonment by this Tribunal. It was not part of that
23 agreement that he attend to testify, although did he attend voluntarily
24 prior to the listing of this case and was ready to testify about those
1 Your Honours, can I just deal briefly with the Trial Chamber's -
2 because it may be relevant to Your Honours - sentencing exercise.
3 The Trial Chamber's statements relating to Mr. Tabakovic's role
4 and in how it dealt with him in sentence. This comes from paragraph 12
5 of the Tabakovic Sentencing Judgement which is a public Judgement, dated
6 the 18th of March, 2010.
7 And, Your Honours, they said this - and, in fact, I think
8 Your Honour Judge Morrison may recall this, having been part of the
9 sentencing panel:
10 "In the view of the Trial Chamber, an offence of contempt
11 involving bribery of a potential witness would normally warrant a
12 significant term of imprisonment. In the circumstances of the present
13 case, however, there are powerful mitigating factors which, in the
14 Trial Chamber's view, weigh heavily in favour of the accused. First, the
15 guilty pleas themselves. Secondly, after his signing of a false
16 statement and involving two others of the same conduct, the accused
17 himself appears to have recognised the gravity of what he had done and
18 acted to counter the potential harm of his conduct to the administration
19 of justice. By notifying the Office of the Prosecutor and co-operating
20 with them in a number of ways, the false evidence contemplated in the
21 statements of the accused and X and Y was not led before the Chamber
22 dealing with the Lukic case. And by the evidence of Y, the Chamber was
23 informed of the steps taken to adduce the false evidence. While aspects
24 of the conduct of the accused, especially when he sought financial
25 advantage when first conducting the Office of the Prosecutor, are not to
1 his credit, it is nevertheless clear that at potential risk to himself
2 the accused's conduct was in the end responsible and calculated to avoid
3 any risk of a miscarriage of justice."
4 And at paragraph 14 they deal with his remorse, although the
5 Chamber recognised that in bringing the conduct to the attention of the
6 Office of the Prosecutor and his guilty pleas, that those in fact
7 demonstrated the genuineness of his remorse.
8 Your Honour, can I turn now to deal with the interview that
9 Ms. Rasic provided to the Prosecution.
10 Your Honours, Ms. Rasic was interviewed under caution in the
11 presence of counsel on the 3rd of March, 2009, in Belgrade. And her
12 interview is Exhibit P13, under seal. Ms. Rasic was born on the
13 19th of April, 1983, and is 28 years of age. She was nearly 24 when she
14 was employed as the Case Manager of the Milan Lukic Defence team in about
15 March 2008, and she was 25 at the date of these offences. She is, as far
16 as we can understand, and I know Ms. Tapuskovic has documents to support
17 this, a person of prior good character with no previous convictions.
18 She was approached by the former lawyer of Mr. Lukic, a man
19 called Bojan Sulajic, although she had met Milan Lukic himself some years
20 before in about 2003. She says that this had been a casual meeting in
21 Belgrade and then she'd acted for a while as a child minder for the Lukic
22 family. She had contacting with Mr. Lukic for a few months and then she
23 heard nothing more from him until 2007, when out of the blue he called
24 her. She did not know how he got her telephone number. She said that he
25 just called her as a friend, despite having had no contact from him for
1 the last four years. When he called, they just chatted, she said, about
2 life generally. And at the time, despite the fact that he was actually
3 in custody at the UNDU, she said she did not know he was even in
4 The Hague.
5 In March 2008, she was initially employed by Mr. Sulajic. He
6 left the Lukic Defence team and was replaced by American lawyer
7 Jason Alarid as lead counsel. She said that prior to this she had
8 previously only ever been employed during student vacation holiday
9 periods and was studying economics, in fact, at the
10 University of Belgrade. She said that she thought that her job as a
11 Case Manager was concerned with administration. She was paid two and a
12 half thousand euros per month, approximately, from April 2008. And the
13 payments came from the Registry. She said she had received no other
14 income at all from any other source, including Mr. Lukic and his family.
15 But clearly, having regard to the source of the money for the payments of
16 the bribes, this was not true.
17 She said that her salary was meant to cover all her expenses and
18 as a wage. And Your Honours will note from the mitigating submissions
19 that she accepts that the job was well paid and prestigious. Despite,
20 however, being hired as a Case Manager, she said she found that she was
21 being asked to go to Sarajevo in order to take witness statements. She
22 said she had no training as an investigator nor any prior legal
23 experience. And the first time she was asked to act as an investigator
24 was in March 2008, and the next was when she met Mr. Tabakovic.
25 In relation to Tabakovic, she said she'd been provided with his
1 telephone number by Milan Lukic and to Jason Alarid in The Hague. She
2 said she met Tabakovic, interviewed him, typed up his interview notes on
3 her computer, sent it to the lawyers, and the lawyers put together the
4 statement. She now accepts this was not true, as the statements were all
5 pre-prepared, she says, by the lawyers.
6 She said that when she first met Tabakovic she took notes. This
7 also was not true. And this was sometime in October 2008. She said she
8 got a statement from the lawyers, from Mr. Ivetic, co-counsel. She said
9 she printed it, met, showed it to Mr. Tabakovic. He agreed with it.
10 They then went to the municipality, certified the statement. And she was
11 told by the lawyers the statements had to be certified.
12 She said that after the statement was certified there was some
13 discussion with Mr. Tabakovic about what would happen next. She said
14 that the lawyers would get in touch with him, that they would probably
15 meet him in the new year, and she said she may have explained something
16 about a per diem.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down. Thank you.
18 MR. ROGERS: She also agreed that she met with Mr. X. She said
19 that she got his contact details from one of the lawyers as well. She
20 arranged to meet him in the city centre, at a cafe in Sarajevo, where she
21 said she took notes. And she said she took notes during all three
22 interviews which were sent to the lawyers and then a statement came back.
23 Again, this was not true.
24 In the case of Mr. X, she said the statement was sent back to her
25 by Dragan Ivetic, co-counsel. She said she met Tabakovic on one day and
1 X and Y together on a different day to sign the papers.
2 She also agreed that she had met with Mr. Y in a cafe, where
3 again she describes the same process of note-taking. She said she had
4 called to meet him in the cafe. She said when making the arrangements
5 she told him she was a representative of the Milan Lukic Defence. He
6 agreed to meet her. And she said she'd been provided with his mobile
7 telephone number by Milan Lukic and Jason Alarid in the The Hague.
8 Again, this was not true.
9 She said she called the lawyers after having taken the notes,
10 relayed her notes to them, and on the basis of those notes they put the
11 statements together and returned them to her, and Mr. Ivetic sent the
12 statements back to her within a couple of days. Again, not true.
13 She then met with Mr. Y at the municipality to sign the statement
14 and certify it. He read the statement, then it was signed and certified,
15 and she says she explained to him about his entitlement to witness
16 expenses. Of the manner in which she interviewed witnesses, she said, I
17 asked them to recall what had happened on a certain day and then they
18 were supposed to testify and I was taking notes on the basis of their
19 stories. These notes were taken on a laptop. When asked whether the
20 notes were still available, she said the notes were probably not now
21 available, as she had had a virus infect her laptop and they had cleaned
22 up all the hardware.
23 She said that the statements were based on the notes of
24 conversations she had had with the witness. But this was not true.
25 In the case of Tabakovic, she recalled he'd made no changes to
1 his statement, but later there was a word that needed to be changed and a
2 second statement was produced and signed, but this one was not certified.
3 Indeed she agreed that all three witnesses, Mr. Tabakovic, X, and
4 Y, had to make new statements with word changes. She said she'd met
5 Tabakovic three or four times and X and Y twice. However, X and Y said
6 they only met her once at the municipality to sign the statements. And
7 all three witnesses say they were never interviewed by her.
8 When asked whether any of the three ever received any money from
9 her, she said no, not even for a taxi. She said she may have bought them
11 When asked if she had ever shown to a witness any document to
12 assist them to jog their memory or any document to help them remember
13 things, she said she was absolutely certain she did not. In particular,
14 she denied ever providing Exhibit P5, which is the map, to Mr. Tabakovic
15 or any witness, despite the fact she agrees she wrote her name and
16 telephone number on the back of the map document. Of course, she now
17 agrees that she did in fact provide this document to Tabakovic.
18 When asked at the time if she'd ever seen such a document, she
19 said she had seen similar document when she was with Lukic and the
21 She denied ever giving Mr. Tabakovic 1.000 euros, with a promise
22 of more when he came to testify.
23 She denied ever asking Tabakovic to find other witnesses who
24 could testify in the Lukic case.
25 She said she may have given a pro-forma document to Tabakovic to
1 look at in order for him to agree what was written on the basis of an
2 interview with her, with the witness. It would have been in this form
3 because this is how counsel had sent it to her, she said. But she denied
4 that it was given to Tabakovic for him to show to another witness to
5 confirm the events contained in it.
6 Your Honour, that summarizes her interview.
7 Your Honour, the Prosecution says that Ms. Rasic occupied a
8 position of trust, as this Case Manager, whose activities were at a level
9 above those of Mr. Tabakovic, whilst he was a level himself above Mr. X
10 and Y. However, we accept that Ms. Rasic cannot be considered as the
11 main organiser or architect of this criminal scheme.
12 Your Honour, can I just deal with a few aspects of my learned
13 friend's sentencing submissions which she I know has -- which she has
14 very kindly provided and she's filed, but she also sent them to me in
15 advance. Just a few things I just want to touch upon, if I may.
16 First of all, she deals in the submission with co-operation.
17 Your Honours, whilst, of course, she did provide an interview to the
18 Prosecution, the Prosecution does not accept that there can be credit for
19 co-operation in it case because the interview actively misled the
20 investigation on particular key aspects of this case. So whilst it's a
21 fact it happened, we don't see that it could be used as mitigation in
22 this case. My learned friend will address you in due course.
23 Secondly, in relation to the guilty plea, at paragraph 13 of the
24 document she refers to the sentencing remarks of the Chamber in
25 Mr. Tabakovic's case. And, Your Honour, I'm sure it's unintentional, but
1 I'm not sure it quite captures the essence of the fullness of what the
2 Trial Chamber in the Tabakovic case said. So I urge you to look at the
3 paragraph 12 in full, which is one of the reasons why I set it out in
5 Your Honours, if I might just very briefly go into private
6 session to just deal with one or two aspects related to medical issues.
7 JUDGE MORRISON: Yes, let's do that.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 59 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MORRISON: Ms. Tapuskovic, can I ask whether or not you
9 wish to raise any observation as to the factual matters that Mr. Rogers
10 opened to the Court?
11 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 I would like to go back to some facts put forward by my learned
14 First of all, what Mr. Rogers pointed out is that the interview
15 the accused gave to the OTP in March 2008 cannot be considered
16 co-operation with the Tribunal.
17 JUDGE MORRISON: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry, I
18 may have mislead you. I'm simply interested -- I don't stop you from
19 dealing with that in due course when you address us on sentencing, but
20 I'm simply concerned, at the moment, with the basis of plea, the opening
21 of the factual basis of plea as opened by Mr. Rogers.
22 Is there anything that you materially disagree with in respect of
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No. I apologise, Your Honour, I
25 did not initially understand the question you put to me.
1 No, there is no disagreement between the Prosecution and the
2 Defence in that respect because we worked on that for a number of days,
3 so there is complete agreement with the factual basis as presented to the
4 Trial Chamber.
5 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you.
6 And I now pose the same question to Ms. Rasic.
7 Ms. Rasic, you've heard what's been said both by Mr. Rogers and
8 by your own counsel. Is there anything that you wish at this stage to
9 raise in respect to the factual basis upon which the Court would proceed
10 to sentence?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you.
13 Well, noting that, that there is no material disagreement, we
14 find that the accused's change of plea has been made voluntarily and
15 unequivocal and she's been properly informed by her counsel, and that
16 there is a sufficient factual basis for the crimes set out in the
17 Amended Indictment, which are now not the subject of any disagreement,
18 and therefore we confirm the findings of guilt already found, but in this
19 case with the added consideration of all the requirements of Rule 62 bis.
20 We've heard from Mr. Rogers as to what the OTP wishes to say
21 about sentencing.
22 Now, Ms. Tapuskovic, would you like to address us orally on
23 sentencing? Bearing in mind, that, of course, we've had and read, if I
24 may say so, the full and useful written material.
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 My only remark would be, although I don't know whether the OTP
2 and the Trial Chamber may already be informed, late last night we
3 submitted a corrigendum because paragraph 16 -- in paragraph 16 a
4 sentence was missing which we have -- which we sought to rectify with
5 this new submission of ours.
6 It is not my intention to re-elaborate what has been presented in
7 our mitigation submission, as I think that we gave good arguments based
8 on case law to assist the Trial Chamber in its final verdict.
9 What Mr. Rogers said, that cannot be, that the interview the
10 accused gave in March 2009 to the OTP could not be considered a
11 mitigating circumstance for a number of reasons.
12 If we go back to the stage of the pre-trial brief, the OTP
13 themselves stated in paragraphs 40 and 41, if my memory serves me well,
14 that the accused to a large extent confirmed the allegations of the
15 Prosecutor in the case against her.
16 In paragraph 42, I must point out the OTP presented everything
17 the accused did not confirm but was part of the OTP case. We refer to
18 the court law from the Vasiljevic, and I would also like to remind you of
19 the Plavsic case where, in the Sentencing Judgement, the Trial Chamber
20 concluded that in case there is no significant co-operation with the
21 Tribunal which can be considered mitigating circumstance, but the absence
22 of such co-operation cannot be considered an aggravating circumstance.
23 Just as in Vasiljevic, such co-operation or what she stated in
24 her interview, which was rather long and went on for most of the day of
25 the 3rd of March, 2009, she stated such facts that confirmed the
1 Prosecution case but, as we mention in our submission, she chose not to
2 make such statements that would -- that would incriminate herself.
3 As for the other argument of the Prosecution, before I deal with
4 that, I would like to go into private session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MORRISON: Yes. Allow that be done.
6 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 The reason why I wanted to be in private session was because I
10 wanted to address the health status of Jelena Rasic, although you have
11 inquired about that during my previous address.
12 We are perfectly clear on the matter that the Bulatovic case and
13 the suspended decision of the Court in that case referred to -- to the
14 health status of Kosta Bulatovic which was far more severe. And the
15 motion was probably submitted confidentially, therefore we were unable to
16 peruse it. As the Bench may well know, the conditions in the
17 Detention Unit that she is under at the moment, and she has been under
18 the same conditions for two months prior to her being provisionally
19 released, are in any case unique and in many respects make things more
21 In the Bulatovic motion, when we referred to it, we did not mean
22 to suggest to the Chamber that the health status of the two accused ought
23 to be compared. We believe it to be something that is not a necessary
24 exercise. We simply wanted to use that to illustrate the situation in
25 which there were a number of mitigating circumstances, which will be
1 accorded appropriate weight to by the Bench when considering the whole
2 case. The Bulatovic case was made reference to as an example to show
3 that there is a possibility of such a decision by this Chamber as well.
4 This would be it, in terms of my submissions for the time being.
5 We have explained our reasons in the written submission, and I've also
6 stated my position on the arguments presented by my learned friend from
7 the Prosecution.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you for that.
10 Reflecting on what you've just said, Ms. Tapuskovic, is it really
11 necessary for that to be redacted as being in private session? It's not
12 as if you touched upon any personal matters relating to the accused that
13 are of any great sensitivity.
14 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I accept that, Your Honour. I
15 believe it can be made public.
16 The confidentiality remains protected by the submission we filed.
17 JUDGE MORRISON: Exactly.
18 So we can go back into open session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MORRISON: And I take it the -- the principal thrust of the
22 argument as to the effect of incarceration on Ms. Rasic is because, being
23 female, she is not able to be accorded all of the privileges, such as
24 associations, sports, and all the rest, that might otherwise be accorded
25 to a male detainee.
1 I think that's probably the main point, is it not?
2 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's not only
3 sport. It includes communication with other detainees as well.
4 JUDGE MORRISON: Yes. So, I mean, effectively, being the only
5 female in the -- at the moment in the detention centre, she is
6 effectively in a degree of isolation which she wouldn't be were she male.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
8 Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, thank you very much, Ms. Tapuskovic. You
11 are -- the effect of what you have said orally and the effect of what you
12 have said in writing, you are content that the Chamber now deals with the
13 issue of sentencing upon the mixture of those written and oral
15 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you very much.
17 I think now I have to lift the confidentiality of the motion in
18 this case. The -- which is no longer appropriate.
19 MR. ROGERS: Yes, Your Honour, we agree.
20 JUDGE MORRISON: And, indeed, I ask the parties to withdraw any
21 pending and undecided motions that have been filed in this case.
22 MR. ROGERS: I think that applies to my learned friend. I don't
23 think -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
24 JUDGE MORRISON: [Overlapping speakers] ... I think so. That's --
25 they're now otiose and of no effect.
1 Now, I notice that there are some Rule 92 bis documents, and I
2 think some of those are ...
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE MORRISON: I've just been reminded that I ought to make
5 observations that the transcript page 28, line 10 to page 29, line 23,
6 are now in the public version of the transcript.
7 I was in receipt of a helpful e-mail where the -- concerning the
8 17 Rule 92 bis documents which were admitted as public exhibits because
9 you -- at the time there was no request for confidential status, and I
10 think those exhibits should be placed under seal, or some of them, with
11 redacted versions to be admitted. And the documents in question are P6
12 to P13, P37 to P40, P42, and P45 to P48.
13 MR. ROGERS: Yes, Your Honour, that's right.
14 JUDGE MORRISON: Let that be done.
15 MR. ROGERS: Thank you. And I hope that was of some help to
16 Your Honours, because we can identify the public redacted version exhibit
17 numbers, and if those exhibit numbers can be assigned as per the table, I
18 think we've got everything in apple pie order.
19 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you very much. That's very useful.
20 My colleagues and I were able to confer before the hearing and we
21 considered the issue as to whether or not we would move straight into
22 sentencing now or whether we wanted to reflect upon the written and oral
23 submissions and the transcript of today's proceedings, and we are
24 unanimous in our conclusion that we wanted to do the latter. And so we
25 are going to adjourn these proceedings today and re-list this case for
1 sentencing as soon as practicable.
2 The date that we are envisaging, but I do not fix it for this
3 date at the moment, will be next Tuesday. And if it's possible, we will
4 affix it as soon as possible for next Tuesday. Unless there are any
5 known difficulties with either party for that date.
6 MR. ROGERS: Not from my perspective, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MORRISON: No.
8 Ms. Tapuskovic?
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot recall
10 anything in particular. Now, hence, I believe have no problems with next
12 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you very much.
13 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
14 JUDGE MORRISON: Ms. Rasic, I hope you have heard and understood
15 everything that has happened. We are going to adjourn the hearing today
16 and reconvene as soon as practicable, possibly, but I do not say at the
17 moment conclusively, next Tuesday for purpose of passing sentence upon
18 you. In any event, it will be as soon as we can do so, having had the
19 opportunity for the Judges to meet and convene on these matters.
20 That being said, the case is adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.27 p.m.,
22 sine die.