Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Tuesday, 19 June 2007

 2                          [Initial Appearance]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 12.27 p.m.

 6            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.

 7            THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  This is case number

 8    IT-05-87/1-I, the Prosecutor versus Vlastimir Djordjevic.

 9            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  And could I have the appearances from

10    the Prosecution?

11            MR. HANNIS:  Thank you, Your Honour.  My name is Tom Hannis.  I

12    represent the OTP.  I'm assisted today by trial attorney Christina Moeller

13    on my right and on my left our case manager, Susan Grogan.

14            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  And the Prosecution [sic]?

15            MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  And

16    my learned friends, I'm Jelena Nikolic.  I'm duty counsel currently

17    representing General Vlastimir Djordjevic.

18            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you, Ms. Nikolic, and I thank you for your

19    willingness to take care of this matter today.  Good afternoon, everyone

20    inside the courtroom and in the gallery.

21            This is the Initial Appearance under Rule 62 of the Tribunal's

22    Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Initial Appearance of Mr. Vlastimir

23    Djordjevic, who was indicted by the Tribunal in October 2003, and who was

24    arrested Sunday last in Montenegro, I understand, and brought here to the

25    Tribunal on that same day.

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 1            Now, once an accused has been arrested and brought to the seat of

 2    the Tribunal, the first thing that has to happen is that the accused must

 3    be brought before the Trial Chamber to which the case was assigned by the

 4    president or to a Judge of that Chamber, and there, he must make a plea of

 5    either guilty or not guilty to the charges raised against him in the

 6    indictment.  That is the sole purpose of this hearing today and that's all

 7    that's going to happen.

 8            But before we begin, I'd like to ascertain that you,

 9    Mr. Djordjevic, can hear me and understand what I'm saying.

10            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you and understand you.

11            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  The first thing I guess I

12    should do is to establish that you are who you are.  So I would like you

13    to state your full name.

14            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Vlastimir Djordjevic.

15            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  And what is your date of birth?

16            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 17th of November, 1948.

17            JUDGE HARHOFF:  And your place of birth?

18            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The village of Koznica, Vladicin Han

19    municipality, Serbia.

20            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  And what is your nationality?

21            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Serbian.

22            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Mr. Djordjevic, where did you reside at the time

23    of your arrest?  What was your --

24            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Belgrade, Belgrade Battalion 39 is

25    the name of the street.

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 1            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  And what was your occupation

 2    when you were arrested?

 3            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A retiree.

 4            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  And lastly, could you inform us of the

 5    name of your father and mother?

 6            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My father's name is Stojan.  My

 7    mother's name is Rusiteva.

 8            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  Mr. Djordjevic, has your family been

 9    informed of your arrest and transfer to the seat of the Tribunal?

10            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

11            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.  Pursuant, then, to Article 20 of the

12    statute, I first have to satisfy myself that your rights at this stage of

13    the proceedings have been respected, including your right to be promptly

14    informed of the charges against you and of your right to counsel.  These

15    rights are enshrined in Article 21 of the statute and they include the

16    right to a fair and public hearing, the right to be presumed innocent

17    until proven guilty, the right to be informed promptly and in detail in a

18    language you understand of the nature and of the cause of the charges

19    against you, the right to have adequate time and facilities for the

20    preparation of your defence, and to communicate with counsel of your own

21    choosing, the right to be tried without undue delay, the right to be tried

22    in your presence and to defend yourself in person or through legal

23    assistance of your own choosing, and to be informed of this right,

24    including the right to have legal counsel assigned to you where the

25    interests of justice so require, and without payment by you, if you have

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 1    not sufficient means to pay for counsel by yourself, also the right to

 2    examine and have examined the witnesses against you at trial and to obtain

 3    the attendance and examination of witnesses on your behalf under the same

 4    conditions as those witnesses brought against you, also the right to have

 5    free assistance of an interpreter if you do not understand or speak any of

 6    the languages which are used in this Tribunal, and finally, the right not

 7    to be compelled to testify against yourself or to confess guilt.

 8            I have to ask you, Mr. Djordjevic, if you were advised of these

 9    rights upon your arrest and if you have received a copy of the

10    indictment.  Do you -- did you receive a copy of the indictment and have

11    you been advised of these rights when you were arrested or when you came

12    to the Tribunal?

13            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have been informed about all of my

14    rights in accordance with the Statute and yes, I did receive a copy of the

15    indictment.

16            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  Let's then proceed with your

17    plea to the charges raised in the indictment.  I should also ask you,

18    Mr. Djordjevic, if you have had a chance to discuss the indictment with

19    your duty counsel.

20            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.  I have had the occasion.

21            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Now, Mr. Djordjevic, according to Rule 62(A) (iii)

22    you may take up to 30 days to consider your plea but you may also enter

23    your plea today.  Have you decided which of the two options you wish to

24    pursue today?  Are you ready to enter your plea to the charges in the

25    indictment today or do you wish to postpone this and then within the next

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 1    30 days have another Initial Appearance?

 2            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Given that I have not resolved the

 3    issue of permanent counsel, I have decided, after talking to the duty

 4    counsel, to postpone my plea for 30 days.

 5            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Very well.  I will then instruct the registrar to

 6    schedule a date for a second Initial Appearance in which the accused will

 7    enter his final plea to the charges.

 8            This makes it easy because we can then proceed to the completion

 9    of this hearing.

10            MR. HANNIS:  Your Honour, if I may raise a point?  I'm not sure we

11    had established yet whether -- we haven't read the indictment to him.  I

12    understand that he was willing to waive it but I don't know if we made

13    that point on the record yet.

14            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I'll be perfectly willing to read out the points

15    in the indictment or to just summarise them very briefly but I suppose

16    that this is really not necessary in the circumstances, since he's going

17    to plead again.

18            MR. HANNIS:  I think that's fine, Your Honour, if we take it up

19    then.

20            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Mr. Djordjevic, before we conclude, I would like

21    to ask you about your health and if you have anything to say, we can go

22    into private session, if you so prefer.  What I want to know is whether

23    you are in good shape or whether you are in need of particular medical

24    assistance or if there are any other conditions that the Court needs to be

25    advised of before we move on.

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 1            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When I arrived here, I was examined

 2    by a general practitioner.  It was established that there are no problems,

 3    and everything is all right as far as my accommodation is concerned and

 4    the staff employed there.  There are no problems.

 5            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Do you have any points that you wish to raise at

 6    this moment regarding your detention?  Is there any matter that you wish

 7    to raise at this point?

 8            THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.  Everything is fine, and I think

 9    that it is in compliance with the existing rules.

10            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Is there anything that the parties wish to bring

11    up at this moment?

12            MR. HANNIS:  Your Honour, I just wanted to indicate to the Court

13    that typically we would make disclosure right away, but in the past when

14    we've had temporary counsel appointed we found it more efficient to wait

15    until we determine who the permanent counsel is going to be because we

16    made disclosure and then it got lost or incompletely transferred.  So once

17    we are informed of who the permanent counsel will be, we will proceed

18    immediately to make disclosure.

19            JUDGE HARHOFF:  I was just going to raise that point because I

20    believe that the rules require that you hand over the copies of the

21    accompanying material to the accused 30 days after the Initial Appearance,

22    but I suppose this is the final Initial Appearance they are talking

23    about.  Nevertheless, for the purpose of facilitating the accused's

24    considerations of choosing his counsel, he may wish to be given a copy of

25    the accompanying material, if that is possible, right away.  And it also

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 1    may be convenient for the duty counsel to have access to that material in

 2    order to discuss with him which of the counsels he may wish to choose.

 3    So, Mr. Prosecutor, if it can be done without too much trouble, I would

 4    prefer that you hand over the copies of the accompanying material to the

 5    accused and his duty counsel as soon as possible, and then I'm sure that

 6    the duty counsel will hand over that material immediately to the assigned

 7    counsel once we get that far, but I don't think there is any reason to

 8    prevent the accused from having access to this material.  He needs all the

 9    time he can get.

10            MR. HANNIS:  I agree.  One catch for the accused and whoever

11    permanent counsel will be is that under my understanding, the time limit

12    for filing motions begins to run for them when the disclosure is

13    received.  So duty counsel may receive the material tomorrow.  The time

14    limit starts running and permanent counsel may not come on until the day

15    that motions are required to be filed.  I just want to alert the accused

16    and counsel to that.

17            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you very much.  Nevertheless, I think you

18    should proceed with making these copies available to the accused.  Any

19    other matters to raise, yes, Ms. Nikolic?

20            MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, just two

21    sentences.  I have the same position as my learned friend from the

22    Prosecution.  I do believe that the disclosure should begin -- should

23    start when the permanent counsel is appointed, given that the deadlines

24    start running from the moment the supporting material is received.  Thank

25    you.

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 1            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Yes.  My point was that the accused will be in

 2    great need to see everything that is available at this moment to him as

 3    soon as possible, and if he wishes to raise any motions, of course, he

 4    will be aware that the time limit starts running from today and I assume

 5    that you will advise him properly to this effect so I think we should

 6    proceed the way I have suggested.

 7            There was one thing that I wanted to ask about to the Prosecution,

 8    and that relates to the proximity of this case with the trial against

 9    Milutinovic and others.  And I would be curious to know if the Prosecution

10    has any intention of filing a motion for joinder or rather rejoinder of

11    this case to the Milutinovic trial.

12            MR. HANNIS:  Your Honour, that has been discussed internally.  We

13    have not made a final decision.  We are trying to weigh the logistical

14    pros and cons of that matter.  But that's something that we will make a

15    final decision shortly.  And we have a Pre-Defence Conference that's

16    Friday in the remainder of the case with Judge Bonomy and I'm sure it's a

17    matter we will talk about then.

18            JUDGE HARHOFF:  Thank you.  I realise the enormous difficulties in

19    joining the case, but I just wanted to know if you had that intention.

20            MR. HANNIS:  Thank you.

21            JUDGE HARHOFF:  This concludes the business for today.  This

22    meeting is adjourned.

23                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.44 p.m.