1 Friday, 22 February 2008
2 [Status Conference]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good afternoon, everyone.
6 I should start by asking the Registrar to announce the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
8 This is case number IT-05-87/1-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vlastimir
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you so much.
11 Now, I wish you welcome. Welcome to the parties, welcome to
12 Mr. Djordjevic, welcome to everyone in and especially around the
13 courtroom. We are here today to have the second status conference,
14 because it was 120 days since we were here last. And as you know,
15 according to the Rules, we are required to check up on how you're doing,
16 Mr. Djordjevic, and how the case is progressing, by having a status
17 conference every four months.
18 We have, on the agenda today, just a few points to raise. The --
19 Mr. Djordjevic, can you hear me in a language ...
20 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
22 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: There is no translation in Serbian for the
23 accused Djordjevic. Something is not --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. I shall ask the court
25 officer and the interpreters to make sure that the accused can follow us
1 in a language that he understands.
2 THE ACCUSED: Okay.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do I understand that you are now able to follow
4 us, Mr. Djordjevic? Thank you very much.
5 I should then, for your benefit, just repeat what I just said;
6 namely, that according to our rules, to the Rules of the Tribunal, we are
7 required to meet every four months for the Chamber to check up on how you
8 are doing and how the proceedings against you are progressing, and for you
9 also to address any concerns directly to the Pre-Trial Judge, if you have
10 any concerns to raise. This is why we have these status conferences.
11 We have for today just a few points on the agenda. Most of them
12 deal with disclosure, and I think I would like to take those issues right
13 away, to embark on these issues right away.
14 The issue of pending motions has been resolved, in the sense that
15 there were a couple of motions from other co-accused to access into your
16 file, and equally you had requested access to the material in some other
17 files. All of these decisions have now been -- all of these motions have
18 now been dealt with, and I think that there are no further issues in
19 relation to the issue of access to material.
20 My staff has just reminded me that I still need to ask for the
21 appearance of the parties, and I apologise for that. So I would like the
22 Prosecution to present itself.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 I'm Chester Stamp, and with me is Patricia Neema, and our case
25 manager here today is Mr. Iain Reid.
1 Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
3 And for the Defence?
4 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: For the Defence, the lead counsel, Dragoljub
5 Djordjevic, and then the co-counsel, Mr. Veljko Djurdjic, and legal
6 assistant Ms. Marie O'Leary.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic.
9 As I said, we have no more issues in relation to access to
11 Then, Mr. Djordjevic, your counsel also filed two preliminary
12 motions, one on the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and one on the form of
13 the indictment. The first of these preliminary motions has been dealt
14 with, and you may already be aware of the result. We decided to deny that
15 motion or to dismiss it. As for the other motion relating to the defects
16 in the form of the indictment, the problem that is coming up in relation
17 to this motion is that the trial against you was originally, as you know,
18 a part of a trial against a number of other co-accused, Mr. Milutinovic
19 and others. If the fairness of the trial has to be respected, I believe
20 that we shall have to proceed in the trial against you on the same
21 conditions as the trial that is currently pending against Mr. Milutinovic.
22 This may imply that we should not amend or require the Prosecution
23 to seek amendment of your indictment in any way, because we will have to
24 then proceed with a trial against you on exactly the same terms as the
25 terms applied in the trial against Mr. Milutinovic and others. This is
1 why, although there may be reasons to actually seek amendments of the
2 indictment and improvement of some of the issues of the form of the
3 indictment, although I may have good reasons to do so, I still may have to
4 stay away from that possibility in order to ensure that the trial against
5 you is conducted on terms that are not different in any way from the terms
6 of the Milutinovic trial.
7 But let us see how this issue appears once the judgement has been
8 rendered in the Milutinovic trial. Only when the Trial Chamber has
9 completed its proceedings and rendered its judgement will we be able to
10 assess whether there is room for altering the indictment against you, and
11 I have therefore suggested that the Trial Chamber -- or the Pre-Trial
12 Judge, that is, myself, that I will seek to resolve this issue no later
13 than three weeks after the judgement in the Milutinovic case. So as soon
14 as that judgement has been rendered, we will immediately have a look again
15 at your indictment, and if there is room for any amendments, we will have
16 them made very quickly.
17 As far as disclosure is concerned -- Mr. Stamp?
18 MR. STAMP: I'm wondering, Your Honour, if the agenda or the way
19 in which you intend to conduct these proceedings would --
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: I -- sorry.
21 MR. STAMP: I'm wondering if I may interpose something here, since
22 you're moving on to something else, or if I should await all of your
23 comments before seeking --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: What do you have in mind?
25 MR. STAMP: It's in respect to the comments you made about the
1 timing of a decision on the motion of the Defence on the form of the
3 At the status -- at the Rule 65 ter decision discussions
4 yesterday, at that meeting I had indicated that there was some uncertainty
5 about when we could expect a judgement in the Milutinovic case, and I have
6 reflected upon what I said and have had discussions with other persons
7 involved in that case, and it is probably unlikely that we could expect a
8 decision in that case in a time frame that would enable the Court -- or
9 this Trial Chamber to abide by the schedule I see at items 8 and 9 of the
10 work plan. It might well be that a judgement in the Milutinovic case
11 might not be granted -- not might well be; it is probable that it will not
12 be rendered before those dates. So I wish to bring that to the Court's
13 attention that perhaps that --
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Stamp. I think we shall revert to
15 that issue when we get to points 8 and 9 on my --
16 MR. STAMP: All right.
17 The other comment I wanted to make, to tell the Court, that the
18 Prosecution in this case had intended to apply to amend the indictment.
19 We were hoping to have the judgement or the decision on the form of the
20 indictment first, before we made an application -- but we do intend at
21 some point in time to make an application, and this would be base of the
22 experience that we have had in the Milutinovic case. And on the basis of
23 that experience, we believe that perhaps an amendment to the indictment in
24 some areas, not necessarily in the issue as to mode of liability, but as
25 far as some of the incidents that are named are concerned, may well be
1 more illustrated -- may advance the ability of the Trial Chamber to do
2 justice in the case.
3 So I just give notice that that is something the Prosecution is
4 considering, and to some extent that might well depend on the timing of a
5 decision on the form of the indictment.
6 Thank you very much for allowing me to interpose here, Your
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
9 My suggestion would be that we seek -- you may sit -- that we seek
10 to raise this issue in a 65 ter meeting quite soon, where we can sit down
11 with the Defence and evaluate or assess the areas in which it might be
12 possible to call for an amendment of the indictment at this early time,
13 but I will get back to you both, both the Prosecution and the Defence, on
14 this issue when we have had a chance to look at it again.
15 Mr. Djordjevic, do you have anything to add to what Mr. Stamp has
16 made known to us?
17 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: Not for now, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
19 Now, as far as disclosure is concerned, I understand that the
20 supporting material has, even a long time ago, been handed over to the
21 Defence in a hard copy and in a language that the accused understands, so
22 that's not an issue any longer. But as far as the issue of hard copies
23 was concerned, an exchange of letters has been held between the parties in
24 which your Defence counsel, Mr. Djordjevic, has asked that you be provided
25 with a hard copy of all the supporting material and the statements that
1 will follow according to Rule 66(A)(ii).
2 We were also informed that you had been given a small computer in
3 the Detention Unit, but that there was a problem because you were, at
4 present, not able to fully use that computer. We therefore inquired with
5 the Detention Unit whether it was possible to provide some training for
6 you, and I have been informed by the UNDU that there is a computer support
7 clerk available in the prison and that the person is able to teach you the
8 basic steps to use the computer and how to open the CDs and the DVDs that
9 you get from the Prosecution.
10 I also understand that there was a course offered to the detainees
11 and that each of the detainees who wished to avail themselves to this
12 course were required to sign up for the course. I don't know if you have
13 done so, but if you have not, I strongly invite you to sign up for the
14 course and to make yourself available to the teaching that is offered in
15 the UNDU so that you can use the computer and open the CDs that are
16 provided to you. It's much, much easier to handle things by way of a
17 computer than it is to have a lot of paper stored in your room at the
18 Detention Unit, and I'm sure that you will, with some practice, be able to
19 appreciate the advantages of using a computer. So I warmly and strongly
20 encourage you and invite you to make use of this option.
21 In relation to the issue of disclosure of witness statements from
22 witnesses that are going to be called at trial, of course, this does in
23 some respects depend on which witnesses the Prosecution, in the end,
24 decides to call - not until then, of course, will it be possible to say
25 exactly which statements they should give to you - but as I did yesterday
1 in the 65 ter meeting, I will repeat again here in open court that I
2 invite and encourage the Prosecution to make available to Mr. Djordjevic
3 and the Defence statements of witnesses whom you already at this time will
4 know for sure that you will call at trial, so that the Defence can start
5 working on these statements as soon as possible.
6 I also understand that there was an issue of the Defence getting a
7 number of DVDs from the Prosecution, and we witnessed yesterday that an
8 exchange was made. And I don't know if, in the meantime, you,
9 Mr. Djordjevic, if you have had the time to check whether these new DVDs
10 that you got can be opened.
11 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: Yes, Your Honour, we checked all DVDs, and
12 it's all right now. Thank you.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm relieved to hear this and thank the
14 Prosecution for providing the new materials. And should it ever happen
15 again, that the DVDs cannot be opened, then please do not hesitate to
16 contact Mr. Stamp or Mr. Hannis right away, or the case manager, so that
17 you can have the problem resolved.
18 The next issue is the issue of disclosure of exculpatory material,
19 and this, as you may know, Mr. Djordjevic, is an obligation that is
20 incumbent on the Prosecution. It's an ongoing obligation, so as soon as
21 the Prosecution discovers that it has material that might be exculpatory
22 for you, it has the obligation to immediately provide this information to
23 you. So no time limit can or should be set for this. This is an
24 obligation that applies to the Prosecution at all times. But there is one
25 thing that will facilitate this process, and that is the extent in which
1 the Defence is able to identify, search -- or key words by which searches
2 can be made for exculpatory material. This is not something that can be
3 done at this moment, probably, because it takes time for the Defence to
4 get accustomed to the case and to get into the case, and not until the
5 Defence counsel has had a chance to really go through all the material
6 will you be able to identify key words that will then enable the
7 Prosecution to search for further exculpatory material.
8 But this is something that really requires a close cooperation
9 between the parties. You may already at this point have been made aware
10 of certain key points that you want the Prosecution to apply in its search
11 for exculpatory material, and so I would imagine that you, every now and
12 then, contact the Prosecution and ask for searches to be made on these
13 issues, rather than waiting to the end and coming up with all of your key
14 words, then you might want to discuss this with the Prosecution and have
15 them make searches every now and then as soon as you have discovered new
16 key words that you wish to you to apply. I guess this is the sensible way
17 of getting around the searches.
18 Each of the parties will, at trial, present expert witnesses, and
19 each of the witnesses will present expert reports, and I imagine that the
20 Prosecution will be able to, fairly soon, to identify the experts that
21 they wish to bring at trial. And I would ask them to identify their
22 expert witnesses and to submit the reports of these expert witnesses
23 before 15th of March of this year, and I hope that the Prosecution is
24 ready and willing to do so.
25 Can you confirm that, Mr. Stamp?
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, we are in a position to abide by
2 that order.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. That sounds good.
4 And then as we get closer to trial, we will expect to see lists of
5 witnesses and motions filed under Rule 92 bis and 92 ter and 92 quater,
6 but I think we should not set any time limit for this at this moment. It
7 is simply too early and the trial is too far away for us to handle this
8 with any degree of precision. So let us wait until we get closer to the
9 beginning of the trial, and we can then set deadlines for submission of
10 these motions.
11 The same goes for the attempts to identify facts adjudicated in
12 previous trials. Of course, the first trial -- the first judgement that
13 we will look into is the Milutinovic judgement, and not until that has
14 been rendered will we be able to see a motion in regard to taking judicial
15 notice of facts that have been adjudicated in that judgement.
16 Finally, the issue of alibi, according to Rule 67 of the Rules, if
17 the Defence intends to present the defence of alibi on behalf of
18 Mr. Djordjevic, the Defence will be requested to do so no later than two
19 weeks before the Prosecution's pre-trial brief so that we can give the
20 Prosecution a bit of time to respond to such a claim for alibi.
21 And this is where we come to the points 8 and 9 on the work plan.
22 We had anticipated, in the Chamber, that the trial could possibly start
23 sometime in the fall of this year; October, November, December. And if
24 that were so, we would then ask the parties to present their pre-trial
25 briefs a couple of months ahead of that, so that we would expect the
1 Prosecution to submit its pre-trial brief sometime in July and the
2 Defence, respectively, to file its pre-trial brief sometime in August.
3 Now, Mr. Stamp, you just suggested that we may be speaking of
4 something that we have not understood fully, so will you please enlighten
5 us as to what the prospects are for the rendering of the judgement in
7 MR. STAMP: From this side, it is really a matter of estimation. I
8 think the Chamber itself could indicate when it is likely that a judgement
9 could be rendered.
10 What I can say is that in discussion with counsel in the
11 Milutinovic case, we were seeking a period of two to three months from the
12 end of the hearing.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: And when do you have the end of the hearings in
14 Milutinovic? Sorry?
15 MR. STAMP: No, I was saying we were having discussions, and in
16 that discussions we were seeking of the Chamber a time frame of two to
17 three months from the end of the reception of evidence to the closing
18 brief of the parties. So if the evidence -- if the trial, in terms of the
19 evidence, ends in March or April, we were speaking about June, and I'm
20 sure the Chamber would need some time, in a case that has gone on for two
21 years at a very hectic pace, to deliver its judgement.
22 So the judgement, it is my estimation, and I can only estimate, is
23 unlikely to be rendered in the first half of this year. It is probably
24 going to be rendered after the 1st of July.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, I fully agree, and this was also the premise
1 on which our estimation was based. When I said that the earliest possible
2 time the trial against Mr. Djordjevic could start would be sometime in the
3 fall, that corresponds and coincides, actually, with your assessment.
4 MR. STAMP: We were thinking that perhaps it might be -- it might
5 present us some difficulty to go ahead with a pre-trial brief without
6 having had the benefit of the decision on the form of the indictment. We
7 were of the view that the indictment itself should be settled before we
8 reach that stage, not only in terms of any alteration that might have to
9 be made, having regard to the decision itself, but also how the Court
10 would receive and deal with any application -- or [indiscernible] that you
11 expect to make to amend the indictment.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well.
13 I was under the impression, when we had the meeting yesterday,
14 that you would prefer the Chamber to pursue the line that we have taken so
15 far, that is to say to simply wait, but I now hear you saying that you
16 would actually wish to see a decision on the form of the indictment
17 earlier than that. If I had not misunderstood, then, this is a slightly
18 new version of the Prosecution's view --
19 MR. STAMP: Yes.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: And I fully respect that, and I think upon your
21 call, we will then revisit our decision to postpone the decision on the
22 form of the indictment and maybe actually hand down a decision pretty
23 soon, because, you see, if the indictment won't change much anyway, then
24 there is no reason to wait. Then we might as well say, well, the
25 indictment stands as it stands, because Mr. Djordjevic should be tried on
1 the same conditions as Mr. Milutinovic and the other co-accused in that
2 case, so we'll just simply confirm the indictment as it is now, and then
3 only perhaps open for a review if that is called for by the -- upon
4 delivery of the judgement in Milutinovic. And if you think this is a wise
5 approach, and I have much sympathy for that, then I think this is what
6 we'll do.
7 Mr. Djordjevic.
8 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: By your permission, Your Honour, I will
9 continue in B/C/S, if I may.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Absolutely.
11 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: Okay.
12 [Interpretation] Your Honour, personally I believe that apart from
13 the trial -- to the right of a fair trial, each accused has the right to
14 stand trial within a reasonable period of time. Since this accused was a
15 part of the same indictment with the other accused in the Milutinovic
16 case, and concerning the right he has you mentioned, to be tried under the
17 same conditions as the other accused were, and especially having in mind
18 the fact that the Prosecutor, up to the tiniest detail when forwarding all
19 of the documents supporting the indictment against Milutinovic et al,
20 which was subsequently broadened to include our accused, Mr. Djordjevic,
21 the situation is, in my opinion, that the Prosecution, as of that moment
22 and in relation to the so-called "Kosovo case," which is Milutinovic et
23 al, has definitive and detailed knowledge concerning Mr. Djordjevic
24 himself. Therefore, it is my position that the Prosecution can do that
25 straight away.
1 This Defence has no such information, and by being forced to wait,
2 we will be put in a position not to be able to execute our tasks with due
3 diligence, unless the Prosecutor is going to submit all of the material
4 within a reasonable time. That is why I believe, first of all respecting
5 the right to have a trial held within a reasonable time and the right to a
6 fair trial, the Prosecution could have already amended the indictment
7 pertaining to Mr. Djordjevic. There will be nothing new after the
8 Milutinovic judgement, I believe, at least not on the Prosecution side.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Whether or not the judgement in Milutinovic will
11 allow for amendments of the indictment against Mr. Djordjevic still
12 remains to be seen, but I hear both parties being in agreement of the
13 Chamber handing down a decision on the form of the indictment upon your
14 motion, Mr. Djordjevic, and if this is correctly understood, the Chamber
15 will proceed to issue its decision to respond to your motion.
16 Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I would agree that that is the
18 position. But to clarify, I just point out that having regard to the
19 dates here, it is the position of the Prosecution -- the recommendation of
20 the Prosecution that it is best if the indictment is settled before those
21 dates, and that is all I wish to point out to the Court.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: That is obvious, so we'll proceeding accordingly.
23 And we will then, if needed, be able to review the dates that we
24 have suggested for submission of the pre-trial briefs, once we have issued
25 the decision, but I thank you both for your willingness to go along this
1 line and for your submissions in this respect.
2 I think this pretty much brings us to the end of what I had on my
3 agenda, except for one thing, and that is to address the issue of your
4 health, Mr. Djordjevic. I wish to know if you are in good health and
5 shape and if you have any concerns that you wish to raise with me at this
6 moment concerning your conditions of detention.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have nothing to say
8 about the Detention Unit. My conditions are the same as the others.
9 As for the use of the PC, I am really not capable of learning
10 anything, and I believe that I should be able and should be allowed to
11 work with papers, because that is the only way I can actually peruse all
12 the material and be able to respond to any motions.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
14 I'm happy to hear that you are at least in good health. As far as
15 the provision of hard copies is concerned, I think your Defence counsel
16 will provide you with the hard copies of the things that the Prosecution
17 is not required to submit to you in hard copy, according to the Rules. So
18 whatever the Prosecution has to give to you in hard copy, it will give to
19 you in hard copy, and the rest will then be provided by your Defence
21 Now, in order to make life easier also for your Defence counsel,
22 it would be a big help for your Defence counsel and thereby also for me or
23 for the Chamber if you could learn how to use a computer. It's not that
24 difficult, and I'm sure you will have great fun in learning how to do
25 this. So in your own interests and in the interests of your Defence
1 counsel, and thereby in the interests of the Chamber, I would, again as I
2 said, encourage you to pick it up and to take the training that can be
3 offered and can be arranged for you in the Detention Unit. You probably
4 don't need more than, I don't know, five, ten, maybe to fifteen lessons
5 with a computer teacher in the Detention Unit, and then you will be fully
6 capable of using your computer.
7 If the parties do not have any other issues to raise, and I wish
8 to ask the parties if this is so, the Prosecution, do you have anything
10 MR. STAMP: Sorry. Nothing to raise. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Djordjevic.
13 MR. D. DJORDJEVIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: In that case, we can conclude this status
15 conference, and we will meet again in about four months' time. And I'll
16 let you know, through my staff, who can suggest new dates for the next
18 Thank you very much. This meeting is adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
20 3.12 p.m.