1 Friday, 17 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [Status Conference]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 12.38 p.m.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good afternoon, everybody. Madam Registrar, will
7 you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case IT-05-87/1-PT, The
10 Prosecutor versus Vlastimir Djordjevic.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And could I have the appearances for
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm Tom Hannis on behalf of
14 the Office of the Prosecutor. I'm joined today by trial attorney Priya
15 Gopalan and our case manager, Line Pedersen.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. And for the Defence.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I'm Dragoljub Djordjevic, lead counsel; Veljko
18 Djurdjic, co-counsel; and our legal assistant Mary O'Leary. Thank you.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, and welcome to you all. I'm
20 happy to see you, as I understand that you had difficulties in the
21 airport and difficulties in the traffic. But you are here, and I'm very
22 pleased; and welcome to you, too, Mr. Djordjevic.
23 We have only very few things to discuss today, and the reason we
24 had the status conference is that we are required by the rules to have
25 such conferences every 120 days, and it is just about that time since we
1 had the last status conference.
2 We are very close to the end of the pretrial phase, so I assume
3 that this will be my last status conference, as I expect to hand over the
4 case to the president's office next week and to tell the president that
5 we are now ready for trial. The only thing that remains for me to do is
6 to meet with you, with the parties again in the beginning of November to
7 see if we can find some common ground in the agreement of -- sorry, in
8 the list of witnesses that are going to be suggested to us by the
9 Prosecution under Rule 92 bis, ter, and quater. But that is something
10 that I'm doing in order to assist the final Trial Chamber to make a
11 determination about the witnesses. Obviously, it is for the Trial
12 Chamber to rule on this matter, but I thought that it would be my duty as
13 the pre-trial judge to prepare the ground as much as possible for the
14 Trial Chamber.
15 In any case, we expect that this case will go to trial very soon.
16 I think we are almost on the top of the list, if in fact we are not the
17 top case to be starting next. So the only thing that remains is for the
18 president to decide to begin the trial and to have judges assigned to
19 this case.
20 We have circulated a small agenda just to have an indication of
21 the issues that we are going to talk about today, and the first point on
22 the agenda is the question of pending motions, and I think that there is
23 at this time only one or maybe two outstanding motions, namely the motion
24 presented by the Defence for translation into B/C/S of the Prosecution
25 pre-trial brief.
1 As you know, Mr. Djordjevic, it is unusual for the pre-trial
2 briefs to be translated into B/C/S, but we decided in order to assist you
3 and particularly to assist the accused, to make an exception in your case
4 and actually to ask the translation services to translate the pre-trial
5 brief. So I will file this afternoon my decision to allow for the
6 translation of the Prosecution's pre-trial brief. I don't know how long
7 it will take, but I will ask the translation services to complete the
8 translation as quickly as they can so as to enable you, Mr. Djordjevic,
9 to acquaint yourself fully with the contents of the Prosecution's brief.
10 Otherwise, I think that the issue of the expert witnesses has
11 been completed, but I had an indication from the Defence that there was
12 something missing in the expert witness's filings. Is that correct, Mr.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: That's correct.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: And can you enlighten us what it is that is still
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Now my legal assistant will tell you what's
18 missing in our materials.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'd be pleased. Ms. O'Leary.
20 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour. If I may, regarding the
21 experts, there were filings by the Prosecution, the notice of experts; we
22 filed ours on May 30th regarding the 94 bis notice. I believe it's still
23 outstanding, but it's also our belief that maybe it was tabled for the
24 Trial Chamber to decide when the trial commences.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: That may well be so. I'll need to check this
1 with my staff, and if we need to issue an order, then of course, we will
2 do it if we do not alternatively leave this to the Trial Chamber to
3 decide. But I'll consult with my staff after this meeting. Thank you
4 very much. So this --
5 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: So this completes our assessment of the pending
8 Then as regards the developments since the last status
9 conference, for your information, Mr. Djordjevic, I suppose that you have
10 been briefed by your Defence counsels, but we have had a series of
11 meetings to look at the facts that could be agreed on and in particular
12 to look at the documents that the parties can agree on, and we have
13 identified a great number of documents, and I'm sure the Trial Chamber
14 will be very appreciative of this when they start the trial. And again,
15 I wish for the record to thank both parties for being very flexible and
16 forthcoming in this approach.
17 As I said before, I also wish to address the issues of the
18 witnesses that are being proposed by the Prosecution under Rule 92 bis,
19 92 ter, 92 quater; and we have set aside meetings from the 4th to the
20 11th of November, I think, for this purpose. And as I have indicated, I
21 wish to go through the lists very carefully and check the necessity of
22 bringing each of these witnesses.
23 As for the next point on the agenda, the issue of disclosure, I
24 think that everything has been disclosed, that is to say, both the
25 supporting material under Rule 66(a)(i) and also the witness statements
1 under Rule 66(a)(ii). I want to take this opportunity to ensure that
2 what the Prosecution has disclosed has in fact been disclosed in B/C/S.
3 Can I have the parties confirm this?
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I can't give you an exact number. I
5 know we have a few items that we're still awaiting translations for, but
6 they have been requested, and I expect those shortly, and they'll be
7 transmitted forthwith. But the overwhelming majority of the material has
8 been disclosed in B/C/S.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Do you have an indication as to when
10 the missing pieces...
11 MR. HANNIS: I don't have a specific indication, but I have no
12 reason to think that it's not going to be coming in very soon. I don't
13 anticipate it to be so long or of such a volume that it would impact the
14 on a start date for the trial.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: That's exactly what I wanted to hear, and can I
16 just ask the Defence to confirm this?
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] We can confirm this. To a
18 general degree, we can confirm this. But we are still expecting the
19 material, which is exculpatory material, to receive it from the
20 Prosecution if there is still any such material, and that is mostly what
21 we are expecting to receive from the Prosecution other than the things
22 that Mr. Hannis already referred to. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. I was just coming to
24 the Rule 68 material. Mr. Prosecutor, where are we in the disclosure of
25 exculpatory material?
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, to my knowledge --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. Your Honour, to my understanding, we are
4 up to date. As you know, it's an ongoing process. We regularly get --
5 search information on our proposed witnesses, and we go through those to
6 see if there are any new items or new materials that might fall under
7 Rule 68, and we provide those to the Defence as we get them. From my
8 experience here, it's a process that will go on through the trial and
9 throughout the appeal if there's an appeal in this case.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: And even after. I didn't mention the fact that
11 Rule 68 disclosure is an ongoing obligation because I thought we had
12 heard this, all of us, ad nauseam; but I want to ensure that you, Mr.
13 Djordjevic, have -- that the Defence has provided the Prosecution with
14 all the relevant search criteria that they would need in order to provide
15 68 material. Are you in regular contact with the Prosecution in order to
16 feed them with the search criteria that they will need in order to
17 identify exculpatory stuff?
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. For the most
19 part we do have constant contact, regular contact, and we believe, also,
20 that it is our duty that whenever we get any information, of course, it's
21 in our interest, in the interest of the Defence to provide the
22 Prosecution with the parameters for searches pursuant to this rule.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. Well, I think this brings
24 us to the end of the issue of disclosure. As I have said already, the
25 issue of witnesses to be suggested under Rules 92 bis, ter, and quater
1 will be coming up. I think we set the deadline for the Prosecution to
2 submit these lists for 28 [Realtime transcript read in error, "22"]
3 October, and then we will have the meetings to look into the lists
4 shortly afterwards.
5 Just to be sure, Rule 67 raises the issue of alibi, and I think
6 we have confirmation from the Defence that no alibi will be suggested by
7 the Defence; is that correct?
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes, Your Honour. That's correct.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. Just for the record so that
10 we can have it and pass it on to the Trial Chamber.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [In English] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] We would also like to note that
14 we still haven't received some outstanding material from the Haradinaj
15 case relating to the Prosecution; then from the Milosevic case pursuant
16 to Rule 70; from the Limaj case, also; the Milutinovic case; the
17 disclosures of the 9th of July; some audio materials and recordings are
18 missing that were promised to us that we still have not received. But we
19 don't believe that this is of a crucial importance for the Defence, but
20 we would just like to indicate that we also expect that this would be
21 handed over to us in the meantime. From the Limaj case, I just want to
22 say that we have received the complete material. As for the rest that I
23 referred to, that is, in general lines, it. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. I suppose that the
25 material that you are seeking is material that will have to be granted to
1 you by the other Trial Chambers, so this is really beyond my area of
2 responsibility. Do you have any indication from those other Trial
3 Chambers as to when this -- when the decisions to grant or to deny you
4 access to the material will be coming?
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [In English] Not for now, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. There isn't much I can do about it,
7 really, except that I can inquire through my staff when a decision is
8 expected from those other Trial Chambers.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I just want to -- I just want to remark that we
10 have all decision, but we still waiting for materials. That's it.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. So the Trial Chambers have rendered their
12 decisions; it's just that the material never arrived?
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: And that material, I suppose, would be required
15 from the Prosecution.
16 MR. HANNIS: That's being furnished by the registry, Your Honour,
17 as I understand it. But I know that sometimes a delay in the process
18 involves if there were matters that were heard in private session or may
19 have involved Rule 70 materials, and I have worked with the registry
20 officer on some of those related cases with prior disclosures that we've
21 already made where that's an issue, that we are then asked to review
22 those sections of the transcript to see if there's anything that needs to
23 be redacted or that we need to seek further permission from a Rule 70
24 provider to furnish it this in this case, and we have been doing that on
25 a regular basis. I don't know how much material we're talking about now,
1 but I know that a lot of it has been done, and it's my assumption that
2 this isn't the regular course because I know the registry officer that I
3 was look working with in connection with it is very diligent and very
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sure he is, but I would like to have a sense
6 of whether the matter is lying on the registrar's table or on the
7 Prosecutor's table. Can you tell me this?
8 MR. HANNIS: Well, I know I personally don't have anything lying
9 on my table regarding this, but that doesn't necessarily completely
10 answer the question.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: This clarifies the matter. I have been informed
13 by the registry that, in fact, the registry has received everything from
14 the Prosecution and that the registry is in the process of making this
15 material available now to the Defence. So it should be coming shortly.
16 Thank you very much, Madam Registrar, for this information.
17 Well, I think this brings us to the end of the matter. I need to
18 ask the parties if they have anything other than this to bring up.
19 MR. HANNIS: Just two things for me, Your Honour. One, for the
20 purposes of the transcript, I noted at page 6, line 25, it was written
21 that you had said 22 October was the date for us to file our motion, and
22 I thought I heard you say 28, and it is my understanding that it is the
23 28th of October.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Affirmative.
25 MR. HANNIS: Okay. And the other thing, just regarding proposed
1 agreed documents, we have some additional documents in light the
2 agreements that we were able to reach prior to today. I see some others
3 on our list that I think might be subject to agreement. They mostly
4 relate to exhumations and autopsies. We propose to finalise that list
5 and send it to the Defence to ask them if they might be willing to do
6 that, too, just for your information.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. This is very useful to
8 know, and I, again, repeat my gratefulness to both parties for engaging
9 in this process. Can I ask that when the parties have agreed on those
10 new documents that you through your case manager inform the Chamber
11 thereof so that we can include it in the lists that we have prepared and
12 that we are going to pass on to the Trial Chamber. So by the time,
13 hopefully early next week, when we will hand over the case to the
14 president, we would wish to have a list that is updated as possible. Of
15 course, that any further additions to the list may still be included, but
16 I kindly ask the parties to keep the Chamber, the pretrial Chamber and
17 later on, the Trial Chamber informed of whenever there is a new agreement
18 on further documents.
19 Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, do you have anything to add?
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, except to say
21 that the Defence will continue to do its job as it has been doing thus
22 far, and our expectations are moving within the frameworks of our
23 professional duties, which are all well known to you.
24 Now, as far as new observations are concerned, the Defence at
25 this point in time really has nothing to add. We will make an update of
1 everything we've been discussing at the 65 ter meetings, and at all
2 events we will appear at all the other meetings leading up to the trial
3 itself as preparation to the trial. Thank you.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. And finally, you, Mr.
5 Djordjevic, do you have anything to add? Especially, are you in good
6 health and shape?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Everything is all right. Thank you
8 for your understanding and the brief that you mentioned.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. This brings us now to the
10 end; and again, I wish to thank the parties and hope that you will carry
11 on with the trial with vigor and energy. And you, Mr. Djordjevic, I wish
12 you good luck in your trial. This meeting is adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
14 1.04 p.m.