1 Thursday, 12 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Do I understand that there is a
6 matter you wish to raise, Mr. Djurdjic?
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This time
8 there is something that I would like to ask the Trial Chamber in view of
9 the holidays coming in April. As you well know, Easter is a religious
10 holiday celebrated across Serbia
11 compared to the rest of Europe
12 falls on the 17th and the Easter Monday on the 20th. Therefore, I would
13 like to ask the Chamber to make sure that those two days will not be
14 working days and that we shall not be sitting on those two days. Thank
16 JUDGE PARKER: That appears to be a week later than the
17 Christian, Western Good Friday and Easter Monday, the Eastern Orthodox is
18 this year a week later.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] You are entirely right,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I wonder how counsel are seeing the progress of
22 the case and how we will be placed by then, as both you're here,
23 Mr. Stamp, and Mr. Djurdjic. Have you given any thought to the rate of
24 progress we are making?
25 MR. STAMP: I have, your --
1 JUDGE PARKER: You're the lucky man first, Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: I rose quickly because I have very little to say. We
3 have given thought to it but to be precise in our calculations I couldn't
4 do it off the bat. I think we are making very good progress, and a lot
5 would to some degree depend on the Court's decision in respect to the
6 92 bis application. Of course the Court might want to hear more evidence
7 before finally deciding on that, but I think by the end of
8 March/early April we should be approaching halfway in number of the
9 witnesses or we should have passed halfway in number of witnesses who are
10 65 -- who are 92 ter witnesses or live witnesses. However, some of the
11 more, shall I say, involved witnesses might take a little bit longer --
12 are yet to come. But in a general -- my general position is that we are
13 making very good, if not excellent, progress. Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber is a little more concerned than you
15 are I think, Mr. Stamp. We felt, as everybody knows, we had a slowish
16 start for a number of reasons, and we have been improving in our
17 progress. But we are now at the 20th witness, and I think your list
18 exceeds or will now exceed 120 witnesses, which means we are a long way
19 from even halfway.
20 The 92 bis decision is imminent. Not a great deal of difference
21 will be made on the outcome of that decision one way or the other,
22 really. It just saves some time in examination-in-chief. There will be
23 some few witnesses for no cross-examination, but it's not going to
24 transform the length of the case in a major way. So what I think
25 pre-trial was seen as a trial that might end in eight or nine months is
1 looking like a trial that will last much longer than that. Is that
2 something entirely astray from your understanding?
3 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. If -- and it's really a matter for
4 discretion of this Court. If we have to call all the witnesses for
5 cross-examination, it would take -- probably longer than that -- not
6 probably, it certainly would be longer than that. I think on this side
7 we have to make efforts to stay within the time that we indicated we
8 would if we're allowed to call these witnesses for cross we should
9 utilise the time we use for the orientation exercise and there may be
10 additional questions -- well, we should optimise that time as much as
12 JUDGE PARKER: Can we say so for Ms. Kravetz is here and
13 Mr. Neuner receive our gold stars for keeping to time. So there's a
14 little room for you to improve there, Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP: Indeed, indeed, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Okay, thank you.
17 Mr. Djurdjic, time, have you given any thought to this at this
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour. First and
20 foremost, it is not that I necessarily wish to side with the Prosecutor;
21 however, since the early pre-trial stage, specifically the month of
22 September, I think Mr. Stamp has been talking about a time that was much
23 longer than the Pre-Trial Judge was prepared to allow for. The time is
24 simply too short to have a fair trial. On a number of occasions,
25 Mr. Stamp for that very reason submitted motions that were obviously not
1 approved. So it is quite obvious that some sort of a time schedule had
2 been drawn up by this time. I do not think the time specified is
3 realistic; nevertheless, I am exceptionally happy with the pace of the
4 trial itself. As a result, the Defence has no objections in terms of the
5 way the trial has been run so far; quite the contrary in fact. We do
6 wish to take this opportunity to express our satisfaction.
7 As for the motion to have those two days reserved for
8 celebration, I did this on purpose today just in order to stay in keeping
9 with the general dynamics and in order to avoid any technical issues that
10 might turn up or any potential obstacles to the work of the Chamber.
11 This might even help us to work even more efficiently in the future. We
12 for our part shall try to work as efficiently as possible and address no
13 more than the essential issues; nevertheless, that depends to a large
14 extent also on the OTP and the way they will be going about having their
15 92 ter statements admitted and what they will single out as appropriate
16 subjects for cross-examination. The example that springs to mind is the
17 two witnesses who are victims, Saranda and Fatos Bogujevci, and that
18 could have been wrapped up much sooner had it not been some statements
19 that were appearing that were interesting for the OTP, so issues kept
20 cropping up leaving us with no choice but to raise further issues on
21 cross. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the Chamber is concerned that some
23 cross-examination so far have gone longer than was really necessary. I
24 think the tendency is for things to improve, but the important things in
25 the trial, if they're focused on, I think cross-examination could still
1 be shorter. As a simple example, for most witnesses we are not likely to
2 pay any attention to the early education and experience of a witness
3 because those things in most cases are not going to be of any relevance
4 to our consideration of the evidence of a witness. So it could be
5 possible, for example, to leave entirely alone for most witnesses, if not
6 all, the question of the early education and early experience of the
7 witness. Now, I just use that as one example that comes to mind.
8 We are, though, I think encouraged by what you have said,
9 Mr. Djurdjic, and also Mr. Stamp, that each of you are feeling encouraged
10 that the rate of progress is becoming satisfactory and is even improving.
11 Thank you for that.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: We will give some consideration to your proposal,
14 Mr. Djurdjic, and as soon as our position is clear, we will let you know,
15 and we'll try to do that in good time for you to make travel and other
16 arrangements. Thank you.
17 If the witness could now be brought in.
18 Closed session.
19 [Closed session]
11 Pages 2114-2194 redacted. Closed session.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of
24 March, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.