Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 31

1 Thursday, 3 April 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The appellant entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.

6 JUDGE GUNEY: Good afternoon. By orders of the 18 March, 2003,

7 from the President, I was designated pre-appeal judge for the present

8 appeal.

9 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honour.

11 This is Case Number IT-97-25-A, the Prosecutor versus Milorad Krnojelac.

12 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you.

13 Mr. Krnojelac, can you hear the proceeding?

14 THE APPELANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes I can hear the

15 proceedings, and I can follow.

16 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you. Please be seated.

17 THE APPELANT: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18 JUDGE GUNEY: May I then have the appearances, please. First, the

19 Prosecutor.

20 MR. STAKER: May it please Your Honour, my name is Christopher

21 Staker. I appear with my colleague, Mr. Anthony Carmona. Our case

22 manager today is Ms. Nicola Bonfield.

23 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you. The Defence, please.

24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. For the

25 defendant, Mihajlo Bakrac.

Page 32

1 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you.

2 Pursuant to the Rule 65 bis, a Status Conference shall be held

3 between 120 days of the filing of a notice of appeal, and thereafter

4 within 120 days after the last Status Conference. The notices of appeal

5 in this case were filed on 12th April, 2002, by the Defence, and on 15

6 April 2002 by the Prosecution. The last status conference was held on 26

7 November 2002.

8 As you know, the purpose of the Status Conference is to organise

9 exchanges between the parties so as to ensure expeditious preparation for

10 trial and to allow any person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to

11 raise issues to the custody of the person, including the mental and

12 physical conditions of the person.

13 I will ask now Mr. Krnojelac to express directly or through his

14 counsel any concern in relation to the detention conditions. Then, we

15 shall review the status of this appeal.

16 Mr. Krnojelac, now, if you want, you can express directly or

17 through your counsel about any concern in relation to the detention

18 conditions.

19 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. But I am

20 in a situation in which it is very difficult for me to put it all in

21 words. The course of the armed struggle onward, this whole period of

22 time -- during this whole period of time, there was one problem following

23 another. And all these problems have conduced to a serious impairment of

24 my health. But also, the deaths which occurred during this time have

25 contributed even more to the deterioration of my health. I'm sorry, but

Page 33

1 let me tell you that in 1965, one brother of mine died. In 1998, my

2 sister died. And 60 days ago, another brother of mine died. And this

3 Honourable Court showed that it was humane and allowed me, and I'd like to

4 thank you for that, and I've also done so in writing to the Prosecutor's

5 Office and the Chamber. I hope you have received it. Because I was

6 allowed to get five days back home and see my own brother during the last

7 hours of his life. My parents had nine children. Today, they have only

8 me, and I have been here almost five years.

9 Nonetheless, I have to be honest and say that regardless of this

10 mood and my health, I nevertheless must thank Mrs. Vera [phoen] and

11 especially the health personnel of the Detention Unit because they are

12 doing all that they can to alleviate my problems, and thus somehow I

13 manage to survive. But it is hard, and it is even harder when I have to

14 say to Your Honour that I still consider myself innocent. However, I have

15 been pronounced guilty, and therefore I hope that in the further

16 proceedings, a number of things will be put right. Thank you.

17 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you. If I understood well, you have no

18 specific complaint about the conditions, detention conditions?

19 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] I'm aware of one thing that I am

20 where I am, that I have been there for a very long time, and the most

21 important thing, since you're asking me, the most important thing about it

22 all is I have absolutely no objections about the conduct of the personnel

23 around me, they are treating me correctly. And I am also trying to behave

24 like all normal people regardless of all these problems that I have just

25 mentioned to you, because I must be aware of where I am even though I am

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13 English transcripts. Pages 34 to 35.













Page 36

1 completely innocent. But there it is.

2 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you. Please be seated.

3 THE APPELLANT: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 JUDGE GUNEY: This brings us to the end of our discussion on the

5 conditions of the Detention Unit now.

6 And now we will start to deal with the status of the appeal. The

7 filing in this appeal are complete. At the last Status Conference, there

8 was the issue of the Rule 68 search and disclosure process undertaken by

9 the Prosecution. Since then, the process has been completed by the

10 Prosecution as shown in its fourth status report on disclosure. On 31st

11 March, 2003, the appellant Krnojelac notified the Appeals Chamber that he

12 would not file any additional evidence in these proceedings. Let me ask

13 the Prosecution, therefore, the following question: While the appellant,

14 Krnojelac, has no additional evidence to present, whether you would like

15 to present any such evidence?

16 MR. STAKER: Your Honour, the Prosecution does not intend to file

17 any motion under Rule 115.

18 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you very much. Thank you. If both parties

19 will not present any additional evidence, I would like to hear from you as

20 to possible date and to facilitate the task of the Tribunal, starting from

21 1st of June, which will be convenient for the hearing on the merits of

22 this appeal. Your answer will assist the Appeals Chamber to find a

23 suitable date for both the parties and the Chamber. The Prosecution

24 first.

25 MR. STAKER: Your Honour, the Prosecution could be at the Appeals

Page 37

1 Chamber's disposal through the month of June. Yes, no particular date

2 would be expressed. I don't know if Your Honour is seeking indications of

3 appropriate times after June, but certainly from the 1st of June

4 throughout that month, the Prosecution would not express a preference for

5 any particular date but would defer to the convenience of the Appeals

6 Chamber.

7 JUDGE GUNEY: Okay. Thank you.

8 The Defence.

9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with all due respect, of

10 course like the Prosecutor, I shall be ready as of the 1st of June,

11 whatever date you fix, of course, I'm quite ready to accept it and go by

12 it. But I'd like to ask nevertheless, and I repeat once again with all

13 due respect, in view of the time we've spent waiting for the judgement of

14 the first instance and in view of the health of the accused, could you

15 perhaps consider the possibility if that could be done in May, that is, as

16 early as possible, before June. And as for June, whenever you decide, the

17 Defence will be ready to appear before the Appeals Chamber.

18 JUDGE GUNEY: Thank you. Well, of course I will bear in mind your

19 suggestion. And the Appeals Chamber in due course will announce the

20 schedule for hearing on the substance of the appeal.

21 And the schedule for hearing, taking into account the other

22 scheduling matters, will be determined, as I said, bearing in mind your

23 suggestion, but probably starting or after the beginning of June.

24 Do the parties have any comment or question on these or any other

25 issues?

Page 38

1 MR. STAKER: Your Honour, the only other question may be the

2 length of time that may be required for the hearings. Our estimate would

3 be perhaps two to three days.

4 JUDGE GUNEY: Microphone.

5 MR. STAKER: Your Honour, I think the microphone is on.

6 JUDGE GUNEY: Okay. You can go on.

7 MR. STAKER: The only other question is how much time may be

8 required for the hearing itself. Our estimate would be if it was set down

9 for three days, that would be sufficient. It maybe take even less time

10 than that. But that's simply our observation at this stage as it may

11 assist the Appeals Chamber.

12 JUDGE GUNEY: [Interpretation] Thank you. You mean three days a

13 week, if I've understood you well, you want to say if we start to work

14 three days per week. Is that the idea?

15 MR. STAKER: No, Your Honour, I was talking about the length of

16 time required in totality for the oral hearing in this appeal. And our

17 estimate was that if the appeal was set down for three days of hearings,

18 that that should be sufficient, and that it may be completed in less time

19 than that. This was simply an estimate we give at this stage for the

20 assistance of the Appeals Chamber in determining the scheduling.

21 JUDGE GUNEY: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22 Does the Defence wish to say something in this regard?

23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't quite

24 understand my learned colleague. Is that the time that the Prosecution

25 needs or did my learned friend also include the time for the Defence? If

Page 39

1 he thinks that that is the period of time which would suffice both for the

2 Prosecution and Defence, yes, I do think it would suffice all together,

3 the Prosecution and the Defence.

4 JUDGE GUNEY: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Prosecutor, perhaps

5 you should repeat what you have just said, just so that there is no

6 misunderstanding.

7 MR. STAKER: Yes, Your Honour. I believe there is accord between

8 us and the Defence. The time frame that I estimated was the total time

9 for the entire hearing for the Prosecution appeal and the Defence appeal

10 and all submissions by both parties in both appeals. Thank you, Your

11 Honour.

12 JUDGE GUNEY: [Interpretation] Thank you.

13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I must

14 say something. I hope that the Prosecutor's Office will not take up two

15 and a half days and leave the Defence only half a day.

16 JUDGE GUNEY: [Interpretation] Thank you for these suggestions and

17 countersuggestions. They will be taken into account. Thank you.

18 [In English] Any other comments or any other issues? No. Okay.

19 I understand that there are no further issues or questions to be dealt

20 with at this Status Conference. And therefore, this Status Conference may

21 now be adjourned.

22 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

23 at 2.51 p.m.