Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 173

1 Friday, 24th September, 1999

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 --- Upon commencing at 4.12 p.m.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Having taken the pleas from

6 both accused on the amended indictment, we may now move

7 to the Status Conference and we shall continue in open

8 session, unless the need arises for us to go into

9 closed session. Otherwise, the discussion should be in

10 open session.

11 I would like to find out from the

12 Prosecution, since they are the ones who put up the

13 amended indictment, how ready they are. We have the 25

14 counts, 21 against Kunarac and four against Kovac, and

15 the intention for the amendment is to have them both

16 tried at the same time.

17 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, that is correct, Your

18 Honour.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: So I want to find out, in

20 relation to Mr. Kovac, have the supporting materials

21 been forwarded to him, all of them?

22 MR. RYNEVELD: In terms of the supporting

23 materials, yes, they certainly have, and today we

24 anticipate getting the Rule 66 material to Defence

25 counsel immediately after these proceedings.

Page 174


2 MR. RYNEVELD: And we are also in a position

3 to provide the Rule 68 material which has already been

4 discovered in the searches that we conducted with

5 respect to Kunarac.


7 MR. RYNEVELD: Additionally, of course, we

8 have commenced specific electronic searches for Kovac

9 and hope to complete that initial process in two to

10 three weeks' time. Following that, depending on the

11 amount of material that that additional search will

12 entail, we will require additional time to ascertain

13 what, if any, Rule 68 material should be disclosed upon

14 its analysis.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So you've said that the

16 supporting materials upon confirmation have all been

17 supplied already, and the others are yet to be supplied

18 to Kovac.

19 MR. RYNEVELD: That's correct.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: So that the 30-day rule for any

21 motions and indictment can start running as from

22 tomorrow.

23 MR. RYNEVELD: Excuse me. I'll just check

24 with my colleagues, but I believe that's the case,

25 yes. Yes, thank you.

Page 175

1 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. That will be fine.

2 Mr. Prosecutor, how many witnesses are we expecting for

3 this trial?

4 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I'm going to ask

5 my colleagues who have more intimate knowledge of this

6 file, since I've just recently become assigned as

7 senior trial attorney, to answer those specific

8 requests. Thank you.


10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, in the

11 Kunarac case, you have received a witness list.


13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And the same witnesses

14 apply to Mr. Kovac. So there is no change in the

15 witness list at all.

16 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the statements, the

17 statements of the witnesses, have they also been --

18 those which are to be handed over, are they ready for

19 handing over to Mr. Kovac?

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: They will be handed over

21 today. We have prepared everything, including a

22 receipt. So I would like to meet Mr. Kolesar after

23 this Status Conference and then hand this over.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Are you asking for any

25 protective measures as before, or do we leave those

Page 176

1 orders running?

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Prosecution requests

3 to leave these orders in place, and there will be no

4 additional orders.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. So that all the

6 protective orders for all the witnesses will remain in

7 place, and the fact that the unredacted statements of

8 the protected witnesses will be handed to the Defence

9 counsel 30 days before the trial date.


11 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. So in a way, can I take

12 it then that the Prosecution's obligations, more or

13 less, except for Rule 68 material which, as the senior

14 trial attorney said, you are yet to scrutinise?

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honours. It

16 will be done after this Status Conference. That is the

17 main material.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the question

19 relating to expert witnesses? Do you remember the

20 last time with Kunarac, we were talking about Dr. Gow,

21 I think, when you were saying that it would depend on

22 the documents which the Defence counsel had handed over

23 to you, if you finished the interpretation, then you

24 would be able to find out whether or not you need to

25 have him as an expert witness.

Page 177

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The process of

2 reciprocal discovery is not yet completed. We have

3 more materials to see together with Defence counsel,

4 and only --

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Defence counsel is now both.

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Of course, yes, but at

7 the moment, we just have these discovery issues with

8 Defence counsel Prodanovic, and it's not yet

9 concluded. Only after this, we had agreed that we

10 would have the final discussion on what experts would

11 be needed, if any. That means Dr. Gow or the two of

12 them.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because as you know, these

14 two will be tried together, but Kunarac has been

15 waiting for his trial for a long period, and the Court

16 wouldn't like to see the addition of Kovac affect his

17 waiting time any longer.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I do not think so, that

19 this will happen, because we are very well prepared in

20 disclosure, and the only thing that will have to take

21 place, a discussion with Defence Counsel Kolesar, if it

22 is possible to agree also on certain surrounding

23 aspects, and that would have to take place.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. When is the Prosecution

25 planning that those discussions should take place? I

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1 hope on Monday.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: You mean this Monday?

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, after the weekend, because

4 you've had the case for a long time.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But we have to agree on

6 a meeting with Mr. Kolesar and Mr. Prodanovic as well,

7 and we wanted to discuss this before this Status

8 Conference, but we didn't have an interpreter here in

9 the courtroom who could assist us, so we have to do it

10 after the Status Conference.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much from the

12 Prosecution.

13 Now let me turn to Defence counsel, in

14 particular, Mr. Kolesar. I would like to hear from

15 you.

16 You've heard what the Prosecution have said

17 on materials which they are ready to hand over to you

18 and the fact that your client has been joined with

19 Kunarac, and the Trial Chamber is intending to start

20 the trial in February. How do you see your

21 preparations going?

22 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

23 the Defence has asked to be given two investigators.

24 Otherwise, we have been in Foca already and have done

25 some preliminary work. We believe that we would be

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1 able to collect the necessary evidence and provide it

2 to the Prosecutor within three months. We do not want

3 to lengthen the proceedings, but we ask that the trial

4 be fair and that the Defence be allowed to fully

5 prepare to defend its client. We believe the deadline

6 of three months is the right one. We would then use

7 this time to gather all the evidence in Serbia,

8 Republika Srpska, which we would then use at trial.

9 What I would like to request of the Chamber

10 is that our time clock starts running as of tomorrow

11 regarding all the preliminary motions. The accused has

12 had some complaints, but they were not done in a

13 professional way. We believe that there are some

14 faults in the indictment; it is too vague and too

15 general, but we need time to prepare. I understand

16 that the case has now been joined, the case of

17 Mr. Kunarac and Mr. Kovac, and we are not against it.

18 But we would ask that this deadline be respected.

19 We also would like to see that the

20 exculpatory evidence regarding Mr. Kunarac be taken

21 into account so that we don't go into it all over

22 again, and it is in our own interests also to have the

23 trial start as soon as possible.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Kolesar, I would like

25 to assure you that the running of time for preliminary

Page 180

1 motions will start, of course, on the working day,

2 which is Monday really, not tomorrow, which is a

3 Saturday.

4 I take it the motion which was filed on the

5 other indictment has fallen through because we are now

6 having this new amended indictment, so that you have to

7 start afresh.

8 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] Very well.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Prodanovic, you heard what

10 the Prosecution have said. Any comments? Any

11 complaints?

12 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] Frankly

13 speaking, we feared this situation, and on the last

14 Status Conference on 24 June, I will remind you, I had

15 said that we were ready to proceed to trial. Within

16 the last year, that is, almost a year and a half, we

17 have done everything to speed up the trial, and we did

18 everything we could to get ready for the trial. In

19 this situation which we have now, we believe that there

20 is a place for -- there is grounds for a Rule 65(B),

21 that is, provisional release of Mr. Kunarac, and with

22 your permission, Your Honours, I will tell you what the

23 grounds for these positions are.

24 As I said, we have done everything in our

25 power to be ready for trial. There are an additional

Page 181

1 five indictees in this indictment, and it is not clear

2 whether we will proceed to trial in February. What if

3 one of the five other accused is captured, let's say,

4 in January? Then we would have to go back and reset

5 the clock.

6 Also, I want to point out that my client has

7 voluntarily come to The Hague, counting on a speedy,

8 expeditious trial.

9 My client has some health problems. He has a

10 problem with his right elbow, and I have his medical

11 case file. I consulted with the physician who had done

12 the surgical intervention at the time, and he said that

13 he could not give the final finding on this condition

14 before having examined the accused. So we believe that

15 if granted provisional release, he would use this time

16 to also take care of his health condition, and we would

17 come back whenever the trial is ready to proceed and

18 whenever the Trial Chamber orders him to come back.

19 We believe that the provisional release would

20 also encourage everybody who -- all the rest of the

21 accused who are on the indictment to reconsider their

22 position and voluntarily come to The Hague, and take

23 into account the general position of the Chamber.

24 Thank you.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Prodanovic, I

Page 182

1 understand your concerns that the trial may not take

2 place. Really, the problem has been that the Trial

3 Chamber has got other proceedings, other trials which

4 are going on, and that has been the major problem,

5 because we've heard that the other trials should come

6 to an end at least before we can start another trial,

7 because otherwise it is impossible to deal with two

8 trials at the same time. This is the reason.

9 If another accused of the original indictment

10 were to be arrested in January, I'm sure that everybody

11 concerned would see to it that it doesn't delay this

12 particular trial, because by then we shall have

13 finished the other trial we are dealing with in Trial

14 Chamber II. By January, we should be able to give the

15 trial date in February so that we can start, so you can

16 rest assured that there will be no further delays for

17 this particular trial.

18 As for the provisional release, well, you can

19 go ahead and make your application and produce all the

20 evidence that is required. As you know, under Rule 65,

21 the conditions are laid down for provisional release.

22 The Trial Chamber will deal with that when it is moved

23 by the motion, and of course the Prosecution will be

24 given an opportunity, as you know, to respond to the

25 request.

Page 183

1 As for the medical attention which you say

2 your client would like to have, in other cases we've

3 had the medical practitioners actually come to visit

4 them here, if need be, so that they can assure them of

5 their medical treatment or the facilities which are

6 required. But if, as you say, the facilities are only

7 available or the practitioner can only do it in another

8 country outside The Hague, then due consideration will

9 be given to the application or to the motion when it

10 comes before the Chamber.

11 Otherwise, as you say that you are ready for

12 the trial, I'm sure the Prosecution has been listening,

13 and also the Defence counsel for Mr. Kovac, as you

14 understood him, pleading for time and making sure that

15 at least three months are given for him to be

16 adequately prepared for the trial, that will be taken

17 into consideration.

18 The Trial Chamber is hoping that we will have

19 another Status Conference, a final one, at the end of

20 November. By then, we hope that Rule 68 matters will

21 have been attended to fully so that there are no

22 reasons why we should wait any more. Then the final

23 Status Conference by the whole Chamber will be sometime

24 early in January, and the trial date will be fixed

25 hopefully before then or at that Status Conference so

Page 184

1 that the unredacted statements can be saved on time

2 before the trial starts.

3 During the second Status Conference or the

4 final Status Conference, of course, the Trial Chamber

5 will be expecting the Defence counsel to be able to

6 outline the nature of their defence so that the

7 Prosecution can also be adequately prepared in terms of

8 making sure that they elicit the relevant evidence from

9 their witnesses.

10 Any other matters? The Prosecution?

11 MR. RYNEVELD: Nothing arising at this time.

12 Thank you, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Any other matters,

14 Mr. Prodanovic?

15 MR. PRODANOVIC: [Interpretation] No other

16 matters, Your Honours. Thank you.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Kolesar?

18 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] No, Your

19 Honours, no other matters.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much.

21 So we have come to the end of our proceedings

22 until the next Status Conference. The Court will

23 rise.

24 --- Whereupon the Status Conference

25 adjourned at 4.29 p.m. sine die