Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Friday, 16th January 1998

2 (9.00 am)

3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. May I ask the

4 Registrar to call out the name and number of the case?

5 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-16, the Prosecutor

6 of the Tribunal against Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan

7 Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Vladimir Santic, also

8 known as "Vlado", Drago Josipovic and Dragan Papic.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Could I please

10 have the appearances for the Prosecutor?

11 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President, good

12 morning, your Honours. My name is Mark Harmon, I will

13 be representing the Prosecutor this morning and I will

14 be assisted by my colleagues, Terree Bowers, who is

15 seated to my right and Mr. Michael Blaxill, who is

16 seated to my left.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel for the accused,

18 please introduce yourself and spell out your name

19 clearly. Would you also indicate which bar you belong

20 to?

21 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, my name is

22 Borislav Krajina, an attorney from Sarajevo, a member

23 of the bar of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am Defence counsel

24 for the accused, Vlatko Kupreskic. With me is my

25 learned colleague Zelimir Par, an attorney from Zagreb.

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1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we begin,

2 I would like to check whether the accused can hear me

3 in a language which is accessible to him. May I ask

4 the accused whether he can follow, can understand what

5 I am saying?

6 THE ACCUSED: Your Honours, I understand you

7 very well and hear you perfectly.

8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We now can

9 commence this hearing. As you know, this is the

10 initial appearance of the accused before the

11 International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and

12 the hearing is being held in accordance with the

13 Statute of our Tribunal, as well as the Rules of

14 Procedure and Evidence to formally charge the accused.

15 As you know, these proceedings are being recorded and

16 will be available to the public.

17 Rule 62 of our Rules of Procedure and

18 Evidence requires that an accused, after having his

19 indictment confirmed by a Judge of this Tribunal, and

20 after having been arrested and surrendered to the

21 custody of the International Tribunal, must be formally

22 charged at a procedure described as the initial

23 appearance. Due to injuries sustained by the accused

24 in the course of resisting arrest by SFOR troops, this

25 initial appearance has had to be delayed until the

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1 accused was deemed to be medically fit to appear before

2 this International Tribunal. We have now been informed

3 that the accused is fit to enter his pleas to the

4 charges brought against him by the Prosecutor.

5 I would like now to ask the accused to rise

6 and state for the Trial Chamber his name, date and

7 place of birth.

8 THE ACCUSED: Your Honours, my name is Vlatko

9 Kupreskic, I was born on 1st January 1958 in Pirici,

10 Vitez municipality, the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You know that the

12 rules governing our proceedings today are laid down in

13 Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute of our Tribunal, and

14 mention should also be made of Rule 62. I think you

15 are all familiar with these provisions, so I will not

16 try to summarise them for you, but we will proceed in

17 accordance with the aforementioned provisions.

18 May I now ask the Defence counsel whether he

19 and his client have received copies of the indictment

20 in a language which they understand, and whether the

21 contents of the indictment were understood? Have you

22 had adequate time to confer with your client in

23 preparation for this initial appearance? This is a

24 question I am asking you.

25 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, we have received

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1 the indictment and understood everything it contains.

2 We have had sufficient time to confer with our client,

3 so that we are quite prepared for today's hearing.

4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. The indictment

5 was issued by the Prosecutor on 2nd November 1995, and

6 as you knew, was confirmed by Judge McDonald on

7 10th November 1995. Five of the persons indicted along

8 with the accused are already in the custody of the

9 International Tribunal, and have made their initial

10 appearances accordingly. Charges against Marinko

11 Katava and Stipo Alilovic have been withdrawn by the

12 Prosecutor and therefore all references to them will be

13 omitted in the indictment.

14 In principle, under our Statute and our Rules

15 of Procedure and Evidence, the entire indictment should

16 be read out in court. May I ask whether the accused is

17 prepared to waive this right to a public reading of the

18 indictment? May I ask you, Defence counsel, whether

19 the accused is prepared to waive his right to the

20 reading out in court of the indictment, or would you

21 like the indictment to be read out? Of course we would

22 read out the relevant parts, the portions of the

23 indictment which relate to the accused.

24 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, we have agreed

25 that there is no need to read the indictment in its

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1 entirety, but if there is a short version, then we

2 would be in favour of that shorter version being read

3 out.

4 JUDGE CASSESE: I would say there is not a

5 short version, but we could read out only those

6 portions of the indictment which deal with the

7 accused. We would skip the parts of the indictment

8 which concern the other accused who have already come

9 here for the initial appearance. Do you want those

10 portions to be read out in court?

11 MR. KRAJINA: No, your Honours, we feel that

12 will not be necessary.

13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We can therefore

14 now move on and I would like to turn to the accused.

15 May I ask you to rise, Mr. Kupreskic. Could

16 you stand up? Your counsel has informed the Trial

17 Chamber that you have received a copy of the indictment

18 in a language which you understand and that you

19 comprehend the contents of the indictment. Please

20 could you confirm whether this is correct?

21 MR. KUPRESKIC: Your Honours, I have

22 understood clearly the allegations in the indictment.

23 However, it is not clear to me why my name is linked to

24 that indictment.

25 JUDGE CASSESE: This is a question which we

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1 could not answer. Your name, I assume, is linked to

2 that indictment because according to the Prosecutor you

3 must be charged with some crimes which are set out in

4 the indictment. I would like therefore to move on and

5 to recall each of the charges against you which are, as

6 I say, set out in the indictment.

7 Could you please tell the Trial Chamber

8 whether you plead guilty or not guilty after I have put

9 each count to you. The form of words we wish you to

10 use is either "I plead guilty" or "I plead not

11 guilty". Have you understood all this?

12 MR. KUPRESKIC: I have.

13 JUDGE CASSESE: So I will start with

14 count 1. It is alleged that you individually, and in

15 concert with Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,

16 Vladimir Santic, Drago Josipovic and Dragan Papic

17 participated in the unlawful and wanton destruction of

18 property not justified by military necessity, a grave

19 breach recognised by Article 2(d) of the Tribunal

20 Statute. How do you plead?

21 MR. KUPRESKIC: I absolutely did not

22 participate and I plead not guilty.

23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Count 2. It is

24 alleged that you individually, and in concert with

25 Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vladimir Santic,

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1 Drago Josipovic and Dragan Papic, participated in the

2 deliberate attack on the civilian population and wanton

3 destruction of a village, a violation of the laws or

4 customs of war recognised by Article 3 of the Tribunal

5 Statute. How do you plead?

6 MR. KUPRESKIC: I did not participate, nor did

7 I do those things, and I plead not guilty.

8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Count 9. It is

9 alleged that you participated in the wilful killing of

10 Fata Pezer, a grave breach recognised by Article 2(a)

11 of the Tribunal Statute. How do you plead?

12 MR. KUPRESKIC: I neither had occasion to do

13 something like that, nor the opportunity to do it, nor

14 the courage, nor the interest. I am absolutely not

15 guilty.

16 JUDGE CASSESE: All right, you plead not

17 guilty. Count 10. It is alleged that you participated

18 in the wilful killing of Fata Pezer, a violation of the

19 laws or customs of war, recognised by Article 3 of the

20 Tribunal Statute. How do you plead?

21 MR. KUPRESKIC: I am absolutely not guilty

22 because I am not capable of doing such a thing.

23 JUDGE CASSESE: Not guilty. Count 11. It is

24 alleged that you participated in wilfully causing

25 Dzenana Pezer and a Bosnian Muslim civilian great

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1 suffering or serious injury to body or health, a grave

2 breach recognised by Article 2(c) of the Tribunal

3 Statute. How do you plead?

4 MR. KUPRESKIC: My life and my authority would

5 not allow this, I did not do that and I am absolutely

6 not guilty.

7 JUDGE CASSESE: Count 12. It is alleged that

8 you participated in wilfully causing Dzenana Pezer and

9 a Bosnian Muslim civilian great suffering or serious

10 injury to body or health, a violation of the laws or

11 customs of war recognised by Article 3 of the Tribunal

12 Statute. How do you plead?

13 MR. KUPRESKIC: I plead absolutely not guilty.

14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may now be

15 seated.

16 MR. KUPRESKIC: Thank you.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: You will be remanded now to

18 the further custody of the International Tribunal and

19 kept in the detention unit until further order is

20 made. Would the Registrar please note the pleas of the

21 accused. As the accused has pleaded not guilty to the

22 charges against him, it is necessary for us to consider

23 the organisation of the work of the Trial Chamber and

24 the setting of a date for the trial. I wonder whether

25 the Registrar is able to set a date for the trial now?

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1 May I ask the Registrar whether --

2 THE REGISTRAR: No, I am not capable for the

3 moment to give you the date for the beginning of trial.

4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We shall then

5 have to wait for confirmation from the Registry or

6 suggestion from the Registry. I would like to remind

7 now the Prosecutor of his obligation under Rule 66bis

8 of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, to make

9 available to the Defence within 30 days of this initial

10 appearance copies of the supporting material which

11 accompanied the indictment when confirmation was

12 sought, and also all prior statements obtained by the

13 Office of the Prosecutor from the accused.

14 Also, the Prosecutor is obliged to make

15 available, no later than 60 days before the date set

16 for trial, copies of the statements of all witnesses

17 whom the Prosecutor intends to call to testify at

18 trial. The statements of any additional witnesses

19 shall be made available as soon as a decision is made

20 to call those witnesses. Further orders may be made by

21 the Trial Chamber in the interests of a fair and

22 expeditious trial for the accused. Could I therefore

23 ask if any such documents have already been provided to

24 the Defence? If not, could I ask if the Prosecutor

25 could indicate a time-frame within which these materials

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1 can be provided to Defence counsel?

2 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and your Honours,

3 prior to the commencement of this proceeding,

4 I provided counsel with copies of all supporting

5 materials that accompanied the indictment in this case.

6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So Mr. Krajina, do

7 you understand what the Prosecutor has just said? You

8 have been entitled and you have received all the

9 documents that were attached to the indictment, and to

10 the request for information. Now I wish to remind the

11 parties that under Rule 72 of our Rules of Procedure

12 and Evidence, they have 60 days from the date of

13 disclosure by the Prosecutor to the Defence of all

14 material and statements provided under Rule 66bis (A),

15 60 days within which they must file any preliminary

16 motions. Other motions, of course, may be filed under

17 Rule 73. You are aware of this time limit, 60 days for

18 filing preliminary motions. I wonder whether my

19 colleagues have any further questions. No questions?

20 As you know, it has been agreed that

21 following this hearing, a closed session Status

22 Conference will be held here, actually in half an hour,

23 in order to look in greater detail at the state of

24 preparedness of the parties for trial and also in order

25 to settle any outstanding issues. If there are no

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1 comments or no suggestions or queries from either the

2 Defence or the Prosecutor, I will now call an

3 adjournment for 30 minutes, after which we shall

4 reconvene in closed session to deal with this Status

5 Conference. The hearing is adjourned.

6 (9.20 am)

7 (Hearing adjourned)



















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