Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11958

1 Monday, 27th September, 1999

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

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

6 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,

7 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and

8 Vladimir Santic.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.

10 I think that we have to discuss a few

11 procedural matters before we start with the rebuttal

12 witnesses. Let me start with the motion filed by

13 Counsel Krajina that we [redacted]

14 [redacted].

15 The Trial Chamber has decided to grant this

16 motion, and we very much hope that [redacted] will able to

17 come next week as you suggested in your motion. So we

18 will today issue a summons so that [redacted] can come next

19 week, on Monday or Tuesday.

20 Then we have the probative proposal by

21 counsel for Zoran Kupreskic. I wonder whether the

22 Prosecutor has any comments. This relates to the piece

23 of Yugoslav legislation relating to the status of

24 reservists. Any comments from the Prosecution?

25 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Your Honour. I would like

Page 11959

1 to be very brief. First of all, good morning to you,

2 Your Honours.

3 I think that this cannot be used as

4 evidence. I don't think that this motion can be used

5 to present some evidence at the Tribunal; it cannot be

6 filed into the file of this case. I'm not sure what

7 Mr. Radovic aims to prove by communicating this piece

8 of legislation. He is not telling us in any way how

9 this definition given by Mr. Radovic has been

10 translated into the Yugoslav legal code. If

11 Mr. Radovic is of the mind that this piece of evidence

12 can be of some utility to him, I think he can inform

13 the Tribunal of this within the framework of his final

14 arguments. But as things stand right now, and in view

15 of the procedures implemented by this Tribunal, I don't

16 think this motion can be accepted as evidence.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?

18 MR. RADOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour.

19 Here we have heard a great deal about the definition of

20 a military, of a military person, and the Prosecutor is

21 trying to prove to the Chamber something that everybody

22 who comes from the former Yugoslavia is clear about:

23 that a reservist is not a military. The former

24 Yugoslav law defines who is who -- who is what,

25 rather. I translated only things that refer to

Page 11960

1 military persons, and what is valuable, and also who is

2 a military. And if I used the text of the criminal law

3 of Yugoslavia, which was at that time valid in the

4 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, then it was simply to

5 show the definition as to who is deemed a military, and

6 the definition is -- it transpires quite clear from

7 that definition that a reservist is not a military.

8 Now they want a legal text, naked legal text,

9 to be used as a piece of evidence. That is why I am

10 against it. You should simply bear in mind, when

11 passing your decision, what was defined as a military

12 person by the former criminal law of Yugoslavia, and

13 not to consider somebody as a military only because he

14 is on a list of reservists. The interpretation can be

15 provided only by people from a given legal system,

16 where it is not a general legal system, even though

17 such a general obligation did not exist in the French

18 law, but I believe it did exist in Anglo-Saxon

19 countries.

20 I do not think we have to now translate the

21 law on the former military obligation of the former

22 Yugoslavia, because it is very long, and on the general

23 national defence, one can also conclude who is a

24 military person. All these laws were harmonised as far

25 as the terminology is concerned. Thank you very much.

Page 11961

1 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, may I please

2 answer very briefly to what Mr. Radovic has just said.

3 What is submitted to Your Honours is a question of

4 fact: Who was in combat; who was armed, who was not

5 armed; who was a civilian, who was not a civilian; who

6 was in a state such that he could fight, who was not in

7 a condition to fight. What Mr. Radovic is putting to

8 us is a legal definition, who [sic] has been inscribed

9 for an unknown motive into the Criminal Code of

10 Yugoslavia. This is not a Tribunal for pension funds,

11 who would be in charge of giving some pensions and

12 alimony to ex-military men. In that case, maybe we

13 could resort to a former Yugoslavia legal code. This

14 Tribunal has to judge facts, and in order to appreciate

15 these facts, I don't think this legal document that

16 Mr. Radovic has transmitted to us is of any utility.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: We should not engage, I

18 think, in a discussion on this particular issue. I

19 think what was suggested by the Prosecutor is right;

20 namely, that we have received this document; you will

21 mention it, I assume, in your closing statement, and it

22 will be taken into account as far as the legal side of

23 the matter is concerned. As for the facts, it will be

24 for the parties to pass on the facts and to show how

25 the facts are presented.

Page 11962

1 Therefore it is not admitted into evidence.

2 It's not evidence, but it will be taken into account

3 by, I assume, Counsel Radovic in his closing statement,

4 and of course, if need be, by the Court when

5 pronouncing on the whole matter, both on the issues of

6 fact and the issues of law.

7 If it is acceptable, we can move on to other

8 procedural matters. Are there any questions which

9 either party would like to raise before we start with

10 the rebuttal witnesses?

11 Yes, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.

12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning, Your

13 Honours. I should like to adduce some documents for

14 the record. These are certified statements of

15 character witnesses for Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic.

16 These are six statements, and I think they all make

17 part of one document, and I should like to seek their

18 admission.

19 Will the usher please help me?

20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D29/1.

21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I have

22 some further documents. It is the finding of a

23 ballistics expert, Damir Catiopovic, who testified as

24 to some characteristics of the rifle MGB. These

25 findings were delivered to the Prosecutor in time, and

Page 11963

1 the Prosecutor's Office stated they were accepting the

2 opinion. We did not call this expert witness to

3 testify here.

4 So it was only an expert analysis of the

5 rifle and as regards two features: one is the firing

6 of the rifle, and the second is the type of ammunition

7 used for that rifle. I should like to adduce this into

8 evidence as well.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?

10 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, just one thing.

11 We're not at all opposed to the submission to the

12 Tribunal of the expert's report on the MGB rifle. I --

13 in fact, this document had already been admitted into

14 the case file.

15 As for the affidavits, for six affidavits

16 which have just been communicated by

17 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac, if we can make sure that

18 witness's statements are, in fact, linked to the

19 character and personality of the accused, and I would

20 like to be granted a few moments to make sure of that.

21 Even though right now we do not find

22 ourselves in the framework of Rule 94 ter of the Rules

23 of Procedure and Evidence, we are not opposed to the

24 submission of these documents, and I don't believe we

25 will ever be opposed to the communication of these

Page 11964

1 documents, but please leave me until tomorrow so that I

2 can give a final decision about these particular

3 documents.

4 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. I think this is a very

5 sensible suggestion. So we'll put off this question

6 until tomorrow. The Prosecutor will carefully examine

7 the six affidavits, and then they will let us know

8 whether or not they object to the admission into

9 evidence. Whereas the other document has been -- since

10 there's no objection, it will be admitted into

11 evidence.

12 I wonder if we can get a number.

13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D30/1.

14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I have

16 yet another batch of documents. These are documents

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted].

19 These are documents which my learned friend,

20 Mr. Radovic, used when he checked the credibility of

21 the witness, and all these documents were rejected

22 because they had not been translated into English.

23 [redacted] shows that he did not

24 deny the existence of these documents or events related

25 to their origin. The only question, contested

Page 11965

1 question, was that there was no English translation.

2 So we should like to suggest that they all be admitted

3 as one batch of documents and -- just a moment.

4 Sorry.

5 They were refused as D3/1 to D8/1 on the same

6 grounds; that is, that there was no English

7 translation. I should now like these documents and

8 their translations to be admitted into evidence.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Did the Prosecution have an

10 opportunity to take a look at these documents?

11 MR. TERRIER: Well, no, Your Honour. In

12 fact, I'm not sure what we're talking about. So before

13 saying anything, I would like to have the opportunity

14 to have a look at them. Could I be granted some time

15 to have a look at them?

16 JUDGE CASSESE: So until tomorrow?

17 MR. TERRIER: Yes, until tomorrow, please,

18 Mr. President. I will then give you our decision.

19 JUDGE CASSESE: It is so decided.

20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits D31/1.

22 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, I have before

23 me a list of exhibits relative to the accused Dragan

24 Papic, which were given by the Prosecutor on the 16th

25 of July, 1999, and the first name on the list is Mehmed

Page 11966

1 Ahmic. It is a statement he made to the investigators

2 of the International Tribunal.

3 I did hand over the statement to the

4 Tribunal, but I forgot to ask that it be admitted into

5 evidence. So may I do that now? If I can do it now, I

6 should like to tender it into evidence, if possible.

7 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?

8 MR. TERRIER: I don't think so, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

10 Counsel Puliselic, it is admitted into evidence, then.

11 Do we have a number?

12 MR. PULISELIC: Yes, it was D1/5. There are

13 two versions of it, in Croatian and in English. So

14 D1/5, and D1/5A for the Croatian and English versions.

15 Of the 28th -- it was on -- the 21st of August, 1998,

16 was when I tendered them into evidence.

17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any other

18 housekeeping matters, procedural matters? None?

19 Now, before we start with the rebuttal

20 witnesses, let me try to do some planning. We have now

21 received a list of rebuttal witnesses. There are

22 five. I understand Mr. McLeod will be called next

23 Monday, on the 4th of October. Then on top of that we

24 have -- now we will summon a Court witness, as a Court

25 witness, Mrs. Ahmic, (redacted).

Page 11967

1 I gather there were no rejoinder witnesses.

2 The Defence counsel are not going to call any rejoinder

3 witnesses. So that means by --

4 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?

5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,

6 Mr. President. Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic's Defence

7 counsel have been thinking about two witnesses, and we

8 were planning to call two witnesses, but we shall

9 decide after we have heard the Prosecution's rebuttal

10 witnesses; that is, if it turns out to be necessary,

11 there are two names, and we should supply them to the

12 Prosecution today. We have not spoken to them yet, but

13 they have to do with rebuttal witnesses for the

14 Prosecution. They will come here in due course.

15 However, we really do not know if we shall

16 need to call them or not, because we think that after

17 this examination, cross-examination, it will no longer

18 be necessary. So we should like to defer our decision

19 until the conclusion of the testimonies of rebuttal

20 witnesses.

21 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Pavkovic?

22 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

23 Vladimir Santic's counsel is also planning to call one

24 witness, but whether it will be necessary to do so

25 shall be decided by us after we have heard the

Page 11968

1 Prosecution's witness; that is, as my learned friend

2 Slokovic-Glumac has already said, it may be during the

3 cross-examination, or even before, that we shall decide

4 that we shall not need this witness. So will you

5 please take note of this. However, I shall know the

6 name of that witness today and I shall duly inform the

7 Prosecutor.

8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Krajina?

9 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, the Defence of

10 the accused Vlatko Kupreskic is planning also to call

11 the accused Vlatko Kupreskic to give his statement, to

12 answer questions with reference to the new evidence

13 about to be produced by the Prosecution. We have

14 notified the Prosecutor about this.

15 JUDGE CASSESE: Is it for sure? Are you

16 planning whether or not to call him? You have decided

17 to call him?

18 MR. KRAJINA: We have decided. We have

19 decided, Mr. President. We have decided so.

20 JUDGE CASSESE: All right.

21 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, would you allow me

22 a very brief remark on what has just been said by

23 Mr. Krajina?

24 In this rebuttal phase, the Prosecution aims

25 to put its stress on one particular element of fact, a

Page 11969

1 very precise element of fact; i.e., the place where

2 Dzenana and Fata Pezer were found when they were; first

3 of all, injured, then killed. Within this rebuttal

4 phase we are not going to touch any other subject.

5 In these circumstances, I cannot understand

6 why, within the framework of the rejoinder, it is

7 planned that Vlatko Kupreskic will be called to the

8 stand when he, in fact, was not present. He was not

9 present at the place where the victims I had talked

10 about were injured.

11 So maybe we're going to know right now that

12 Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic was, in fact, present, but unless

13 this is proven to us, we don't see that it could be of

14 any use to have Mr. Kupreskic come to the stand. I

15 don't think it would be in conformity with the Rules of

16 Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal to hear once

17 again the accused Vlatko Kupreskic, who has had a long

18 opportunity to give his views on this case.

19 Then I would like to make a remark on the

20 order of appearance of the witnesses. This is matter

21 of information to you, Your Honours, and to inform the

22 counsels of defence for the order of appearance.

23 A document was communicated to this Chamber

24 on September 20th, 1999. It appears on this document

25 that there's been a change, rather, in this document.

Page 11970

1 The first witness which will come before you

2 will be the witness which comes second, and then we'll

3 have Mr. Howard Tucker coming third. The fourth

4 witness, or, rather, the third witness, will be the

5 fourth witness of the list. Then the fourth witness

6 will be the first witness appearing on the list. So

7 there's been a slight change in the order of

8 appearance.

9 Another thing I would like to inform you

10 about -- and I think you know about this already,

11 Mr. McLeod -- the witness who appears as witness

12 number 5 will only come next Monday, for personal

13 reasons.

14 As for witness number 4, we would ask to be

15 allowed to have him come in only on Thursday, because

16 we have to have some time to talk to him and prepare

17 him.

18 JUDGE CASSESE: Fine.

19 [Trial Chamber confers]

20 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President?

21 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Krajina?

22 MR. KRAJINA: I do apologise, but as regards

23 what has just been said by the Prosecutor, from the

24 documents handed us over by the Prosecution and

25 relative to the reconstruction of the events in Ahmici,

Page 11971

1 conducted again by the Prosecution, it is quite

2 feasible that the witnesses, and especially Witness Q,

3 described, among other things, the area which is in the

4 immediate vicinity of Vlatko Kupreskic's house in

5 Ahmici, and they describe both the area, the lay of the

6 land, and the spinney, and things like that, for a long

7 time. We believe that Vlatko Kupreskic is a man who

8 grew up in the area, is quite qualified, and that he's

9 a man who can best portray this area to the Tribunal

10 and respond to claims of the witnesses who spoke about

11 the area and everything else that happened there.

12 I do not think it will be a long testimony.

13 It would merely be a response to those witness

14 statements which the Prosecution heard during the

15 reconstruction of the events.

16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We will pass on

17 this matter and make a ruling on whether or not the --

18 it is admissible for the accused Vlatko Kupreskic to be

19 heard again as a rejoinder witness, at the end of the

20 rebuttal witnesses. So at that point only shall we

21 decide this matter. So we defer any decision on the

22 matter until after the rebuttal witnesses have all been

23 heard.

24 We can now then move on and start with

25 rebuttal witnesses if there's no other matter.

Page 11972

1 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, our first witness

2 has asked for protection measures. He has asked to

3 testify within a closed session. The Defence counsels

4 have been informed of this this morning. They have no

5 objection.

6 JUDGE CASSESE: We'll move into a closed

7 session.

8 [Closed session]

9 (redacted)

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20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

21 1.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

22 the 28th day of September, 1999,

23 at 1.00 p.m.

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