Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3631

1 Tuesday, 1 March 2005

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused Limaj and Musliu entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith, I see you without support.

6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good afternoon, Your Honours. We seem to be a

7 football team down a couple of our players, a substantial number, as a

8 matter of fact. I received a telephone call this late morning from the

9 Detention Unit indicating that my client was being taken to the hospital.

10 Apparently something is amiss; as I think the Trial Chamber is aware, he

11 does have pre-existing medical conditions.


13 MR. GUY-SMITH: I have no specific information at all with regard

14 to what the problem is; however I believe it is a continuation of the

15 pre-existing cardiac difficulties. That's what I have been led to

16 believe. I was told that there have been incidents. However the people

17 in the Detention Unit felt that the severity of this incident was such

18 that it was prudent and appropriate to take him to the hospital. That is

19 the beginning and the end of the information that I have at this time

20 with regard to his present physical condition.

21 I am not in a position, obviously, in his absence to do much with

22 regard to working in this particular field. In other fields I can

23 outside of court, but whilst he is absent, at least for the moment, I am

24 not able to proceed. And I apologise to the Court. However I think of

25 all the days that such a thing could occur perhaps this is not a bad day

Page 3632

1 since we're already short in other respects.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I --

3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Though I say that --

4 JUDGE PARKER: I think the actual standard of things may be

5 lifting.

6 It seems quite obvious, given the circumstances, that it would be

7 inappropriate to continue the hearing today. And clearly, it will be

8 necessary if there is to be any continuation of your client's ill health

9 to get some information as to the prognosis so that we can make an

10 assessment from the point of view of the trial's continuance.

11 I think, Mr. Whiting, the inevitable is that we must adjourn

12 today. I know this would inconvenience you and your witness, but it

13 seems in the circumstances unavoidable.

14 MR. WHITING: No, I certainly concur with that, and as Mr.

15 Guy-Smith said, it was a short day anyhow so it falls well -- of course

16 as the Court indicated, if it continues we'll have to take up the matter.

17 I don't know if the Court wishes to bring the witness in to advise the

18 witness about what's happened or have the witness unit do that. It's the

19 Court's preference.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Whiting.

21 There was the matter of legal submissions, but it would seem that

22 that probably ought to be left as well, Mr. Guy-Smith, for the same

23 reason.

24 MR. GUY-SMITH: I would think so, Your Honour. At this point

25 I'll hold off until the next time that we're all together, if that's

Page 3633

1 amenable to the Trial Chamber.

2 There is one other matter which is: I don't know whether or not

3 there's going to be any contact between the Detention Unit and the Trial

4 Chamber with regard to Mr. Bala's condition. I will endeavour to get

5 information and any information I get I will forward to all parties

6 immediately. But I also would hope that perhaps the Detention Unit,

7 because sometimes the lines of communication are perhaps a bit more

8 direct, might be able to inform the Trial Chamber with regard to my

9 client's status just so we have a second way of checking that.

10 Part of my concern is as follows. I don't know whether or not

11 he's in such a condition that we're going to have to be in his absence

12 again tomorrow. And if that does occur, I don't know what the Chamber's

13 thinking is, whether the Chamber wishes to wait until we reached that

14 issue or not because I may need to take some instruction from him if I

15 can find out where he is in that regard.

16 JUDGE PARKER: The first step would be whether -- if there is to

17 be any prolonged break in his ability to be present, whether the trial

18 might continue with his agreement on the basis that you'll be here

19 representing his interest. And that's a matter about which you would

20 obviously need to seek instructions. If he does not consent to the trial

21 continuing, the Chamber will have to look into the question of whether

22 regardless of that there should be some continuation of the proceedings

23 and that would involve some reliable information as to the medical

24 condition and the likely length of time of absence and the like.

25 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.

Page 3634

1 JUDGE PARKER: So that's all contingent at the moment. We will

2 hope for every reason that your client recovers quickly and can attend

3 again.

4 MR. GUY-SMITH: I hope so, too.

5 JUDGE PARKER: I leave it with you to pursue seeking that

6 information and, if necessary, instructions. The Chamber will routinely

7 receive some information, but I think you would get more detailed

8 instruction through your client than the Chamber would. We will see.

9 Mr. Topolski, are you wishing to say something? I just saw you

10 looking as though you might have a contribution to make.

11 MR. TOPOLSKI: Good afternoon. That's all I can usefully add to

12 the proceedings. Your Honours know I perhaps ought to simply add this

13 for the record: that Mr. Limaj is without both Mr. Mansfield and Mr.

14 Khan today. With your leave, I regard myself as protecting his interests

15 at Mr. Mansfield's request and at his confirmation that I may do that.

16 And he has nothing to add to the discussions that Your Honours had with

17 Mr. Guy-Smith, nor for that matter does Mr. Musliu.

18 JUDGE PARKER: In the first instance we must adjourn with a view

19 to hoping that the accused is in a position to be back in court, and if

20 not, for instructions from him to be obtained by his counsel, which means

21 at the earliest we will continue tomorrow. That would be at 2.15. That

22 will be our adjournment, but if information is received that makes it

23 clear that we cannot continue tomorrow, there will have to be a telephone

24 communication to let you know of that if that's convenient.

25 If the witness could be brought in. I think as a matter of

Page 3635

1 courtesy we should explain the situation.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Qeriqi, unfortunately one of the three accused

5 men has developed some medical condition and has had to be taken to

6 hospital; because of that, we will not be able to continue the hearing

7 today. We hope that he will be in a position to return to the court

8 tomorrow. For that reason, unfortunately, we must advise you that we

9 will not be hearing any more of your evidence today but we'll hope to be

10 able to continue with your evidence tomorrow at 2.15. I am sorry for

11 that inconvenience, but as you can understand if an accused man is ill,

12 well then he needs to receive his medical treatment and we must wait

13 while that is done.

14 So with that apology, we will now adjourn for the day to resume

15 hopefully tomorrow at 2.15 tomorrow.

16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.30 p.m.,

17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day of

18 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.