1 Monday, 13 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 MR. BLACK: Good morning, Your Honours. Before we begin there is
6 one housekeeping matter which the Prosecution would like to raise. It
7 deals with the trial schedule. We discussed this with the Defence on
8 Friday to some extent. As the Court knows, there is a four-day weekend
9 for Easter that's coming up relatively soon. Because that's a -- the
10 Easter holiday, it makes it very difficult for the Prosecution to bring
11 witnesses for proofing over that weekend which in any case would mean that
12 the earliest the Prosecution could put on a witness the next week would be
13 Wednesday. So we would have to be truncated on that week Wednesday
14 through Friday. Now when we raised this with the Defence they brought our
15 attention that the following weekends is Orthodox Easter and so that would
16 also entail travel for the Defence. It's a different date, I don't know
17 if Your Honours are familiar with that. The Defence can give you more
18 information. I know that in some other trials what they have done to
19 remedy this problem is just take the entire week after Easter off.
20 Because what we will be left with is only two court days anyhow. I'm not
21 sure the Defence's position on that. I think they would be in agreement
22 with that. The Prosecution also would be fine with that solution although
23 if the Trial Chamber insists on us going forth that week we are certainly
24 prepared to bring witnesses starting on Wednesday but I'm afraid on that
25 Tuesday we couldn't do it.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does -- the week 17th to the 23rd of April?
2 MR. BLACK: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, what is the story about the
4 Orthodox holidays at the time?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Orthodox
6 Easter is a week later, after the Catholic Easter, and what my learned
7 friend was saying is correct. Those are two important dates that do not
8 coincide because we use different calendars and I believe that due to
9 these practical problems on one hand, in terms of the capacity to bring
10 witnesses and on the other hand the need to celebrate this date, we do
11 need this break and I agree on that point with my learned friend from the
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: What date is the Orthodox Easter? What dates
14 are --
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The 23rd of April, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And is there nothing before that? Because the 23rd
17 of April is Sunday, which is in any case a public holiday.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, as in the
19 Catholic calendar, the Friday before is Good Friday, so that Friday and
20 Saturday should also be off.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: So Friday, the 21st is Good Friday?
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Correct. That's it,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Which means it would give us only Tuesday --
25 I mean Wednesday and Thursday.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it then possible to be in court on the 24th of
3 April? Mr. Milovancevic?
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, as far as the
5 Defence is concerned. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And on your side, too, Mr. Black?
7 MR. BLACK: Absolutely, Your Honour, yes.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Well, then it seems, we might as well take
9 that whole week off and then just come back on the 24th. So that the --
10 the schedule is not out yet, or at least I haven't seen it, so we are most
11 likely going to be in court the very last day on the 13th and then come
12 back on the 24th.
13 MR. BLACK: That's the way I understand it. Thank you very much
14 for the guidance, Your Honour. We will plan our witnesses accordingly.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome. Thank you very much. Mr. Black?
16 MR. BLACK: The next witness will be taken by Ms. Valabhji.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Valabhji.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may,
19 Mr. Martic has asked me to address you, the whole Trial Chamber, in fact
20 he asked me to request an opportunity for him to address you, and he has
21 something to say as a detainee.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is he not able to say it through you,
23 Mr. Milovancevic?
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I just follow his request to
25 convey this plea, and he wanted to address you himself. He wanted me, as
1 the Defence counsel, to announce it. He wants to speak about the
2 situation with his detention and circumstances in the detention unit. I
3 was just following his request. If you think it inappropriate, then I
4 will try to say on his behalf what I believe is important but I had to
5 transmit his wish, which was to speak himself.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
7 Okay, then, Mr. Martic?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Honourable Judges, I wish to inform
9 you that I am in a terrible state of shock. In the space of one week, two
10 terrible deaths have occurred and both of them hit me quite hard. The
11 latest one, the death of Slobodan Milosevic, which is now under inquiry,
12 seems to be caused by an infarction. I was supposed to testify as his
13 Defence witness very soon.
14 Concerning the first death, the death of Mr. Babic, I would have a
15 couple of things to say and I have already informed the Detention Unit of
16 it. He did testify as a witness against me. I am convinced, however,
17 that the strength of my defence arguments would have been able to refute
18 his testimony. I'm sorry for his family, but the circumstances of his
19 death should be a concern to you as well. I personally witnessed that
20 Mr. Babic left the detention unit to go somewhere, I don't know where, in
21 those periods when he was not supposed to, namely after being questioned
22 by the Prosecution, after the break, and when my Defence counsel was in
23 Belgrade, Mr. Babic was driven away somewhere. I was able to see that
24 because my cell was quite close by, on the same floor. And I am very
25 interested in knowing who exerted pressure on him and under what
1 circumstances he committed suicide. I want all this clarified. His death
2 put me in a great state of shock and diminishes my capability to follow
3 the proceedings, and even concerning the witness who is protected here,
4 and whose name I will not reveal, he seems to be under pressure as well to
5 testify falsely. But it should be a concern to you as well, the methods
6 that are being used by the Prosecution. I really need some time to pull
7 myself together after all this.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you done, Mr. Martic?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic -- you may sit down, Mr. Martic.
11 Mr. Milovancevic, let me first address Mr. Martic. Mr. Martic,
12 thanks for what you have said. Some of the issues you raise, it would
13 have been -- it's unfortunate that they have to -- they had to come
14 through you. It would have been preferable perhaps if they had come
15 through your counsel. We probably would have gone into private session
16 for that. And he probably would have addressed them differently other
17 than saying them in court. But you have said them now. There is nothing
18 we can do about them, they are on the transcript. All I can say to you is
19 we've heard what you have said and to the best of its ability the Chamber
20 will try to investigate what you have mentioned. Obviously, there is more
21 detail that is required from you to be able to follow up what you have
22 said and what the Chamber can do is to try and suggest that a --
23 mechanisms be put in place to investigate what you are saying so that it
24 can be followed up.
25 As to your own situation, let me just find out, do I understand
1 you clearly to say that you are not in a position to follow the
2 proceedings properly as a result of the events of the last two weekends,
3 and if that -- your answer is yes, my question, my next question would be
4 would you like a break? Would you like the Court not to sit today, to
5 give you time to recover or what is it you would like to have?
6 Mr. Martic?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think you understood me correctly.
8 I am not able to really follow the proceedings. I'm simply in a state of
9 shock, and I need some rest to pull myself together because these are
10 terrible things. I knew both men very closely and was attached to them in
11 a way. I was to testify as a Defence witness for one of them, and the
12 other testified against me, but that didn't bother me at all because the
13 arguments of my defence were too strong for what he said to stand up in
14 court. But I'm simply in a state of shock. That's the bottom line.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Martic, let me say also that on behalf of this
16 Bench, and I'm sure on behalf of the Tribunal as a whole, we -- to the
17 extent that you are so close to the two gentlemen we would like to convey
18 our condolences to you. For what it is worth we convey our condolences to
19 their respective families, too, and to all the people that knew them and
20 were close to them. I do not want you to be left with the impression that
21 the Bench is unfeeling about the passing away of these two gentlemen. We
22 all feel very terrible about it. We are very sorry for them and for their
23 families. And it's just that some of these expressions we usually try to
24 express them outside the court process than in the Court process but now
25 that the issue has been raised, I think it is appropriate that we express
2 Having said that, I would then ask your representative, and the
3 Prosecution, to give input on your request, in terms of the further
4 proceedings of the case.
5 Mr. Milovancevic, do you have anything to add on to what
6 Mr. Martic has said?
7 You may sit down, Mr. Martic.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 On behalf of the Defence team, I can say that in view of all these
10 happenings, we haven't had contact with Mr. Martic since Friday. We heard
11 about this request just before the beginning, the resumption, of the trial
12 and that was his request to address you.
13 As for the Defence team itself, I want to point out two important
14 things. Within the space of six days, two very important detainees met
15 their deaths under circumstances that have not been elucidated. At this
16 moment, as a Defence team, we are deeply concerned, both about the health
17 and the life of Mr. Martic, and we request that these circumstances be
18 placed under the full control of the Trial Chamber. The health care for
19 Mr. Martic, which doctor, which nurse, who dispenses medicine, who
20 controls the quantity of this medication. We also request that the Trial
21 Chamber places under their control who distributes food, who checks it,
22 who dispenses it, who controls the security and safety of detainees, and
23 under what circumstances, on what conditions.
24 You see, Your Honour, last Monday, that is a week ago, we learned
25 that Mr. Babic ended his life just half an hour after the last check, and
1 only now, through mass media, we learned that Mr. Milosevic had been dead
2 for a long time before he was found. This begs the question: Who
3 controls these people there? The Detention Unit is turning into a morgue.
4 We ask the Trial Chamber to appoint an independent panel of doctors who
5 would independently check the health status of Mr. Martic. He has been
6 having health problems for a week and has been taking tranquilisers. And
7 when we receive that report from an independent panel, only then we will
8 be able to know for sure under what circumstances Mr. Martic is serving
9 his detention. That is one.
10 The other point is this: The issue that Mr. Martic raised about
11 the circumstances of Mr. Babic's death is under inquiry. The inquiry is
12 not over, and only five days later, we have another death, and we are
13 learning again from the press that the most important detainee of this
14 Tribunal, Mr. Milosevic, died as a result of a heart attack and nobody
15 knew that he died. I'm not a doctor but I have to wonder if he would have
16 died if he had been in hospital under medical care. What we find shocking
17 now is the suggestion that the trial may go on. Under these
18 circumstances, when the most important witness of the Prosecution and the
19 most important Accused at this Tribunal have lost their lives and departed
20 from this world, the suggestion that Mr. Martic's trial can go on is
21 inappropriate. We heard yesterday's statement of Carla Del Ponte to the
22 press, who expressed her regret only because the trial of Mr. Milosevic
23 did not get to be finished. It is a breach, not only of decency and the
24 elementary requirement to express condolences to the family, it shows
25 total unscrupulousness because it is tantamount to the demand to continue
1 all the other trials. Are we dealing with sick ambitions to finish all
2 the trials even at the cost of all the accused dying? This is a drastic
3 situation that shakes the very foundations of this Tribunal. It would be
4 in the interest of the Tribunal to request an independent panel, from the
5 Security Council, to investigate the deaths of five detainees, all of them
6 Serbs, the two last within only five days. We still have no information
7 about the first of these. In this situation, Your Honours, we are really
8 concerned for the life, health and safety, security, of Mr. Martic, and we
9 ask the Trial Chamber to place all this under your personal control.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Martic -- I beg your pardon,
12 Mr. Milovancevic.
13 Before I respond do you have anything to say, Mr. Black?
14 MR. BLACK: I certainly do, Your Honour. A lot of points have
15 been raised in the last few minutes. First, let me say that what we just
16 heard from Defence counsel is a political speech with no relevance to this
17 trial. It is a waste of time. There is no basis for continuing this
18 trial or much less halting this trial because of Slobodan Milosevic's
19 death. He was not a witness in this case. His death, while unfortunate,
20 has no bearing whatsoever on this case. That's my first point.
21 The second point is something that Mr. Milovancevic himself has
22 said, that there have been inquiries ordered for both of these deaths. A
23 process is under way to look into them. We will all learn the results of
24 those inquiries when they come to a close. In the appropriate time, I'm
25 sure any exculpatory material will obviously be disclosed to the Defence.
1 They certainly know as much as we know at this point about both of these
3 As to the suggestion that the Trial Chamber should take over
4 control of the Detention Unit, maybe I don't need to say too much about
5 that but there is a system here, the detention unit reports to the
6 Registrar, the Trial Chamber does have some supervisory role in that, and
7 I'm sure there is a way that Mr. Martic's safety and health can be ensured
8 without the Trial Chamber taking over essentially the running of the
9 Detention Unit. On the issue of Mr. Martic's health we certainly do
10 support a medical exam for the Accused. If there is any reason to believe
11 that he is unhealthy we fully support that request and hope that the Trial
12 Chamber could make whatever orders are necessary, although I know that
13 it's often not necessary to raise these things with the Trial Chamber; if
14 they place a request to the Registrar for a medical exam that can also be
16 I would say one other thing regarding what Mr. Martic said in his
17 own address to the Court. The Prosecution does not accept the allegation
18 that there has been undue pressure against anyone in the Detention Unit,
19 much less Mr. Babic, certainly not from us. There is no basis for that
20 allegation and we do not accept it and we resist it -- we resist the
21 suggestion in court of that. If the Defence knows something, if they have
22 some evidence, well, certainly I would assume that they would put forth a
23 motion. But as nothing of that sort is forthcoming we - I would like to
24 say publicly - explicitly reject the allegations of undue pressure by the
25 Prosecution. That's all, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Black.
2 Starting with the very last point that you have made about
3 pressure being put on Mr. Babic and the circumstances surrounding
4 Mr. Babic's demise, I would like to suggest to you, Mr. Martic, that a
5 commission of inquiry has been established by the Tribunal. You have
6 indicated that you saw Mr. Babic being taken away, being driven away on
7 the day before he died, and you have -- you seem to have knowledge about
8 how he met his demise, more than anybody else, and I think it is open to
9 you to testify before that commission and tell the commission what you
10 knew so that these facts can be ventilated. I want to endorse what
11 Mr. Black has said in so far as your own health is concerned, and I think
12 in so far as your health is concerned, there are channels, we have told
13 your counsel about them. You can deal with the Registry about those
14 things. Indeed, if the Registry is not acting satisfactorily to you
15 you're welcome to come to this court and this Court will make appropriate
16 orders. For today, I haven't heard any specific complaint about whether
17 or not the Registry is complying with its obligations in so far as your
18 health is concerned, and unless and until I hear that, I can only say that
19 -- deal with Registry on that, on that point.
20 Mr. Milovancevic, once again, you also make comments which I
21 didn't think that were -- they were appropriate to be made in court here.
22 For starters I want to distance myself from your comments on whatever
23 Ms. Carla Del Ponte might have said. She is the Chief Prosecutor of the
24 Tribunal. She made statements as she saw fit. It's not for me, as a
25 court of law, to comment on that conduct of hers.
1 So I justice tans myself from what you said and I want to distance
2 this Chamber from what you said about her.
3 To suggest that because Mr. Babic has passed on, and because
4 Mr. Milosevic has also passed on, cases must then come to an end, I find
5 absolutely preposterous. I do not know whether you are suggesting that
6 because of those two deaths, therefore the Tribunal must shut down and
7 cases must not go on. I'm quite prepared to listen to a request that
8 because of shock, we take a break for whatever length of time that it
9 might be necessary for Mr. Martic to recover. But to suggest that
10 proceedings must come to an end, I'm sure you are aware that that is not
11 within the competence of this Chamber. This Chamber could never give that
12 order. That would have to be something that would have come -- it
13 wouldn't even come from the president. It would have to come from the
14 United Nations.
15 So I cannot entertain those -- that political discussion at that
16 level in the Court. My instructions and the instructions of this Chamber
17 and the competences of this Chamber are to run a trial and not to make
18 administrative decisions about what has to happen in the running of the
19 entire ICTY or what has to be done with the proceedings of the ICTY when
20 people meet their untimely deaths. That is administrative work that has
21 nothing to do with the Trial Chamber and, as I say so, I am not without
22 sympathy for the people involved, the close relatives of the deceased. It
23 is just that that is the -- that's the line between my job and the job of
24 other people who are part of the running of this Tribunal. It is not for
25 me to decide whether proceedings must go on or not go on.
1 Having said that, I just wanted to say that Mr. Black, you didn't
2 comment on the specific request by Mr. Martic that he is in shock and that
3 he would like to have a break. That's the one -- that's the only thing
4 that this Chamber has competence to deal with.
5 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sorry I didn't address
6 that earlier. We certainly see no reason -- all of us are in shock to a
7 certain extent. Obviously Mr. Martic knew these gentlemen personally in a
8 way that most of us here didn't. Nevertheless, I don't see any reason why
9 we should have a lengthy continuance in this case. Defence counsel did
10 say they have not been able to consult with their client over the weekend.
11 Perhaps it would be appropriate to take a break and essentially start with
12 the second session this morning to give them a chance to take advice from
13 their client, to discuss the matter. Perhaps more details could come out
14 if a longer continuance is truly necessary but based on what we've heard
15 this morning, the Prosecution would oppose anything longer than that for
16 the time being, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black.
18 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic? Mr. Milovancevic, to please address the
19 Chamber on Mr. Martic's request for a stand down or a short break. The
20 other issues are really beyond the competence of this Chamber.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honours.
22 First of all, let me explain to the Trial Chamber that my words
23 never meant that I wanted this whole thing to be -- to come to an end. I
24 just provided arguments that supported Mr. Martic's words when he said
25 that he perceived the situation at this moment irregular and the way he
1 perceived all these things have brought him to a situation in which he is
2 not able to follow the proceedings and that's why the Defence believes
3 that a short break is in order for Mr. Martic to pull himself together,
4 and that's why we ask the Trial Chamber to give us a break for
5 Mr. Martic's health to be checked in the meantime.
6 What the Defence has pointed to as a general fact are the
7 circumstances under all of this has happened and the fact that the --
8 Mr. Milosevic's Defence has conveyed publicly Mr. Milosevic's claim that
9 somebody was killing him. That's why we expressed our concern for the
10 position of Mr. Martic. We don't have any specific detail. The
11 investigation is going to --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I asked you to address me on one
13 point and one point only. This Chamber has no jurisdiction over
14 Mr. Milovancevic [sic] -- we are not dealing with Mr. Martic's -- I would
15 like us to deal with whether we are giving you a break for you to talk to
16 Mr. Martic and, as you say, get him to pull himself together, and
17 whether -- and let's decide in the next session whether we can proceed or
19 Are you agreeable with that?
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 We would have to break at quarter past ten and take a 30-minute
23 break to quarter to 11. We will take an adjournment now and reconvene at
24 quarter to 11.
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Break taken at 9.36 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, what is the story about
4 Mr. Martic now?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have had a
6 conversation with Mr. Martic, and he told us that his health condition
7 according to him is good but he's under a lot of stress on account of the
8 events that have taken place and that he is distorted, he is not able to
9 follow the proceedings, and he requests a couple of days to pull himself
10 together, to be able to continue following the proceedings, and this is
11 his only request.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 Mr. Black?
14 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. As the Prosecution sees it,
15 we are trying -- in our own response we are trying to balance two things.
16 Certainly we are concerned about the Accused. We want to make sure that
17 his health and well being are fully protected. There is no question about
18 that and we support if there is a need for a medical examination or to
19 speak with someone. I don't know what the options are but we would
20 support anything like that. Nevertheless, this trial has to continue in
21 proper fashion. We have six witnesses scheduled to testify this week.
22 Three of them are already here. One is arriving today. So I just want to
23 make the point that if we take a few days off, it has an impact on other
24 people, not just the people who work in this building but also witnesses
25 and victims and witnesses. And consequently, we feel that while we would
1 be happy to agree to take today off for Mr. Martic to have yet another day
2 to absorb these news, we would be willing to concede that, but if it goes
3 beyond certainly tomorrow, we think there needs to be some demonstrated
4 basis for a continuance. It's not that we don't believe Mr. Martic that
5 he's stressed by these circumstances, we all understand that but the
6 Prosecution is not in a position to agree to a continuance, certainly not
7 beyond tomorrow, without some medically or other wise demonstrated basis
8 for that, Your Honour. That would be our position.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Do you have any reply to
10 that, Mr. Milovancevic?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Just briefly, Your Honour.
12 We don't have anything to add to what we have already said. From
13 our position, we really cannot give you an estimate as to how long this
14 continuance should be. We leave it up to the Trial Chamber and if the
15 Trial Chamber needs to consult with somebody, then obviously the Trial
16 Chamber will do that. We place a lot of trust with the Trial Chamber in
17 that respect.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Obviously, the Trial Chamber sympathises with
21 Mr. Martic and his condition. But obviously also, the Trial Chamber needs
22 to have some objective evidence of the condition of Mr. Martic. And at
23 the same time the Trial Chamber is sympathetic with the Prosecution and
24 the Prosecution's predicament about the scheduling of witnesses and
25 victims who must come to court. For that reason, the following order is
1 going to be made. The matter will be postponed for the rest of the day to
2 give Mr. Martic time to get himself together, and, Mr. Martic, you are
3 ordered, when you get back to the detention unit, to consult with a
4 medical doctor, and bring a medical certificate tomorrow that states your
5 condition and gives a prognosis of the condition into the future, and we
6 will take it from there tomorrow, based on the medical certificate.
7 That's the one part.
8 The next part I would like to make is that in view of the fact
9 that the allegations made both by Mr. Martic and Mr. Milovancevic this
10 morning go beyond the competence of this Court, I'm going to order
11 Registry to make a copy of this morning's transcript and give a copy of it
12 to the President of the Tribunal for him to consider how to redress the
13 complaints that are raised in that transcript.
14 Those are the two orders that we will make for today.
15 Mr. Martic had his hand up a little earlier.
16 Mr. Milovancevic, the Trial Chamber is disinclined to talk
17 directly to Mr. Martic when he has got counsel in court. The Chamber will
18 therefore give you an opportunity to walk to Mr. Martic and find out what
19 it is he wants to say and you can say it as briefly as you possibly can.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Your Honour, the Defence is grateful to the Trial Chamber for the
23 decision that has just been made. Mr. Martic just wanted to inform you
24 that he received medication from Dr. Petrovic, that this should be
25 recorded somewhere, despite that he couldn't sleep, but these are the
1 details that you have just mentioned in your order. I don't see the need
2 for my client to address the Trial Chamber directly because this is all
3 that he has just told me in our private conversation.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then the Court stands
5 adjourned to tomorrow at 9.00.
6 Court adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.09 a.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of March,
9 2006, at 9.00 a.m.