Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Tuesday, 10 December, 2002

2 [Status Conference and further appearance]

3 [Open Session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.07 p.m.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will the Registrar call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is Case Number

8 IT-02-65-PT, the Prosecutor versus Zeljko Meakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan

9 Fustar, Predrag Banovic, and Dusko Knezevic.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I have the appearances for the Prosecution.

11 MS. CHANA: If the Court pleases, I appear for the Prosecution, my

12 name is Sureta Chana. I am ably assisted by my learned counsel here,

13 Katharina Margetts, and our case manager today is David Leese.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Chana. And for the Defence.

15 MR. SCUDDER: I am Theodore Scudder, representing Dusan Fustar.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Scudder.

17 Is there a problem with the microphone? Why don't you use the

18 microphone that is working.

19 MR. MORAN: Good afternoon, Your Honour. I am Tom Moran. I am

20 co-counsel for Mr. Knezevic, and I am with lead counsel, Slobodanka Nedic,

21 from Belgrade.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Moran.

23 MR. BABIC: [Interpretation] My name is Jovan Babic, I am a lawyer

24 from Novi Sad, and I am representing Predrag Banovic here.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Babic.

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1 MR. DUNDJER: [Interpretation] I am Milenko Dundjer, and I shall be

2 representing Momcilo Gruban today.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Dundjer.

4 We have a number of matters to consider in this status conference,

5 but the one I want to deal with first is the pleas to the new charges that

6 arise out of the consolidated indictment.

7 Mr. Gruban and Mr. Knezevic will plead to new charges. And before

8 I move into the formal process of taking their pleas, I want to be sure

9 that we have a common understanding as to the new charges to which they

10 will be pleading. So I ask counsel, listen carefully as I read out the

11 charges.

12 In respect of Mr. Knezevic, the new charges are count 4, inhumane

13 acts, a crime against humanity; and count 5, cruel treatment, a violation

14 of the laws or customs of war.

15 And in respect of Mr. Gruban, the new charges are inhumane acts, a

16 crime against humanity; cruel treatment, a violation of the laws or

17 customs of war; and persecution, a crime against humanity punishable under

18 Articles 5, 7(1), and 7(3) of this Statute.

19 So I would just like to have that confirmed by counsel on both

20 sides that those are the new charges.

21 For the Prosecution.

22 MS. CHANA: Yes, I confirm those are the new charges.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: And for the Defence counsel.

24 MR. MORAN: That's correct, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Dundjer? Yes, thank you.

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1 So Mr. Dundjer, Ms. Nedic, and Mr. Moran, as defence counsel, I

2 take it that your clients have received copies of the consolidated

3 indictment in a language which they understand and that you have had the

4 opportunity of going through it about them and that you have brought to

5 their attention the new charges that they face and that you have explained

6 the charges to them.

7 First Mr. Dundjer.

8 MR. DUNDJER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have received the

9 indictment. We have informed the accused of this matter. Everything was

10 explained to him, and the matter is clear to him.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.

12 Ms. Nedic.

13 MS. NEDIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We have explained

14 to the accused Knezevic all the counts that concern him in the

15 consolidated indictment, and he understood it.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.

17 Mr. Gruban, please stand. You've heard your counsel say that the

18 indictment has been explained to you. He has informed you of the nature

19 of the new charges against you. And do you wish to enter a plea to those

20 charges today?

21 THE ACCUSED GRUBAN: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to read the new counts in the

23 indictment. And to each count, you will enter a plea, and you will say

24 either guilty or not guilty.

25 Count 1 of the consolidated indictment charges you with

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1 persecution on political, racial, or religious grounds, a crime against

2 humanity punishable under Articles 5, 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute of the

3 Tribunal.

4 How do you plead; guilty or not guilty?

5 THE ACCUSED GRUBAN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: And count 4 charges you with inhumane acts, a crime

7 against humanity, punishable under Articles 5(1), 7(1), and 7(3) of the

8 Statute of the Tribunal. How do you plead; guilty or not guilty?

9 THE ACCUSED GRUBAN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Count 5 charges you with cruel treatment, a

11 violation of the laws or customs of war, as recognised by Article 3(1)(a)

12 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and punishable under Articles 3,7(1) and

13 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you plead; guilty or not guilty?

14 THE ACCUSED GRUBAN: [Interpretation] Not guilty.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.

16 Mr. Knezevic, please stand. You've heard what your counsel has

17 said. The indictment has been read to you in a language that you

18 understand, and he has been through the indictment with you, explained the

19 new charges to you. Do you wish to enter a plea to those new charges

20 today?

21 THE ACCUSED KNEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I will put the charges to you, and you will

23 answer guilty or not guilty.

24 Count 4 of the consolidated indictment charges you with inhumane

25 acts, a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 5(1), and 7(1) of

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1 the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you plead; guilty or not guilty?

2 THE ACCUSED KNEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not

3 guilty.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: And count 5 charges you with cruel treatment, a

5 violation of the laws or customs of war, as recognised by Article 3(1)(a)

6 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and punishable under Article 3, and

7 Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal. How do you plead; guilty or

8 not guilty?

9 THE ACCUSED KNEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not

10 guilty.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. You may sit.

12 Let us now proceed to the other matters that we have to consider

13 and decide at this Pre-Trial Conference.

14 I will go through the list of matters that I have, and I will call

15 on counsel as the occasion arises.

16 First, pre-trial motions: Defence...

17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm consulting with the Registrar. Just a

19 second.

20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Registrar is consulting the transcript.

22 I will proceed, and when that matter is resolved, the matter I am

23 discussing with the Registrar, we'll come back to it at a later stage.

24 Pre-trial motions, Defence preliminary motions, are to be filed by

25 the 23rd of December. The Prosecution has already indicated it will need

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Page 7

1 some more time to put in its response. And I understand one or two weeks

2 would be enough. I will give two weeks, until Monday, January the 6th,

3 for that.

4 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, if I may speak now, Ms. Korner had asked

5 for two weeks' extension. We would actually, at this stage, ask you to

6 the 27th of January, if we may, to file our response to any motion filed

7 by the Defence.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's more than two weeks.

9 MS. CHANA: It is just because of the holiday season, Your Honour,

10 and the staff will be sort of coming back. We would be prepared to -- I

11 mean, it was January 3rd we should have filed by. 6th --

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'll grant that extension, then. To January

13 the --

14 MS. CHANA: The 27th.


16 MS. CHANA: Thank you.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Prosecution motion for protective measures

18 that was filed on the 4th of December, and the Defence responses are due

19 on the 18th of December. I just make that point as a reminder.

20 We come now to the pre-trial briefs. At the last conference, I

21 had set a target of two months from the decision on joinder for the filing

22 of the Prosecution brief, and the Defence briefs to come a month later.

23 The joinder decision was issued on the 17th of December [sic], but the

24 consolidated indictment was only accepted on the 21st of November. So

25 what I am going to do is to set the pre-trial brief for the Prosecution to

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1 be submitted by Friday, February the 7th. And for all the defendants,

2 including Knezevic, and I take into account the new counsel, March the

3 31st for their brief.

4 I move now to disclosure. I see Ms. Chana wanted to say

5 something.

6 MS. CHANA: Yes, before we leave the pre-trial brief, Your Honour,

7 we were wondering whether we could have a page extension. We are limited

8 to 50 pages as of now, and there are four accused.


10 MS. CHANA: We would like to address in our pre-trial brief, it

11 would make it easier also.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you requesting?

13 MS. CHANA: We are requesting 120 pages, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'll grant that. Yes.

15 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: On the question of disclosure, the witness

17 statements under Rule 66(A)(i) all statements that accompany the

18 indictment, the original indictment or, indeed, the consolidated

19 indictment, have now been disclosed in both English and B/C/S. And with

20 regard to Rule 66(A)(ii), statements of most of the witnesses to be called

21 have been disclosed under 66(A)(i), and I understand the only remaining

22 disclosure would relate to any additional witnesses that the Prosecution

23 may identify when it finalises its witness list.

24 And as for the Prosecution witness list, I would set the same date

25 for the submission of that list as for the pre-trial brief. That's

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1 February the 7th. No question of reciprocal disclosure has been invoked.

2 Rule 68 material, my information is that the Prosecution is still

3 conducting the necessary searches and will disclose any material as it

4 finds it.

5 Experts, we had been given to understand that the Prosecution

6 would call five experts, but it now appears, from the 65 ter conference,

7 that only one, Mr. Sebire, has been identified. I'll ask the Prosecutor

8 to clarify that.

9 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. Mr. Sebire has been identified, but

10 we've already disclosed three other expert witnesses when we had the

11 Keraterm part of the case, which is Hannah Greaves, Richard Wright

12 and Dr. John Clark. And Mr. Sebire would be in addition to those three,

13 so we are looking at four, possibly five, expert witnesses at this time,

14 Your Honour, three of which have been disclosed, but not to all the

15 counsels, I believe, not the ones with the joinder, but we will disclose

16 to them as well.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: For that disclosure, I would set the date of

18 Friday, January the 24th.

19 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And we also have to set a date for the submission

21 of the exhibit lists by the Prosecution. And I set that date as Friday,

22 February the 7th.

23 Agreed facts. The Prosecution has prepared a list of facts for

24 possible agreement. And the list of findings from previous judgements.

25 These have been provided to the Defence, and the parties are to meet to

Page 10

1 discuss this matter and come to an agreement, if that is possible. I

2 encourage the parties to do that as quickly as possible.

3 The length of trial. Ms. Chana, can you remind me of the number

4 of witnesses that you expect to call.

5 MS. CHANA: We anticipate 50 witnesses in all, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: 50 witnesses.

7 MS. CHANA: Live witnesses.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the length of your case?

9 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, it all depends on what the agreed facts

10 are. If there are, in fact -- if there is an agreement on a lot of the

11 background facts, of course, it would only leave us with the individual

12 criminal responsibility which will severely curtail our case. In that

13 event, we're probably looking at six to eight weeks to finish our

14 Prosecution case. In the event that we do not have many facts on which we

15 reach agreement, then I anticipate at least six months, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I encourage the parties to come to

17 agreement, if that is possible, and shorten the case.

18 I am required to make an inquiry from each of the accused as to

19 any matter which they wish to raise concerning their detention, conditions

20 relating to their detention or to their health. Before I do that, counsel

21 wishes to say something.

22 Yes.

23 MR. BABIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I presume that my

24 defendant will also wish to speak on this issue, but we wanted to raise

25 the matter that -- the problem that he has in the Detention Unit at the

Page 11

1 moment, which is the following: The basis for the submission is to be

2 found at Rule 65 bis (A)(ii), and this is to do with the mental state of

3 my client in the Detention Unit. On the 13th of June of this year, in the

4 usual way, I addressed the Registry for the Registry to undertake certain

5 steps in respect of the authorities of the Netherlands so that the visa

6 can be issued to Nenad Banovic, brother of Predrag Banovic, for the

7 purpose of a visit.

8 The response from the Registry following this request, I received

9 in July. The response was a negative one. The reason was very brief in

10 the written response, and they were given -- the reasons given was

11 security reasons. These didn't seem very convincing reasons, and at my

12 next meeting with Mr. Christian Rhode, I discussed this matter. And the

13 agreement that came out of that meeting was for me to address the Registry

14 again. I did so on the 18th of September in the same manner with a

15 slightly expanded explanation.

16 On the 27th of November, I received practically the same answer,

17 that steps cannot be taken in respect of the Dutch authorities, and that

18 the Registry believes that this visa cannot be issued for security

19 purposes in relation to the Detention Unit.

20 Both these decisions, and particularly the latter, have caused my

21 client, Predrag Banovic, to be mentally unstable. His concentration on

22 the preparation of his Defence has been decreasing on a daily basis. And

23 particularly, he is hurt by the fact that his brother, his twin brother,

24 through a very rough identification error, and we, as the Defence, will

25 seriously address this problem of identification in our preliminary

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1 motion, this brother had been brought before this Tribunal. He spent a

2 certain amount of time in the Detention Unit of the Tribunal, then the

3 indictment was withdrawn against him; the Tribunal dismissed the case

4 against him, and he is currently free. It seems that the father, the

5 mother, brother, second brother, his wife can visit him here in the

6 Detention Unit, while his twin brother, where special emotional links

7 exist and only as a result of a serious identification error, he cannot be

8 given a visa for a visit to the Detention Unit.

9 I believe that Your Honour and this Chamber would be authorised in

10 this manner to order the Registry for -- so that the Registry attempts,

11 does its utmost, so the Registry can make sure that Nenad Banovic is

12 issued with a visa to visit his brother. That way, the mental state of

13 Predrag Banovic, my client, will be stabilised and make him able to stand

14 trial. Thank you very much.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Babic.

16 [Trial Chamber and senior legal officer confer]

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Babic, I've listened to what you have said

18 very carefully, and I understand it is a distressing matter for your

19 client. I'm not sure, however, to what extent the Chamber is in a

20 position to deal with this effectively. I will, however, ask the

21 Registrar to have the matter investigated, and anything that can be done,

22 I would expect that it will be done.

23 In the meantime, if your client is not well, perhaps you would see

24 to it that he receives appropriate medical attention and make appropriate

25 representations to that end. Because I understand you to be saying that

Page 14

1 his mental condition is not good and is deteriorating as a result of his

2 not being able to see his twin brother.

3 MR. BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you have understood

4 me well. And that's what I brought up. And one of the measures taken

5 this morning is that I have asked a psychologist who regularly visits the

6 detainees to speak to my client and to pay particular attention to him, to

7 follow him for a while, until a decision has been reached.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thank you. In the meantime, I'll ask the

9 Registrar to ensure that the matter is kept under review.

10 Is there anything else to be raised by any other counsel?

11 Mr. Dundjer?

12 MR. BABIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had one other question

13 to raise here, one other issue, which is the following: Again, I believe

14 that this is in connection with all the accused, but of course I am

15 speaking on behalf of my client. The material that we received yesterday,

16 or in the last few days, from the Prosecution about the uncontested facts

17 or the tried facts, we received this material in English. The material is

18 about 50 pages long. At the meeting with Ms. Featherstone, we asked for

19 this material to be translated for this reason: This material has to be

20 read by the accused. My client doesn't speak English. He doesn't speak

21 any language -- official language of the Tribunal. I believe that he has

22 a right to receive material in his own language, the language that he

23 understands so that the next meeting with me he can discuss this material.

24 In this way, we will make sure that this trial proceeds in a more

25 efficient and swift manner. Thank you.

Page 15

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask the Prosecutor to respond to that.

2 MS. CHANA: Yes, indeed. This matter had been brought up at the

3 65 ter conference, Your Honour, where Ms. Featherstone had volunteered

4 that the Registry would assist in giving transcripts in B/C/S. And I

5 believe it is not the Prosecutor's duty to provide this material since it

6 is in the public domain in B/C/S. We provided it in English, and I

7 suggest counsel avail themselves of Ms. Featherstone's offer of assisting

8 if they can't find the B/C/S transcripts and the tapes, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Senior legal officer.

10 [Trial Chamber and the senior legal officer confer]

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand that consultations are taking place

12 to facilitate a translation. This appears to relate more to a matter of

13 the facility of counsel to work in the working languages of the Tribunal.

14 But nonetheless, everything that can be done by the Chamber through the

15 senior legal officer will be done.

16 Mr. Dundjer, yes.

17 MR. DUNDJER: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of Momcilo

18 Gruban asked certain questions at the conference, and they can be summed

19 up in the following: We received the statements of Prosecution witnesses.

20 I don't want to discuss witnesses further, but I'd just like to raise the

21 most important matters. We did not receive complete statements, and I

22 have already listed which witnesses they are as examples. And what I

23 request is for this matter to be taken into consideration.

24 Then regarding the disclosure of exculpatory material in

25 accordance with Rule 68, the Defence of Momcilo Gruban does know that at

Page 16

1 the Status Conference of Kvocka and the others, which is held -- which was

2 held about a month ago, what was mentioned is that there were over 50.000

3 pages of documents. Not all of them, but they are all exculpatory. Since

4 this is a case which is very closely connected to this case, what I

5 request is that the Defence in this case, too, can obtain this exculpatory

6 material which is in relation to the other case. Thank you.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will you just explain, Mr. Dundjer, what you

8 meant when you said that the witness statements were not complete. I

9 didn't quite understand that.

10 MR. DUNDJER: [Interpretation] What I said was that we received one

11 statement. While these witnesses gave several statements, and they have

12 also testified in other cases before this Tribunal - for instance, in the

13 Stakic case - for instance, one witness testified in several instances, in

14 Stakic case, the Brdjanin case and so on, at in the conference I said

15 Azedin Oklopcic, Suada Ramic, Asim Baltic, et cetera, all of these

16 witnesses have testified and have given several statements, although we

17 only received one statement. That's the question that I wanted to raise.

18 Thank you.


20 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, while we have made very good

21 progress in our disclosure, we have not as yet disclosed everything. And

22 we will be, in due course, providing counsel with all the additional

23 statements any particular witness made. We have disclosed everything in

24 respect of our original and supporting material obligations, but we still

25 have some outstanding disclosure that we are at the moment doing, and we

Page 17

1 will provide counsel.

2 We had also made an offer to counsel at the 65 ter conference that

3 if he would put in writing to us any particular statements which he thinks

4 he ought to have, we would be very happy to also look into that and hand

5 them over.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that seems to be a very practical proposal.

7 So put what you want in writing.

8 Any other counsel wishing to make any statement at this stage? If

9 not, then I'll go to the four accused, starting with Mr. Knezevic.

10 Mr. Knezevic, do you have anything that you want to raise in

11 relation to your conditions of detention or your health?

12 THE ACCUSED KNEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have nothing

13 to say. Everything is fine.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. Mr. Gruban.

15 THE ACCUSED GRUBAN: [Interpretation] I have no observations to

16 make. I have no complaints.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

18 Mr. Banovic, we already heard your counsel, but if you want to

19 reiterate what he has said, then you may do so.

20 THE ACCUSED BANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I wanted

21 to say is that I stand by what my Defence attorney said. My health will

22 be much better, will be much improved, once my brother has had his visa

23 approved. Because of this unfortunate incident that he was indicted, that

24 he had been indicted and that he had spent time in this Detention Unit, I

25 believe that neither I should suffer the consequences nor should he. The

Page 18

1 fact that by a mistake he spent four or five months in detention, I

2 believe that both our human rights are being violated, his and mine. And

3 I absolutely do not understand the decision of the Registry to give us

4 just this very summary answer that his security does not allow him to

5 visit him [as interpreted]. We are identical twins, and this is the first

6 time that we have been separated for such a long time.

7 Perhaps it's a very difficult thing to understand for you. Very

8 few people can understand this, only people who have twin brothers or

9 sisters can understand this. He is the person that understands me the

10 best, and that's why I am requesting that really I will be much improved

11 if he is issued with a visa to visit me from time to time, because I am

12 certain that the approval of this visa will influence the further

13 proceedings and even the case, my case, in this case and in this trial.

14 Thank you very much in advance.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Banovic. As I said to your

16 counsel, while recognising that security matters are essentially matters

17 for the Detention Unit, through the Registrar, I'm going to encourage that

18 this matter be looked into and see to what extent your concerns can be

19 accommodated.

20 Mr. Fustar.

21 THE ACCUSED FUSTAR: [Interpretation] I have nothing to say in

22 relation to the Detention Unit. I'm satisfied. We're being

23 professionally treated. And that's all.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Fustar.

25 The date of the next Status Conference will be Tuesday, the 8th of

Page 19

1 April. A matter has been raised as to whether all the new counts to which

2 the two accused were pleaded were actually put. And for that purpose, for

3 that reason, I am going to adjourn for 15 minutes to have this checked

4 properly. In the meantime, I'll ask both counsel involved to investigate

5 the matter. And we'll resume in 15 minutes.

6 --- Break taken at 3.52 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the adjournment, it was determined that one

9 count had not been put to Mr. Knezevic. It is count 1, which charges him

10 with persecution. I just want to have it confirmed by Ms. Nedic for

11 Mr. Knezevic that this is so.

12 MS. NEDIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. In the earlier

13 two cases, in one of the indictments there was a count for persecution,

14 and that concerns Keraterm. But that count did not exist for Omarska in

15 the indictment so it was added to the consolidated indictment.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you've had a chance to explain this to Mr.

17 Knezevic, that I'm now going to put this count to him?

18 MS. NEDIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have had the opportunity of

19 explaining this to him during the break.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Nedic.

21 Mr. Knezevic, please stand. It has been explained to you that

22 count 1 was not put to you, and I'm now going to put it to you.

23 Count 1 charges you with persecution on political, racial, or

24 religious grounds, a crime against humanity under Article 5 and 7(1) of

25 the Statute. How do you plead; guilty or not guilty?

Page 20

1 THE ACCUSED KNEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am not

2 guilty.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Please sit.

4 There being no other matter, the hearing is adjourned.

5 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

6 at 4.04 p.m.