Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 87

1 Wednesday, 23 July, 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [Status Conference]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 [The accused Gruban not present]

6 --- Upon commencing at 3.01 p.m.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will the Registrar call the case, please?

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number

9 IT-02-65-PT, the Prosecutor versus Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan

10 Fustar, and Dusko Knezevic.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: May we have the appearances for the Prosecutor.

12 MS. CHANA: May it please, Your Honours, Sureta Chana, Nick

13 Koumjian for the Prosecution, assisted by Ruth Karper, the case manager.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Chana.

15 For the Defence?

16 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name

17 is Jovan Simic, attorney from Belgrade for Mr. Mejakic. Thank you.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Simic.

19 MS. TURLAKOV: [Interpretation] Your Honour, attorney Sanja

20 Turlakov for Mr. Momcilo Gruban.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Yes?

22 MR. IVETIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Attorney Dragan Ivetic

23 from Chicago, representing the accused Dusan Fustar.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.

25 Yes.

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1 MS. NEDIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Attorney

2 Slobodanka Nedic from Belgrade for Dusko Knezevic.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

4 This is a Status Conference pursuant to Rule 65 bis. We have a

5 number of issues to deal with and I will go through them in the -- in a

6 particular order and call on counsel as appropriate. I start first with

7 Pre-Trial motions. The Prosecution had filed a motion for protective

8 measures in relation to its required disclosure for the accused Mejakic.

9 I understand that the Mejakic Defence has confirmed that they have no

10 objection to the relief sought and will not be filing a response to the

11 motion. The Chamber will therefore be in a position to issue an order

12 shortly. This should be ready certainly prior to the break next week,

13 Friday.

14 The only other pending matter is a filing from the Gruban Defence

15 on the 30th of May addressing possible agreed facts. This is really a

16 matter that ought not to be the subject of a motion, at any rate at this

17 time, and it is for the parties to continue their discussions on this

18 subject. I understand that this has been passed on to the parties and

19 that work is being done on the agreed facts.

20 I want to look now at the impact of the arrival of the accused

21 Mejakic on the trial. In this regard, the conference is facilitated by

22 the work done at the 65 ter conference. It's clear that there would be a

23 need for the Prosecution to supplement its pre-trial brief. I understand

24 that that has been confirmed. In connection with the question of the

25 criminal responsibility of Mejakic, and additionally the Prosecution would

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1 be adding a schedule detailing the specific events relating to Mejakic.

2 In light of all of this, I'm going to set out the timetable as

3 follows: The 6th of August, Prosecution disclosure of Rule 66(A)(1)

4 material to be completed. 20th of August, the Prosecution to file the

5 schedule relating to Mejakic. The 19th of September, the Mejakic Defence

6 to file preliminary motions. And the 3rd of October for any response from

7 the Prosecution to the preliminary motions.

8 As far as disclosure is concerned, that has been done both for

9 66(A)(1) and(2) in relation to the accused Fustar, Gruban, and Knezevic.

10 And also for Rule 68. As far as Mejakic is concerned, my understanding is

11 that the -- in fact, 66(A)(1) disclosure would have been done by the 22nd,

12 yesterday.

13 Ms. Chana, is that so?

14 MS. CHANA: Yes.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: And 66(A)(2)?

16 MS. CHANA: The Prosecution can confirm that it was posted to

17 Belgrade, and I believe it will be there in three days' time.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And the only thing outstanding then would

19 be 68 and you're conducting searches.

20 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. We have to revisit our binders

21 again to look for Rule 68 for -- specifically now for Mejakic. We are

22 doing the searches. We are also looking at it in house and we should be

23 able to disclose the first batch of it at least within the next two weeks.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: That would be very good, in view of the

25 conclusion that I will have at the end of this session. Pre-Trial briefs,

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1 we have already noted that the Prosecution may wish to supplement its

2 brief after the preliminary motions.

3 And the Defence Pre-Trial briefs are already in for the other

4 accuseds, Gruban, Knezevic, and Fustar. 92 bis, I understand, Ms. Chana,

5 that the assessment of your office is that most of the statements go to

6 the acts and conduct of the accused.

7 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. Most of our statements do go to the

8 acts and the conduct of the accused and this is again where I go back to

9 our agreed facts. And if we are to come to some sort of reasonable

10 conclusion, then we will not -- we will be able to streamline our witness

11 list a little bit more, which we are always trying to do as our case.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I also understand that what you're

13 proposing to do in light of that was to submit transcripts of 38 witnesses

14 who have already testified.

15 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. We are intending to do just that.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, can I encourage you to have a look again at

17 the statements to see whether they are susceptible to the 92 bis(A)

18 regime? And in fact, the Chamber itself will have a look at this to see

19 whether any of the statements can in fact be addressed by 92 bis.

20 Agreed facts, I understand that discussions have been held with

21 the Fustar and Knezevic Defence teams, and that discussion has resulted in

22 a limited number of facts being agreed, and that the Gruban Defence is

23 willing to accept those facts. The parties are still working on this

24 matter and I encourage them to continue.

25 Adjudicated facts, work needs to be done on that. I understand

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1 work has started on that and I encourage the parties to try to reach

2 agreement on agreed -- on adjudicated facts.

3 Ms. Chana, you had indicated earlier that your case could be

4 presented in about six weeks. Would you have the same estimate in the

5 light of the arrival of Mejakic?

6 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, seeing that one of the other accused

7 is no longer within this, I think we would still confirm about six weeks

8 would be the length of the Prosecution trial.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I wanted to say, and what I hinted at about

10 this case, is that all parties should be in a state of readiness for trial

11 sometime in the autumn, if called upon. I can't say with any certainty

12 that the case will be tried, but parties should keep themselves in a state

13 of readiness for trial. And the question as to what would happen in that

14 event to the accused Mejakic is something that would have to be dealt with

15 in the light of the circumstances at that time. And those circumstances

16 would obviously have to take account of the need to ensure that the

17 accused Mejakic has enough time to prepare for trial.

18 Does anyone wish to comment on that?

19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I would state at this point that the

20 Prosecution's view would be that we would like to have the accused tried

21 together, and every endeavour I think should be made to do that. And I

22 think the Trial Chamber is obviously sensitive to the issues involved at

23 this point of severing any of the accused. So this would be the

24 Prosecution's view, that Mejakic, we should try to bring him up to speed

25 so all the accused can be tried together at the same time.

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1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We are very sensitive to that and I believe

2 that that would certainly be the best option. It would certainly be the

3 best option. I can't say with any certainty that that will be the

4 outcome, but it would obviously be the best option.

5 Mr. Simic? Yes.

6 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to inform

7 you and the Prosecution that the Defence will by no means obstruct the

8 schedule that you set. We shall do everything in order to be prepared for

9 trial when you are prepared. If we should not have enough time, but if

10 our time is not drastically shortened, we would accept to start with the

11 trial if we were allowed to present evidence. We will do everything in

12 order to be prepared for trial when you decide that the trial should

13 start.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Simic, for your spirit

15 of cooperation. There are many strategies that can be employed and that

16 are open to Trial Chambers to deal with a matter of this kind. But at

17 the -- at the bottom, of course, we have in mind that the question of

18 fairness to all the accused.

19 May I at this time then ask any of the accused whether there is

20 any matter that they would wish to raise concerning the case itself, the

21 arrangements for the case or their conditions of detention?

22 Mr. Gruban? Is there anything that you wish to say either through

23 your counsel or -- Gruban is not here of course, yes, yes.

24 Mr. Knezevic?

25 THE ACCUSED KENEZEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have

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1 nothing that I would like to say.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Knezevic.

3 Mr. Fustar?

4 THE ACCUSED FUSTAR: [Interpretation] I would like to thank the

5 Trial Chamber for allowing me to go and visit my father's grave. I have

6 nothing else to say. Thank you.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Fustar.

8 And Mr. Mejakic?

9 THE ACCUSED MEJAKIC: [Interpretation] There is nothing in

10 particular I would like to say. There are no issues I would like to

11 raise.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.

13 We have to fix a date for the next Status Conference. The Senior

14 Legal Officer? Ms. Chana?

15 MS. CHANA: Yes. Just for the sake of absolute certainty, I just

16 recall that when you said six weeks for our case and I think that I've

17 said it previously, six weeks if indeed we have a streamlined case in the

18 sense of adjudicated facts and the agreed facts. In the events we do not

19 come to an agreement on much of these factors, that will increase the

20 Prosecution time. I just want to leave that open, just to be quite

21 clear. This is not definitively taken as six weeks in all circumstances.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think you're quite right to make that

23 clarification. That's my understanding.

24 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll fix Wednesday, the 12th, as the date for the

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1 next -- the 12th of November, as the date for the next Status Conference.

2 Is there any other matter that any party would wish to raise? If not,

3 then the hearing is adjourned.

4 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

5 3.19 p.m.