Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Monday, 11 June 2007

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

 6            JUDGE THELIN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Could we first have the

 7    case called, please.

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

 9    IT-98-32/1-PT, the Prosecutor against Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic.

10            JUDGE THELIN:  And before we proceed any further, I want to make

11    sure that the two accused are able to follow the proceedings in a language

12    they understand.

13            So I call on Mr. Milan Lukic.  Do you understand?  Do you hear

14    anything?

15            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your

16    Honour.

17            JUDGE THELIN:  Then Mr. Sredoje Lukic.  You also seem to be able

18    to hear what I'm saying.  Can you hear me Mr. Sredoje Lukic?  You seem to

19    be nodding in the affirmative.  I take that as everything is in order with

20    the technical side of things and the interpretation.

21            THE ACCUSED SREDOJE LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, now I do.

22            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

23            Could we then have the appearances for the record, please.

24            MR. HARMON:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  Good afternoon,

25    counsel.  My name is Mark Harmon, representing the Office of the

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 1    Prosecutor, and appearing with me is Carmela Javier.

 2            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

 3            And for Mr. Milan Lukic, Defence.

 4            MR. YATVIN:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  Alan Yatvin, and

 5    appearing with me is Jelena Lopicic-Ancic.

 6            JUDGE THELIN:  And for Mr. Sredoje Lukic?

 7            MR. CEPIC:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  I am Djuro Cepic,

 8    Defence counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic.  On my left-hand side is Mr. Jens

 9    Dieckmann as a co-counsel, and on my right-hand side is our legal

10    assistant, Ms. Christina Kerl.

11            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.

12            The case is in a situation quite differently from when we last met

13    on 15 February.  We have had developments as far as the Referral Bench is

14    concerned and I will just now tick off the decisions that have been taken

15    since then and then try to convey my opinion as to where we are.

16            The decision by the Referral Bench to refer the case to

17    Bosnia-Herzegovina was taken on the 5th of April this year.  Against this

18    decision there have been one appeal from Mr. Milan Lukic.  Mr. Sredoje

19    Lukic has decided not to appeal, which means the case, as far as he is

20    concerned, is final.

21            The Referral Bench has also issued a decision on the 17th of May

22    this year whereby it ordered the suspension of the transfer of both the

23    accused until the appeal of the accused Milan Lukic has become final.

24            So that's the status of the case, and one could argue that from

25    the perspective of preparing the case for trial at the Tribunal, not much

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 1    is left.  But as a cautionary preparation, I, as Pre-Trial Judge, have

 2    decided to hold this Status Conference, given the fact that there was

 3    nearly four months since we had the last one, in order for the accused and

 4    the parties to address me in any matters that they felt necessary.

 5    Because it could be argued, as I indicated, that the powers of the

 6    Pre-Trial Bench are virtually exhausted given the development of the case.

 7            I'm not saying that this is a decision on the jurisdiction,

 8    because certainly that is a matter that could be argued but that's my

 9    position.  It means that my objective with this Status Conference is to

10    make sure primarily that the accused are given a chance to direct

11    themselves to the Court regarding two matters.  One is their -- if they

12    have anything to report as to their health or, secondly, the conditions in

13    the Detention Unit.

14            So with that I now address you, Mr. Milan Lukic, whether you have

15    anything you feel that the Court should know about your health or about

16    the conditions at the Detention Unit.  Your silence, I take it --

17            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your

18    Honour, can I say something else that is not related to these matters?

19    May I be allowed to say a couple of things?

20            JUDGE THELIN:  Please go ahead.

21            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] I seek and I demand from

22    this Tribunal to reach a just ruling on where I should be tried, a fair

23    one.  I want it to be based on justice and on law.  I want the ruling of

24    the state of Argentina court to be complied with.  They decided that I

25    could be delivered to this Court or a court in Serbia where there are

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 1    proceedings underway against war criminals and that I cannot be extradited

 2    to a third country which is the case now, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It's a

 3    democratic country, the country of Argentina, and a member country of the

 4    Security Council, and this is a ruling of Argentina's court.  Were I to be

 5    delivered to Bosnia-Herzegovina, my life would be at risk as well as the

 6    lives of my relatives which also means that the lives of witnesses would

 7    be at risk.

 8              In order to have a fair and just trial, in order for me to be

 9    able to prove that the indictment is a fabrication, this fair trial cannot

10    be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the leaders of the country killed

11    my brother and those same people are still in power.  Should this Tribunal

12    rule that I should be extradited to Bosnia-Herzegovina, then this Court

13    should take the responsibility.  I can only say one thing.  I will not

14    leave here alive.  If there is no compliance for this ruling issued by a

15    member of the Security Council, a democratic country such as Argentina and

16    its court, if the agreement between this Tribunal and Argentina is not

17    complied with, what can I hope for in terms of a fair trial?

18            I think it would be far fairer, especially in regard to the

19    families of victims, to know the real truth about their losses and about

20    the casualties.  And the only way this can be done is to have a fair and

21    just trial.  This indictment is a fabrication.  That is what I'm saying.

22    It's down to the court to prove why and how it is fabricated.  I thank you

23    for giving me an opportunity to say this, Your Honour.  As far as my

24    health is concerned, I've been having problems.  I still am having

25    problems due to an injury to my leg.  The doctors in the Detention Unit

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 1    are helping me to the extent that they can.  That's all I have to say.

 2            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.  Rest assured that what you

 3    now said is part of the record, and obviously your counsel will take this

 4    further in the appellate level where that matter now rests.  And we note

 5    that as far as the conditions are concerned, those are satisfactory.

 6            Mr. Sredoje Lukic, regarding your situation anything you want to

 7    share with the Court?

 8            THE ACCUSED SREDOJE LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing to say,

 9    Your Honour.  Everything is all right.

10            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.

11            Well, that was the matters that I had in mind that we should deal

12    with today.  But obviously I'm open if counsel would like to bring

13    anything else to my attention.

14            Mr. Yatvin?

15            MR. YATVIN:  No, Your Honour, thank you.

16            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.  Mr. Cepic?

17            MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] [In English] Thank you, Your Honour,

18    we clarified all issues relevant for our Defence team during the 65 ter

19    conference, and I'm so grateful to the Senior Legal Officer who ran the

20    conference.  Thank you very much.

21            JUDGE THELIN:  From the Prosecution, anything?

22            MR. HARMON:  No, Your Honour.  There is nothing, thank you.

23            JUDGE THELIN:  Well, it seems then that all matters that we need

24    to deal with under these circumstances, at this Status Conference, have

25    been dealt with, and with that, I declare this hearing adjourned.

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 1                           --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

 2                          2.27 p.m.