Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                          Tuesday, 4 September 2007

 2                          [Status Conference]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 3.45 p.m.

 6            THE REGISTRAR:  This is case number IT-98-32/1-PT, The Prosecutor

 7    versus Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic.

 8            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar, for that pro-activity

 9    while I'm trying to adjust my chair.

10            Good afternoon to everyone.  Before I proceed, I would like to see

11    whether the interpretation is functioning as it should.  So I ask first,

12    Mr. Milan Lukic whether you can hear what I'm saying.

13            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

14            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Sredoje Lukic, you're

15    nodding in the affirmative.  Thank you.

16            With that we could move to the representation.

17            Prosecution.

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

19    counsel.  My name is Mark Harmon, appearing with me, Mr. Frederic Ossogo

20    and our case manager Verica Balikic.  Thank you.

21            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.

22            Before we see where we are on the accused side.  Let me first

23    assure you, Mr. Milan Lukic, that your submissions in relation to you're

24    assigned counsel has been received.  I believe that you are engaged in a

25    discussion with the registry where the matter now rests in resolving this.

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 1    For the purposes of this Status Conference, you are represented by

 2    Mr. Yatvin, I believe, and I believe also that he is present in the

 3    courtroom.  I see and recognise him.

 4            And as far as the accused Sredoje Lukic is concerned, the

 5    representation is?

 6            MR. CEPIC:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  I'm Djuro Cepic Defence

 7    counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic.  On my left-hand side is Mr. Jens Dieckmann

 8    as a co-counsel.  In our Defence team on my right-hand side is our

 9    assistant Madam Christina Kerll.  And just if you allow me to say, I'm

10    very grateful and -- because you granted this postponement of this Status

11    Conference.  Thank you.

12            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Cepic.  And it was no

13    interference with my other duties to postpone it and I hope everybody else

14    was comfortable with kicking back the time by 45 minutes. Thank you.

15            Well, the purpose of this Status Conference is slightly different

16    than when we last met on the 11th of June.  Now the smoke has cleared, as

17    it were, in the meaning that the uncertainty as to whether this case for

18    both of the accused was to be referred has now been finally resolved and

19    the case rests firmly with this Tribunal.  So the purpose of this Status

20    Conference is now to take stock on where we are on outstanding motions and

21    also adopt a Work Plan in order to see to it that all pre-trial matters

22    are dealt with swiftly and that we can get this case to a trial.

23            So let me first start then with pending motions.  Have I three

24    noted on my list, and I know that hopefully this squares with the

25    understanding of the parties, given the 65 ter Conference that you had

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 1    yesterday.

 2            The first motion is a motion for disclosure which, in the wake of

 3    the final decision by the Referral Bench has been remitted to this case

 4    and that is an a motion by Mr. Cepic, and as I said it deals with

 5    disclosure.  In anticipation that the matter of disclosure will finally, I

 6    hope, be dealt with when we come to the part of the Work Plan, it would I

 7    think from a tidying point of view, Mr. Cepic, if you were minded to

 8    withdraw that motion.  The option is that we could find it answered by the

 9    Work Plan but I think it is simpler if you considered it to be what I

10    think is the prudent step to withdraw the motion.

11            I would like to hear your comment on that.

12            MR. CEPIC:  Absolutely, Your Honour.  We with withdraw that

13    motion.

14            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.  We note that this matter is dealt with

15    by the withdrawal of that motion.  Thank you.

16            MR. CEPIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

17            JUDGE THELIN:  The second motion is a motion filed by the

18    Prosecution on the 3rd of April, 2007, and it deals with protective

19    measures and has a -- is a confidential motion that has an ex parte annex

20    to it. It seems that that is understandable, given the circumstances with

21    the discussions with the Referral Bench involved, that there has not been

22    a reply to this motion yet.  I wonder whether the parties could confirm

23    the accused counsel whether there is a rely to this motion from the

24    Prosecution on protective measures.

25            MR. YATVIN:  Your Honour, there is not a reply in light of the

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 1    procedural posture that we were in at the time, there was not really an

 2    appropriate time to reply.

 3            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Yatvin.

 4            Mr. Cepic.

 5            MR. CEPIC:  At this moment, I can say there is no need for reply.

 6            Thank you.

 7            JUDGE THELIN:  That was even more clarifying.  Thank you very

 8    much.

 9            I think then for the sake of, again, orderliness, if could I ask

10    the Prosecution to take the trouble of refiling this motion, which would

11    mean that a new time for reply would then start.  That would give you,

12    Mr. Yatvin, a chance, if you're minded to reply to do so.  And also you,

13    Mr. Cepic, to -- if you want to confirm your position, you have today to

14    do that.  So that motion is -- I can see by the nod by Mr. Harmon.

15            MR. HARMON:  Yes, Your Honour, we will refile the motion.

16            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much for that.

17            The third pending motion that I have noted is a motion by

18    Mr. Cepic for Sredoje Lukic.  And it deals with a matter in relation to

19    the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina seeking an order for evidence to be

20    produced by that state.  And that motion will be dealt with in due course.

21            So those are the three motions that I have detected.  Would the

22    counsel for both sides be of the understanding that this is all?

23            MR. HARMON:  Yes, Your Honour.

24            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

25            Mr. Yatvin.

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 1            MR. YATVIN:  Yes, Your Honour.

 2            JUDGE THELIN:  Mr. Cepic.

 3            MR. CEPIC:  Yes, Your Honour.

 4            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  That clears the table, as it

 5    were.

 6            And we could then move to the prospect of adopting a Work Plan.  I

 7    know that some date have been discussed yesterday and I just want to

 8    primarily see whether those dates reported to me still are valid.  We

 9    first have the matter of the disclosure under Rule 66(A)(i) and that is

10    the supporting material to the indictment.  It seems that that was filed

11    on the 18th of January, 2006.  And if that is so, we don't need to spend

12    more time on that.  It seems by nods all around that that is a common

13    understanding.

14            The second is for disclosure then yet to be had under Rule

15    66(A)(ii), witness statements; we have Rule 68, exculpatory information to

16    be disclosed which is always an ongoing obligation; and finally, we have

17    the question of Rule 66(B) material, which is the right for the counsel

18    for accused to inspect whatever material in shape and form of books and

19    documents, et cetera, which the Prosecution may possess.  It has indicated

20     -- indicated to me that the parties would be comfortable with the

21    six-week time-limit for all these three, meaning that the 15th of October

22    would be the date where the Prosecution should at the latest time fulfil

23    obligations under 66(A)(ii), 68 and for Rule 66(B) to apply.

24            Mr. Harmon.

25            MR. HARMON:  That is quite satisfactory, Your Honour.

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 1            JUDGE THELIN:  And that meets with the minds of the accused as

 2    well?

 3            MR. YATVIN:  Your Honour, it does with the one caveat which the

 4    Court already raised, the elephant in the room, of course, is the status

 5    of counsel for Mr. Lukic.  Mr. Lukic has raised the matter with the

 6    registry and I have supported his application but, obviously, a decision

 7    has to be made at the registry, at least initially.  If there is a change

 8    in counsel and depending on when that happens if it is later rather than

 9    sooner if it happens at all, it may result in the dates that you're about

10    to go through here today.  They're an application for some alteration of

11    those dates on the part of Mr. Lukic.

12            Thank you.

13            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Yatvin.  It goes without saying that

14    a Work Plan, even if the intention only to be firm as to dates, is always

15    subject to modifications as the case may occur.  And as you rightly point

16    out, Mr. Yatvin, we have the uncertainty, if you will, of the

17    representation for Mr. Lukic.

18            I saw you, Mr. Lukic, Mr. Milan Lukic, you raised your hand.  You

19    want to add something to this?   Please go ahead.

20            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, by your leave, I

21    have something to say.

22            Since the registry refused to appoint counsel of my choice, even

23    though that counsel fulfils all requirements of The Hague Tribunal and has

24    in the past defended accused before this Tribunal, I have no other choice

25    but to defend myself.  I have no other option open to me.  You know that

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 1    for quite some time I have had no contact with my current counsel, and

 2    this is what I have decided.  I believe that I'm denied -- that if I'm

 3    denied counsel of my choice, that my fundamental human rights are

 4    violated.  That's all I have to say.  Thank you.

 5            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.  Well, we understand this is

 6    what you have also put in your submissions to the Chamber and as I

 7    indicated initially, the way the rules are designed it is not primary for

 8    the Chamber at this moment to address the matter of your representation.

 9    It rests, as you are well aware, with the registry.  And at one point, the

10    registry will then make a decision and that decision has not yet been

11    made.  And once that decision is made other rules come into play and

12    eventually, it may or it may not reach the Chamber.  So as for now, as I

13    said, your representation under the rules of the Tribunal, even if you may

14    not like it, it is the fact that Mr. Yatvin is your legally assigned

15    counsel.  But as Mr. Yatvin pointed out should changes happen here, we

16    also obviously need to take that into account when we deal with times for

17    various things to happen under the yet to be adopted Work Plan.  But

18    Mr. Lukic your concern has now, again, for the record been noted.  Thank

19    you very much.

20            Mr. Yatvin.

21            MR. YATVIN:  Your Honour, I don't want to beat this death.  I just

22    do want to point out that my silence in the face of certain allegations

23    regarding my representation should not be read as an agreement or

24    acquiescence; I'm addressing it in the appropriate form with the registry

25    and I, as I said, have supported Mr. Lukic's request without agreeing that

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 1    all of the allegations are accurate or that any of them are accurate.

 2            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Yatvin. As you can

 3    understand from point of view, I did not have any intention to go into a

 4    matter which is dealt with at the moment with the registry.  So in no way

 5    did I interpret your silence to be an acquiescence of whatever Mr. Lukic

 6    put to us.  Thank you.

 7            MR. YATVIN:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 8            JUDGE THELIN:  Now with this, I think we could move to other

 9    matters which need to be part of the Work Plan, and it is then the

10    obligation for the counsel or for the accused to notify the Prosecution of

11    any alibi or special Defence that it wants to put.  And the time I had in

12    mind, which was discussed yesterday with the 65 ter Conference, is the

13    15th of November for that.  That is a month after the full disclosure has

14    happened.

15            The time then for -- filing of 94 bis expert reports and also

16    motions from the Prosecution under Rule 92 bis ter and quater, i.e.

17    written witness submissions, the mind -- the time that has been offered

18    and discussed is the 15th of February, 2008.

19            We then have questions of adjudicated facts, agreed facts and

20    stipulations on the indictment and motions pertaining to that matter

21    should be filed not later than the 29th of February, 2008.  It seems that

22    next year is a leap year.

23            We then come to times for pre-trial briefs and the Prosecution

24    pre-trial brief should be filed not later than 14th of March, 2008.

25            Pre-trial briefs for the Defence should be filed not later than

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 1    the 25th of April, 2008.

 2            And if everything goes according to this Work Plan, the case would

 3    then be ready and a pre-trial conference to be determined at a later

 4    stage. When it comes to anticipation of the length of the case,, obviously

 5    the material yet to be filed is to be the determining factor here, but, I

 6    guess, that from the Prosecution's point of view it would be possible

 7    today to offer an indication as to the scope of the Prosecution's case.

 8    Obviously, this will not be held against you, Mr. Harmon, but a tentative

 9    assessment would be welcome.

10            MR. HARMON:  Yes, Your Honour.  As I said yesterday at the 65 ter

11    Conference, we believe that we could put in our case in chief in four

12    months.

13            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Harmon, four months.

14            As the parties are well aware, the question of when this case then

15    will be docketed or ready for trial is a matter which is not for this

16    Chamber only to decide what with the indication and the timely meeting of

17    the requirements of the Work Plan, the hope is that this case could

18    perhaps, given other plans in other cases that also wants to compete for

19    the infrastructure as it were, i.e. the number of judges and the number

20    the courtrooms be ready to be docketed some time after summer or early the

21    following year.  The summer of next year, early the following year, that's

22    the indication that we can offer.  This is no news to the parties.

23            It seems then that the times with the caveats what we have

24    introduced are met with the parties understanding and I will now, in order

25    to avoid further written communication on this, I will then formally as of

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 1    this moment adopt the Work Plan and read it into the record so I would

 2    appreciate if the parties could take note.

 3            The first point is then disclosure under 66(A)(ii), Rule 68 and

 4    the inspection under Rule 66(B) to happen not later than 15th of October,

 5    2007.

 6            Point number 2: Notice by Defence under Rule 67 to be filed not

 7    later than 15th of November, 2007.

 8            Point number 3: Expert reports under 94 bis and motions under 92

 9    bis ter and quater to be filed not later than 15th of February, 2008.

10            Point number 4: Motions in relation to adjudicated facts, agreed

11    facts and other stipulations in relation to the indictment should be filed

12    not later than the 29th of February, 2008.

13            Point 5: Prosecution's pre-trial brief to be filed not later than

14    14th of March, 2008.

15            Point number 6: Defence pre-trial brief to be filed not later than

16    25th of April, 2008.

17            So with these six points, we have now established a Work Plan to

18    which the parties are to be guided by.

19            I think it is prudent also to look a bit ahead for the next Status

20    Conference.  Given the 120-day period, four-month interval that would

21    actually mean that we could end up in the winter recess; in order to

22    forestall that, I suggest and this I believe is also a date that was aired

23    yesterday at the 65 ter Conference, is that we hold the next Status

24    Conference on the 11th of December, 2007, to be preceded by 65 ter

25    Conference on the 10th of December.

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 1            Do the parties have any questions as to this Work Plan?  My

 2    intention is now to move away from it.

 3            MR. HARMON:  The Prosecution has no questions, Your Honour.

 4            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

 5            MR. HARMON:  Thank you.

 6            JUDGE THELIN:  Mr. Yatvin.

 7            MR. YATVIN:  Your Honour, I don't know if this is the appropriate

 8    junction or not but at the conference yesterday, I had raised the issue of

 9    possible amendments to the indictment and that I had suggested that it

10    might be appropriate to have a deadline, obviously, without waiving the

11    right of the Defence because they don't know what they might be to make

12    Delic objections but it seems that if the Work Plan is to have any

13    meaning, there needs to be some point at which we know what the charges

14    are finally going to be, if there are going to be any changes.

15            Thank you.

16            JUDGE THELIN:  Sorry, so I understand, Mr. Yatvin, are you

17    indicating that the Prosecution has indicated that they will move for

18    amendments to the indictment?

19            MR. YATVIN:  Not necessarily but the spectre has been raised and

20    since there is the potential, it seems to me that there should be some

21    horizon on that potential.

22            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Yatvin.

23            Well, Mr. Harmon, do we have any comment on this?  I was unaware

24    that this has been indicated that you were contemplating an amendment to

25    the indictment.

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 1            MR. HARMON:  Your Honour, I have raised with counsel the

 2    possibility of an amendment.  I will not be lead counsel in this case, we

 3    are restaffing this case, so other counsel will be substituting in my

 4    place.  I need to consult with that other counsel once the change has been

 5    made, and one of the issues I intend to raise with new counsel is the

 6    possibility of amending this indictment to add some additional charges in

 7    respect of Milan Lukic.

 8            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  Well, I think this might have

 9    been put on the table and I'm in sympathy with Mr. Yatvin indicated there

10    should be for this a time for the Prosecution to abide by.  And I suggest,

11    Mr. Harmon, that we then add to the Work Plan that any motion for a change

12    of the present indictment is to be filed not later than the 15th of

13    November.  That, I guess, should give you time to consult with whoever is

14    taking over.

15            MR. HARMON:  That is satisfactory, Your Honour.  Thank you.

16            JUDGE THELIN:  So with the addition that we now have on the 15th

17    of November also a time for which the Prosecution is bound to file any

18    changes to the indictment and after that it is too late.

19            We then move to other matters and there are very few, namely -- I

20    am obliged, although I can see from both Mr. Milan Lukic and Mr. Sredoje

21    Lukic that the status of your health seems to be in order, is there

22    anything in relation to that that you wish to share with me?  If need be,

23    we can go into private session.  But if you think that you don't have

24    anything to -- to add regarding your personal situation at the detention

25    unit, we could keep it the way it is.

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 1            Mr. Milan Lukic.

 2            THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I have this

 3    problem with the lawyer.  We cannot impose counsel on somebody in the

 4    twenty-first century and the trial is forthcoming and the trial should

 5    begin as soon as possible.  That's all.

 6            My grandfather told me that in Communist times counsel were

 7    imposed on -- on the accused, by I thought that time was over.  This

 8    problem needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

 9            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.  I take it you

10    don't have anything to add apart from your previous submissions regarding

11    counsel and it is, Mr. Lukic, a bit premature to say whether the matter

12    will be resolved.  You may be anticipating the worst, so we will see what

13    the registry will offer as far as a decision.

14            Mr. Sredoje Lukic, do you have anything to comment on regarding

15    your situation?

16            THE ACCUSED SREDOJE LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, no.  I have

17    nothing to say.  Everything is fine.

18            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much for that.  It is now reflected

19    in the record.

20            Well, this brings what I had on my agenda so before we adjourn, I

21    would like to ask counsel whether they have any other matter which needs

22    to be raised.

23            Prosecution.

24            MR. HARMON:  There's nothing on behalf the Prosecution, Your

25    Honour.

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 1            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you, Mr. Harmon.

 2            Mr. Yatvin.

 3            MR. YATVIN:  Nothing on behalf of Mr. Milan Lukic.

 4            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you.

 5            Mr. Cepic.

 6            MR. CEPIC:  Same sentence for me, just in relation to Sredoje

 7    Lukic.

 8            JUDGE THELIN: Sorry, I missed the part -- could you take that

 9    again?

10            MR. CEPIC:  I'm sorry, Your Honour.  Probably my English is not

11    too during this day, because too many activities.  I have nothing to

12    raise.

13            JUDGE THELIN:  That was a negative. Thank you.

14            MR. CEPIC:  Yes, absolutely.

15            JUDGE THELIN:  Thank you very much.  Well, that being the case,

16    this Status Conference is now adjourned

17                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.13 p.m.