Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20761

1 Wednesday, 4 July 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the

6 case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, good afternoon to everyone in the

8 courtroom. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et

9 al., thank you.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today is Wednesday, the 4th of

11 July, 2007. I would like to welcome all the parties that are present in

12 this courtroom, the Prosecution, the representative of international

13 organisations -- of the international organisation as well as the Defence

14 teams of the accused, and all the people who are helping us in our work.

15 I have four oral decisions to render. The first oral decision

16 relates to the holding of the 65 ter hearing next Tuesday in the presence

17 of the Prosecution, the Defence counsel, as well as the SLO of the

18 Chamber, Mrs. Linda Murnane, and the legal officer who will attend, and

19 will be present at a 65 ter hearing.

20 The principal purpose of that hearing is to gather the parties

21 about 98 bis, the procedure. Furthermore, during this hearing the

22 following topics will be talked of: The time needed by the Defence if

23 after the decision under 98 bis Rule, if the hypothesis would be that the

24 trial continues with all the counts as maintained or other counts. So

25 that meeting has as its main purpose to debate with parties on the time

Page 20762

1 necessary for the Defence.

2 Following the meeting that will be held next Tuesday, the legal

3 officers will report to us what was said and the Chamber will render a

4 decision regarding this.

5 The second oral decision is on the admissibility of evidence

6 through Witness BH. The Chamber rules today on admissibility of exhibits

7 related to Witness BH who testified on the 24th, 25th, 26th of April,

8 2007, and 31st of May, 2007. I would like to make sure that the dates are

9 well written down. 24, 25th, 26th of April, 2007 and 31 of May, 2007.

10 The Chamber would like to admit Exhibit P 02616, submitted by the

11 Prosecution as part of the list IC 00593, because they were presented to

12 Witness BH and it shows sufficient indicia for relevancy, probative value

13 and liability [as interpreted].

14 The Chamber has decided not to admit Exhibit 4D 00545 submitted by

15 the Petkovic Defence as part of the list IC 00594, because it does not

16 correspond to the provision of its decision of 13 July 2006 on the

17 admission of evidence of exhibits. And I would like to add as well that

18 the Chamber decided to admit Exhibit P 02577, submitted by the Accused

19 Praljak.

20 The Chamber notes that Exhibit P 09851, tendered by the Petkovic

21 Defence, has already been admitted on 14 July 2007. 14 June 2007,

22 correction.

23 Third oral decision relating to the filing of the expert report by

24 the Prosecution of Charles Siletic [as interpreted]. Mr. Sudetic,

25 S-u-d-e-t-i-c. On the 23rd of May, 2007, the Prosecution submitted to the

Page 20763

1 Trial Chamber as well as to the Defence an expert report of Mr. Charles

2 Sudetic under Rule 94 bis of the Rules. The Prlic Defence counsel,

3 Praljak, Petkovic, Coric, and Pusic, as a response on the 18th, 21st, 13,

4 22nd, 19th and 22nd of June, 2007 have opposed to the admission of this

5 report, and they contested the expertise of the expert witness as well as

6 the relevancy of the said report. The six Defence counsel requested to

7 counter -- cross-examine Mr. Sudetic.

8 The Chamber, having deliberated on this matter, believes that the

9 report prepared by Mr. Charles Sudetic cannot be deemed to be an expert

10 report because fundamentally it is a compilation of presidential

11 transcripts and do not consist -- does not consist of an analysis which

12 may help the Chamber to judge on a probative value and the relevancy of

13 these transcripts. This is why the Chamber has decided to reject the

14 request presented by the Prosecution.

15 Last oral decision on the request of the Prlic request asking for

16 an interlocutory appeal -- to an appeals certification, correction, of the

17 26th of June, 2007. Oral order, correction.

18 The 3rd of July 2007, that is yesterday, the Defence of the

19 accused Prlic has admitted -- filed a motion to ask the Chamber to certify

20 an appeal of a decision that has been rendered on the 26th of June, 2007,

21 on the application of guideline number 6 as stated in the decision on the

22 admissibility of evidence on the 29th of November, 2006. The Chamber does

23 not believe that it is necessary to wait for the response of the

24 Prosecution to that effect.

25 The Chamber decides that the motion of the Prlic Defence is

Page 20764

1 inadmissible because it is irrelevant. In fact, on the 26th of June,

2 2007, the Chamber reminded the previous decisions on the application of

3 guideline number 6. It was a reminder and not a decision per se. If the

4 Prlic Defence wanted to contest the previous decisions on the

5 interpretation of guideline number 6, it should have asked certification

6 of appeal --

7 THE INTERPRETER: Certification to appeal, correction.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- of its anterior or previous

9 decisions, and this within the time as seen in Article -- in Rule 73(C) of

10 the Rules.

11 Consequently, the motion is rejected.

12 I believe that Mr. Kovacic wanted to intervene. Mr. Kovacic, you

13 have the floor.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good

15 afternoon to Your Honours and everybody else in the courtroom.

16 Your Honour, I have been assigned on behalf of all the Defence

17 teams to make a submission, an oral request, in fact, to the Trial

18 Chamber. I'm not going to say demand or motion but a request to extend

19 the deadline for a response to the three submissions made by the

20 Prosecution, and they are submissions of the 27th of June, two, and one of

21 the 29th of June, 2007. And I'd like to remind the Trial Chamber that it

22 concerned the following motions: The first was the Prosecution motion to

23 add exhibits to its exhibit list, and in fact that relates to the

24 following documents, documents related to the accused -- well, I don't

25 think I should say the name in open session, but anyway, it's a person who

Page 20765

1 is not here any longer. I think you'll know who I mean, not to have to go

2 into private session. And then Prosecution motion for admission of

3 evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis(B), and it is the request for the

4 admission of documents related to the events in Vares municipality. And

5 the third is the Prosecution motion for admission of documentary evidence,

6 and here, Your Honours, it is 398 exhibits, and they are related to the

7 structure of the HVO, the military sector of the HVO.

8 I don't want to go into detail, too much details, but the last one

9 is about 5.000 pages of documents, which would require hours and hours of

10 diligent work. And the previous two are not as extensive. They're not

11 such long documents, but they are very serious documents when it comes to

12 analysis.

13 As you know, we're going to have a break and go on holiday, all of

14 us, and I think we -- well-deserved, and I don't want to keep anybody back

15 here from going away on holiday because that will have a negative

16 repercussion on our work in future. Somebody will quite simply end up in

17 hospital. And I think that all the Defence teams are equally exhausted.

18 Now, the other element is that we want to have a joint response to

19 those motions, all -- on the part of all six Defence teams, and I'm sure

20 you're quite clear as to the fact that this is impossible without putting

21 into many hours of meetings or communication via telephone or e-mail or

22 whatever because we have to dovetail our stands. But at any rate, even if

23 the deadline is significantly extended, well, I think that if the deadline

24 is extended I think that that will be a better thing for all of us. Not

25 only for the Trial Chamber but for all the parties in these proceedings,

Page 20766

1 and indeed for the Prosecution, because they'll be able to respond to one

2 motion instead of six. So I think that that is reason enough. There are

3 other reasons, but I don't want to take up any more court time, and I deem

4 that these are sufficient reasons which merit an extension of the

5 deadline. And we think that such a deadline will not hamper the

6 Prosecution in any way. They will still have enough time to get through

7 their own plans with regards to exhibits and documents, and I think that

8 this will contribute to quality.

9 Thank you, Your Honours. I do apologise. I was going too fast my

10 colleagues tell me, but I forgot to say that we would like to extend the

11 deadline until Monday, the 10th of September, 2007, which will give us

12 three weeks. You have already extended the deadline until the 12th or

13 14th of July for the other submission. Thank you.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.

15 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, good afternoon to all of you, first of

16 all, and to everyone in the courtroom.

17 Your Honour, it has not been -- the Prosecution acknowledges -- to

18 acknowledge the obvious that we have been trying to make a number of

19 filings. We set our own deadlines and our own schedule to try to deal

20 with a number of matters before the summer recess. It has not been our

21 intention, is not our intention to, by those filings, create undue

22 pressure on the Defence during the holiday season if we can call it that,

23 the summer recess. So I want that to be clear, number one, that that's --

24 certainly hasn't been tactical but the Prosecution, as a matter of its own

25 internal case management has sought to try to get as many of these matters

Page 20767

1 filed off of our table so to speak before the summer recess as possible

2 but at the same time it has not about our intention by doing so to create

3 an unnecessary or unreasonable burden on the Defence.

4 We do not object to an extension of time. As to the specific date

5 of the 10th of September, Your Honour, my only concern is this and it's

6 more general than just this one: Everyone in the courtroom knows that we

7 will be seeking, of course, to finish the Prosecution case this fall. It

8 will be virtually impossible for us to conclude our case without knowing

9 what -- what of our case -- what of your evidence has been admitted. So

10 there is building to state -- again to state the obvious perhaps, there is

11 building a substantial backlog of material and motions. For example, I

12 know that the Jablanica 92 bis motion was filed in February, has not yet

13 been ruled upon now in July. So I just flag the issue -- not the issue.

14 I flag the concern for the Chamber. The Prosecution will not be in a

15 position to make any informed decision on finalising its case or resting

16 its case until its evidence has been admitted or not.

17 So we do not oppose an extension of time. We do want the Defence

18 to have a summer holiday just as we are looking forward to one ourselves,

19 but I can only tell the Chamber that the longer these deadlines and

20 decisions go out, the more difficult it will be to complete the case in

21 the fall.

22 Thank you.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber, as you may have

25 noticed, has decided -- or deliberated, and received the request -- a

Page 20768

1 motion of the Defence which is to request an extension of delays because

2 the Defence received three motions that are very important to them. One

3 request is of the 27th of June, one regarding added exhibit on the list,

4 and a second motion is a motion regarding the admissibility of evidence

5 under Rule 92 bis, and a third motion of the Prosecution of the 29th of

6 June on a request of admissibility of 398 documents on the military

7 structure of the HVO, that motion counting approximately 5.000 pages.

8 The Chamber believes on the one hand that in a couple of days the

9 Tribunal will begin its summer recess, and the analysis of these documents

10 would require of the Defence an important workload, and also joint

11 responses have to be which would call upon the Defence to organise

12 internal meetings between them and the accused. The Chamber believes that

13 the motion presented by Mr. Kovacic on behalf of all the Defence counsel

14 is admissible, and since there are no major obstacles presented by the

15 Prosecution, since they've also mentioned that it is in their interest

16 know what is presented, this is why the Prosecution talked about the

17 Jablanica motion.

18 For all these motives, the Chamber decided to extend the deadline

19 to the 10th of September, 2007.

20 I would also like to mention, to invite -- I would like to invite

21 the Prosecution to give us their final schedule for the witnesses that are

22 about to come. According to us, the Defence has between 68 -- the

23 Prosecution has between 68 and 69 hours to present their case, and the

24 Chamber would like to know who are going to be the witnesses who are going

25 to be called in October in order to be able on the one hand to know who is

Page 20769

1 going to be coming, who is not coming. We have already requested it. It

2 was not done, and I would like to remind on my behalf, because the Chamber

3 has not deliberated on this, but I would like to say that the strategy of

4 the Prosecution, who has the burden of the proof is on the Prosecution,

5 and that under the rule the Prosecution has to prepare the files, and

6 while they prepare their files, of course, they have to inform the Chamber

7 of the planning and of the witnesses that are to come.

8 It is very important for the Judges of the Chamber to know who are

9 going to be the witnesses that will be coming, because it may happen that

10 amongst the witnesses, some of them may not come, and others could be here

11 and called to testify, but we do not have the list. We do not know who

12 these people are.

13 So once again, Mr. Scott, we are counting on you, and we would

14 like to reiterate our request. Up until now we have not made a decision,

15 but we will have to render a decision shortly on this.

16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you. The Prosecution is

17 certainly mindful of the request the Chamber has made in the past and have

18 been working on that matter and in fact I was working on it very actively

19 this morning. I anticipate that we would make such a filing on Monday, if

20 that's agreeable to the Chamber.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. That would be an

22 excellent news, because before taking a few days off we could take a look

23 at your document and spend the entire vacation reading this document. If

24 the document arrives on Monday that would be an excellent news.

25 MR. SCOTT: I don't know if anyone wants to spend their holidays

Page 20770

1 reading it, Your Honour, but that was partly our thought that if we could

2 something in the Chamber's hands and in the Defence's hands before the

3 recess, then everyone would be able to consider it.

4 MR. KARNAVAS: President, if I may be heard for a second.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Good afternoon, Mr. President, good

7 afternoon, Your Honours.

8 With respect to your oral decision on my motion for my request for

9 certification, I assume there will be something in writing. I assume. I

10 heard two things. One, that it was irrelevant, which would mean it goes

11 to the merit, and then also it was tardy. With respect to the tardiness,

12 as I indicated on the record that I was obviously -- I misunderstood the

13 ruling, and therefore based on that, obviously it would have been tardy

14 and it would have been a lack of due diligence on my part. Therefore, if

15 that is the fundamental reason for denying the request for certification,

16 I would suggest and I would urge the Trial Chamber to sanction me as being

17 counsel in charge of this defence for failing to protect my client's

18 rights, as opposed to punishing my client over failing to -- because his

19 lawyer, his chosen lawyer, failed to file for certification on an

20 important issue. So if those are the reasons, I would ask the Trial

21 Chamber to reconsider. Sanction me, but don't sanction Mr. Prlic. If on

22 the other hand, it's on the merits, then I understand it's on the merits

23 and that's fine. I just want to make sure the record is clear,

24 Your Honours.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We'll reconsider your

Page 20771

1 application or the application you've just made, but as far as I'm

2 concerned, the meaning of the oral ruling we've just rendered is the

3 following: The guidelines included in the decision could have been

4 challenged at the time of the decision, and it was not the case. That's

5 what we wanted to say.

6 I'm going to ask the registrar to pull down the blinds -- or,

7 rather, the usher to pull down the blinds and to have the witness brought

8 in because we've been spending a lot of time on all these matters.

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16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,

17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day

18 of July, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.