Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13

1 Monday, 3 November 2003

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Call the case,

7 please, Mr. Court Deputy.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number

9 IT-95-12-PT, The Prosecutor versus Ivica Rajic.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Could I have the appearances,

11 please. For the Prosecution first.

12 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Judge Liu. Ken Scott appearing on

13 behalf the Prosecutor, and with me at the counsel table are Josee D'Aoust,

14 and also Lakshmie Walpita, our case manager.

15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

16 And for the Defence.

17 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. My name

18 is Zeljko Olujic, representing Mr. Ivica Rajic in this case. I am

19 attorney-at-law in the Republic of Croatia. Thank you.

20 JUDGE LIU:: Thank you.

21 Mr. Rajic, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you

22 understand?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. If you have any problems, just

25 let me know in the proceedings.

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1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.

2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.

3 This is a Status Conference in accordance with Rule 65 bis of the

4 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The initial appearance of the accused

5 was on the 27th June 2003. The Trial Chamber is required pursuant to

6 Rule 65 bis to hold a Status Conference within 120 days of the initial

7 appearance of the accused to organise exchanges between the parties to

8 ensure expeditious preparation for trial and to allow the accused to raise

9 issues in relation to the status of his case, including his mental and

10 physical conditions. This Status Conference should have had last week,

11 but I'm sorry to say that during the last week I was extremely busy in

12 another case, sitting from 9.00 in the morning until 7.00 in the evening.

13 So I apologise for the delay, and I would like to ask the counsel of

14 Defence, Mr. Olujic, whether you agree to have this Status Conference

15 within 127 days of the initial appearance.

16 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Through your

17 intervention, I have already given my consent by telephone. We do not

18 have anything against it, though we are fully aware of fact that it is

19 seven days' late, but we are accepting it as if it were within the

20 prescribed time limits. Thank you.

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.

22 Any observations from the Prosecution?

23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. May it please the Court, we

24 have the same understanding. We know from consultation with the Chamber

25 staff that counsel was approached about extending the date by several

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1 days, and it's our understanding, as counsel has confirmed this morning,

2 that today's date was agreed to and consented to by counsel for which we

3 express our appreciation to him and also to the Chamber in this matter.

4 Thank you.

5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

6 Now let's examine the status of this case. The first issue is

7 pending motions. The Defence filed a motion challenging the form of

8 indictment on the 25th August 2003. In its response filed on the 4th

9 September 2003, the Prosecution announced that it would file a motion for

10 leave to amend the indictment in the near future and requested the Trial

11 Chamber to suspend its decision on the merits of the Defence motion until

12 the amended indictment is filed.

13 The Trial Chamber, therefore, decided not to take any decision

14 before being seized with the Prosecution's motion for leave to amend the

15 indictment pursuant to Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence

16 which was filed on 23rd October 2003.

17 According to Rule 50(A) IC, the Prosecution may amend the

18 indictment after the assignment of the case to a Trial Chamber with the

19 leave of that Trial Chamber or a Judge of that Chamber after having heard

20 the parties. The Trial Chamber notes that the amendment for which the

21 Prosecution seeks leave includes seven new charges. At this stage, I

22 would like to ask the Prosecution whether you want to make any

23 observations regarding this motion. Mr. Scott, please.

24 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour, I think our

25 position is set out in some detail in our papers. I don't think I have

Page 16

1 anything to add to that. We believe that the motion to amend is well

2 founded. We believe that this was an indictment as the Chamber will know

3 filed some years ago. Frankly, in a different era of this Tribunal. And

4 much of the practice of the Tribunal has changed in the ensuing years,

5 certainly more information, evidence, has come to the attention of the

6 OTP. And that therefore, at this relatively early stage of these

7 proceedings, before we have really gone too far ahead, that this would be

8 the appropriate time for an amendment without any substantial or

9 significant prejudice to the accused. Thank you.

10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, could I confirm with you that amended

11 indictment proposed on your side is centred on the same events in the same

12 area, during the same time as the original indictment?

13 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. That's exactly correct.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.

15 Now may I turn to the Defence, Mr. Olujic. Are you going to file

16 a written response to Prosecution's motion?

17 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your indulgence,

18 let me just draw your attention to the chronology. You rightly pointed

19 out that there was first the initial, the original indictment. And then

20 following our motion, the Prosecutor proceeded with the amendments of that

21 indictment which I received on the 23rd of October. And from the reading

22 of the text, one can conclude that the Prosecutor will give us sufficient

23 time to prepare our response to the indictment. The Prosecutor agrees,

24 accepts that we do not have enough time within the prescribed limit; that

25 is, the limit of 30 days, but that the deadline should be extended to 60

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1 days. Further, they say that the amended indictment is based on the

2 material that has already been disclosed to us, and they do not dispose of

3 any other additional documents which is actually very good because the

4 indictment is built, so to speak, of various documents. And in view of

5 the fact that we intend to submit a large number of documents, I think

6 that in view of the efficiency of the proceedings, I think that the best

7 way to proceed is to reduce the number of materials to the minimum.

8 Thirdly, the Prosecutor submits that the indictment has only been

9 corrected and put in accordance with some new technical standards which

10 means that essentially it has not been changed. I will definitely submit

11 my response and my motion, but at any rate we should like for a reasonable

12 deadline which we believe should be 60 days, with your indulgence, thank

13 you.

14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Olujic, do you have any oral submissions at

15 this stage concerning that motion?

16 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] At this point, Your Honour, no, I do

17 not. I will need some time to examine the indictment. I will have to go

18 through the entire documentation that I received once again. And we will

19 give our submissions in writing within the deadline that you impose.

20 Thank you.

21 JUDGE LIU: Well, let me make it clear: The Prosecution filed

22 that motion for leave to amend its indictment. And you may have the

23 opportunity to challenge that motion. This is the first step. Second, if

24 the Trial Chamber granted that motion, and you have another opportunity

25 within 30 days to challenge the contents of that indictment. Am I right

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1 that you are not going to file anything in written form concerning of that

2 motion, but later on you'll file your response against that amended

3 indictment, Mr. Olujic?

4 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honour, I do not

5 know at this point whether the Chamber will accept the amended indictment.

6 If the Chamber accepts the indictment, then we will, of course, avail

7 ourselves of all the provisions that are at our disposal. I only have a

8 working version of the amended indictment at this point, and the motion of

9 my learned colleague to issue -- leave to file -- for the Trial Chamber to

10 issue leave to file this indictment. At this point, I cannot dispute an

11 act, an instrument which is still not legally binding for this Court. I

12 can only say that should the motion be granted, we will use all the legal

13 provisions to respond to it. But before we file our motion, of course my

14 client will enter his plea on the amended indictment.

15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I understand that the challenge for that motion

16 will be in a very short period, that that line will be on the 6th of

17 November. If past that date, we do not receive your motion for

18 challenging that motion, the Trial Chamber will be in a position to make a

19 decision whether to accept the amended indictment. And after that date,

20 you have a certain period, according to the Rules 30 days, to make a

21 response.

22 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for this clarification,

23 Your Honour. Of course, had we intended to do it, we would have already

24 reacted in the meantime, between the 23rd and the 6th when we received it.

25 But we are not going to submit any motion before its confirmation.

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13 English transcripts.













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1 However, once the amended indictment has been confirmed, we will submit

2 our motion, and we will challenge the indictment within the relevant

3 provisions.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

5 If the Trial Chamber grants leave to amend the indictment, a

6 further appearance will be held as soon as practical pursuant to Rule

7 50(B) to enable the excused to enter a plea on the new charges. The

8 accused will have the right pursuant to Rule 50(C) to file within 30 days

9 a preliminary motion pursuant to Rule 72 in respect of the new charges.

10 I understand that the Defence counsel asked for the 60 days for the

11 response. Could you please be more specific for the reasons for asking 60

12 days.

13 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Firstly, Your Honour, I'm sure that

14 you are well aware of the fact that we have so far proceeded on the basis

15 of the original indictment as it was conceived eight years ago. Following

16 the changes and the newly amended indictment, I have to check all the

17 details as they are set out in the new indictment. And I think that the

18 30-day deadline is far too short. So I'm asking for the extension because

19 of the length and the extent of the material; not only the material that

20 we have received from the Prosecutor, but the material that we have

21 received from the Republic of Croatia, including all the material

22 concerning HVO and similar material. Therefore, we kindly ask for this

23 deadline to be extended to 60 days. Thank you.

24 JUDGE LIU: Well, as I just asked Mr. Scott, that he confirmed

25 that the new amended indictment is centred on the same event in the same

Page 21

1 area and during the same time as the original indictment. I wonder if all

2 those documents as well as the amended indictment has been translated into

3 the language that the accused understands or not? Mr. Scott.

4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, the -- let me approach the question

5 this way: As the Chamber will know, and as we've advised your staff, as

6 to the original -- of course the existing indictment, all supporting

7 material, and I mean all supporting material, has been provided to counsel

8 both in the original language of the documents and translated into the

9 B/C/S language where required. So counsel has had full disclosure as to

10 that set of material.

11 As to the amended indictment, as Your Honour has already pointed

12 out, that is now currently postured as a proposed indictment. And of

13 course, is not an indictment until leave is granted to file it at which

14 time it will become, of course, the indictment in the case. At that time

15 or pending the Chamber's resolution of that, translation of the indictment

16 itself will have to be obtained. And while we don't want to appear

17 presumptuous of the Chamber's decision, of course, because that's for the

18 Chamber to decide whether leave will be granted or not, certainly we can

19 start or have started or will start the translation process. So that will

20 be further ahead in the event that the Chamber will grant our motion.

21 At that point, then of course there will be some additional

22 supporting material, some material that supplements, if you will, what was

23 in the original material. That material is essentially ready to be turned

24 over, and it is in a form that is already compiled and essentially

25 physically ready to be disclosed again at such time as the amendment is

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1 granted if the Chamber chooses to grant it. So we would be in a position

2 to turn over that material very quickly. There may be a few translations

3 remaining as to that material, but I think the vast majority of it, if not

4 all of it, is translated. So the short answer, Your Honour, is that if

5 the motion for leave to amend is granted, the Prosecution will be in an

6 immediate position to turn over that material to counsel.

7 JUDGE LIU: With the translation or not? Because we have received

8 that thick bundle of the documents, and I'm scared of that amount of the

9 documents.

10 MR. SCOTT: Yes. Yes, Mr. President, that's correct. As to the

11 supporting material itself, I can say at least that the vast majority is

12 already translated. There may be -- Ms. D'Aoust tells me there might be a

13 small residue of material remaining to be translated which is being done

14 now. And I suspect that if the Chamber chooses to grant to motion to

15 amend, by the time that action is taken most of the additional material

16 will be translated or be very close to translation. I do not anticipate

17 any significant delay in providing that material to counsel once the

18 motion to amend is disposed.

19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

20 And do you have any objections to the proposal to the 60 days to

21 make any response to that indictment?

22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, of course, as always, we're in the

23 Chamber's hands, and it's the Chamber to decide in its own wisdom what

24 schedule it wants to impose on either of the parties in this case. Having

25 said that, since we are the moving party on the motion to amend, we

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1 certainly do not want to appear, if I can say, stingy in the time allowed

2 to counsel. And since we have sought to make the amendment, we would be

3 prepared to grant counsel whatever time is deemed sufficient between

4 counsel and the Chamber to make a further response. We think it's only

5 fair to give him that time, again, as such is agreed by the Chamber.

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

7 I believe that the accused is entitled to have a fair and

8 expeditious trial. And at this moment, we should move as fast as

9 possible. Of course, we also understand that difficulties on the part of

10 the Defence team, that they need to fully understand the contents of the

11 indictment. But 60 days is just too long, which is almost doubled the

12 time limit in the indictment -- sorry, in the Rules and Procedures. So

13 this Trial Chamber will give you 45 days to file your response. The time

14 will begin to run until all the supporting materials are translated into

15 the language that the accused understands, and we will ask the Prosecution

16 to file a notice to this pre-trial Judge indicating that they have already

17 fulfilled their obligations. Of course, all this under the precondition

18 that this Trial Chamber has already granted the motion for leave. Is that

19 understandable?

20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Completely and we'll certainly do

21 that.

22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It is so decided on this issue.

23 The next issue is the disclosure. I would like to ask the

24 Prosecution whether the disclosure of the supporting materials pursuant to

25 Rule 66(A)(i), as well as pursuant to Rule 66(ii) has been completed.

Page 24

1 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, as to the original supporting

2 material as I mentioned a moment ago, that, in fact, has been provided

3 completely to counsel, and we believe that our obligation in that respect

4 is completely fulfilled. As to the 66(A)(ii) material, that is the prior

5 statements of witnesses that the Prosecution expects to call at trial, as

6 I reported to your staff this morning, our efforts to prepare and turn

7 over that material are substantially advanced to completion. But again,

8 as so often happens, the only problem at the moment is one of translation.

9 And we estimate that of that additional set of material, somewhere between

10 perhaps 25 to 30 per cent remains to be translated either from English to

11 B/C/S or B/C/S to English. That's all underway now. It has been started

12 some time ago, frankly anticipating, of course, our obligations. But in

13 honesty, Judge Liu, I can't say this morning that that's completely

14 finished. But it's substantially advanced, and the only thing holding us

15 up at this moment are the translations, and as soon as that -- those

16 translations are ready it will certainly be turned over.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

18 Any observations from the Defence team?

19 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.

20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

21 And are there any comments or observations from either parties

22 regarding the disclosure of the exculpatory materials pursuant to Rule 68?

23 MR. SCOTT: Judge, the only observation that we would make is that

24 of course we are very mindful of that obligation. It's a continuing one,

25 and as we make disclosures throughout this case, until the final day of

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1 this case, we will certainly be mindful of that obligation.

2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think I don't need to remind

3 you that is a continued obligation on the part of the Prosecution.

4 Well, the next issue is about status of the accused. Does the

5 accused wish to raise any matters relating to his state of health and his

6 condition of detention? Mr. Rajic.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the conditions in the

8 Detention Unit are good for now. I feel well. I have no objections or

9 comments. I only wish for these proceedings to continue in the normal

10 and usual manner and for me to continue working with my counsel. I

11 believe everything will be in good order. Thank you.

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I have to ask you to take care

13 of yourself because there's still a long time before the trial starts. I

14 hope we could shorten that period as soon as possible.

15 Well, are there any other matters that the parties would like to

16 raise? Mr. Scott.

17 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. Thank you very much for hearing us

18 this morning.

19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

20 Mr. Olujic.

21 MR. OLUJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have no

22 additional issues to raise. Thank you for granting us these 45 days.

23 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there's nothing else on the part of both

24 parties, I declare that the hearing is adjourned.

25 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned

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1 at 10.31 a.m.