International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2748

1 Tuesday, 7 May 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused not present]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.41 p.m.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we please, nevertheless, first of all call

6 the case. Call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is Case Number

8 IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The appearances, please.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Nicholas Koumjian with Kapila Waidyaratne and Ruth

11 Karper for the Prosecution.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the Defence?

13 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour, John Ostojic with

14 Branko Lukic, and Danilo Cirkovic, our case manager, is here today with

15 us.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please explain a little bit why the

17 accused is not present today.

18 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Unfortunately, we would like to

19 inform the Court, as we have the Office of the Prosecutor moments earlier,

20 our client is here in the holding area, if you will. He advised us

21 immediately upon being arrived here that he is suffering severe pain in

22 the abdomen, and also is feeling nauseous and has intermittent feelings of

23 having to go to the bathroom and feels enormously uncomfortable.

24 Subsequent to that, a nurse came to visit him, just within the last five

25 or so minutes, advised him, talked to him as to what was the problem, if

Page 2749

1 it was food. The doctor did undergo some surgery while in detention here

2 within the last year, and we're not sure if the food that he ate at 12.00,

3 12.30 had any contributing factor. The nurse also suggested that it might

4 be a 24-hour bug, and advised him to drink fluids and to just get as much

5 rest as possible. The client also advised us that he would like to ask

6 the Chamber if we can postpone, obviously, the continuation of the direct

7 examination of the witness as well as the cross-examination, because he

8 would like to participate and thinks, based on the testimony that was

9 given yesterday of this witness, is vital to his case.

10 He also wanted me to extend his apologies to the Chamber and the

11 Office of the Prosecutor and the staff. He doesn't know what came of it.

12 I was personally with him from 11.00 to 12.00 this morning, and he was

13 fine. And it must have been afterwards when he had his meal at 12.30 or

14 so.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Observations from the Office of the Prosecutor.

16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't have any particular observations on what

17 procedure we can follow now without the accused. And I gather that he

18 does not consent to us proceeding in his absence. So just for the Court's

19 information, there's two witnesses happen to be here today, the one on the

20 stand, and the next witness. And we expect very soon the next witness to

21 arrive, just scheduling wise for the Court's information.

22 There is a matter I would like to raise today that I think we can

23 deal with without the accused. I've talked to Defence counsel about that,

24 and I would like a few minutes of the Court's time to raise that, when

25 it's appropriate for the Court.

Page 2750

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The concrete question was raised whether or not

2 consent, if possible under the rules, would be given by the accused.

3 Because we have to be quite clear. We have no doubt, in principle, the

4 right of the accused to be present, and there's no rule providing for any

5 proceeding in absentia. We have, in some very special, emphasise very

6 special, cases, the situation that an accused waives for a certain period

7 of time the right to be present.

8 MR. OSTOJIC: As I've stated earlier, Your Honour, we've consulted

9 with Dr. Stakic on this issue. He does not consent to or wants to waive

10 his right to be present, particularly -- and I don't want to go into the

11 dynamics of it, particularly in light of this witness. Perhaps the

12 circumstances would have dictated a different scenario. But with this

13 witness's testimony yesterday, he does want to be present during the

14 cross-examination and believes he can assist us on some of the questions,

15 dependent, again, on the answers that may be given by the witness. We're

16 speculating on that, but he certainly would like and has asked us to see

17 if we can ask the Court that we postpone today so that he may be present

18 tomorrow. We're confident, and he is confident that he will follow the

19 advice of the nurses and he should be ready to go tomorrow.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe your point is only fair. We have some

21 administrative matters.

22 I just read that the accused is brought back to the Detention

23 Unit. Probably it was a premature decision by persons not responsible for

24 this decision. But my point is another one: As we have still some open

25 administrative matters, I regard it as possible to have a Status

Page 2751

1 Conference, let's say, at 15.15. Would this suit the parties?

2 MR. OSTOJIC: We are available.


4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then we have for the hearing? You also --


6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then for the hearing, we adjourn for today. And

7 at least try to resume tomorrow, 2.15. And for a Status Conference, we'll

8 meet here in this room at 15.15.

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

10 at 2.48 p.m., to be followed by a

11 Status Conference















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