International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 8980

1 Wednesday, 16 October 2002

2 [Motion Hearing]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 4.15 p.m.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

7 Good afternoon, everybody. I thank all the participants for being

8 here in these special circumstances. And may I first ask Madam Registrar

9 to call the case.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honours.

11 This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please, for the

13 Prosecution.

14 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Nicholas Koumjian, Michael McVicker,

15 assisted by Ruth Karper, case manager.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. For the Defence.

17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. John Ostojic and our case

18 manager, Danilo Cirkovic, on behalf of the accused Dr. Milomir Stakic.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Once again, my gratitude to all of

20 you. This procedure allows all the participants to have access to the

21 response provided by the OTP in a language the accused understands, in a

22 language the Judges understand, and at the same time, we can draw the

23 necessary conclusions.

24 Let me, before we start this procedure of reading out the response

25 by the OTP to the Defence motion on acquittal under Rule 98 bis, we came

Page 8981

1 to the conclusion after reviewing the admitted documents that two

2 documents should be admitted additionally. First, Document 141. It is

3 an extremely long document on that what happened in Banja Luka. And in

4 the beginning of the case, we believed that we could restrict it to

5 certain parts only, but this would bring us to the point that we would

6 have to quote out of context. Therefore, we want to admit this document

7 in toto. And in addition, we regard it as necessary to have a complete

8 picture to admit into evidence also the fourth edition of the Official

9 Gazette of Prijedor.

10 Are there any objections to this procedure?

11 MS. KORNER: No.

12 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, again, Your Honour. The Defence

13 would object because we believe the Court has ruled on these exhibits.

14 And although we don't have the complete table in front of us, not

15 having an opportunity to cross-examine the witness and also being deprived

16 the opportunity to address those two exhibits in our brief, we would

17 continue to stand on our objection respect to those exhibits, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I understand. Quoting from the top of my head,

19 I would say that we touched upon this issue when the editor of the

20 Official Gazette was present, and the parties had all the opportunities to

21 examine or cross-examine Mr. Baltic. And as regards Document 141, this

22 formed part of the evidence provided during the case in chief, and the

23 Defence had reasonable time and all the opportunity to cross-examine the

24 witnesses they would think best for this purpose, also on Document 141.

25 It was tendered as such in its entirety, and with a view to the

Page 8982

1 transcript, in exactly some witnesses quoted parts also not admitted into

2 evidence. This was the reason.

3 So therefore, these both documents are admitted into evidence for

4 the record.

5 Second, very short remark, you can read from the scheduling order

6 that it was -- the intention was that there would follow immediately after

7 the hearing tomorrow a Status Conference. I think as the issues are

8 limited to, first of all, question of scheduling in the future, to avoid

9 the unnecessary use of courtroom facilities, if possible, could we do it

10 in the framework of a 65 ter (I) conference tomorrow from 9.00 to 10.00?

11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes. There's no problem with that.

12 Your Honour, I should add that filed together with the response to the

13 Defence under 92 bis is an application to delay the start of the Defence

14 case made by us, and I understand that a similar application will be made

15 on behalf of the Defence.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. May I hear the comments on this issue, or

17 better on both issues, immediately by the Defence.

18 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not object to proceeding under 65 ter (I),

19 Your Honour. At the convenience of the Court, we are available to meet

20 tomorrow morning from 9.00 to 10.00. The Defence is also on the same

21 issue preparing a written motion to extend the time in which we may

22 commence the Defence case from the scheduled date of November 18th

23 presently set to starting January 8th, 2003. The basis, as I believe will

24 be outlined in the motion that we file, although we did not have an

25 opportunity to review the motion filed by the OTP in this regard, is that

Page 8983

1 the witnesses that we are preparing, the witnesses that we are meeting

2 with, the experts that we are consulting with need additional time in

3 order to be able to review both the reports and the transcripts of the OTP

4 witnesses here; namely, their military, their academic historian, as well

5 as their demographer. Those witnesses as the Court will appreciate were

6 exhaustive and their reports were extensive, and it will take a

7 significant amount of time for them to first review and then prepare and

8 meet with us in connection with that.

9 Next, the experts, as the OTP, although perhaps a little easier

10 for them, since most of their experts are in-house experts, we don't have

11 that luxury. We have to go outside and retain experts who are willing,

12 and we are at their mercy as to when they are able to review and complete

13 the review of those extensive documents. The Defence believes that if the

14 Court would look at the two-week period given to us in November to

15 commence our case, judicial economy and efficiency would dictate that

16 starting January 8th would be a more prudent approach respectfully. Our

17 witnesses will be prepared. The Defence will be able to meet with the

18 Madam Registrar or the court-appointed officer to submit adequate 92 bis

19 affidavits for some of these witnesses. In the interim, we are making a

20 decision to call these witnesses, but we do believe that some of them

21 should be, and we hope, if given this extension of time to January 8th,

22 some of them will be transformed into 92 bis witnesses.

23 However, with the time pressure and constraints placed upon us,

24 namely with the conclusion of the OTP's case not ending when we initially

25 anticipated, the scheduling of the briefs, we are unable to collectively

Page 8984

1 make that decision in the time required under the current scheduling

2 order. So we will be asking both in writing and again orally tomorrow at

3 the 65 ter conference for an intention of time in which to commence our

4 Defence case.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. This gives us the

6 possibility already today to start discussing this issue.

7 But now, let us turn to the main issue why we are together today.

8 And I once again am grateful that the Prosecution is prepared to read out

9 this document. This document was filed confidential. Leave was granted.

10 I wonder whether it's necessary to read out the entire document in private

11 session. The policy of transparency, first of all, requires that at least

12 the result or the conclusions should be read in open session.

13 Would it possible to proceed this way, that we read this in

14 private session today, and the conclusions tomorrow in open session, that

15 the public knows the position taken by the OTP?

16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, may I say this is such a novel

17 procedure I haven't the faintest idea how Your Honour expects us to

18 proceed. Do you want us to read out every word, including lists of names,

19 plus the footnotes? The reason it was asked, and Your Honour granted

20 leave, to file it confidentially is that it refers to evidence given in

21 either closed or private session. It's very difficult, although

22 Ms. Karper will do the best she can to identify while one is reading which

23 is which. As to the conclusion, Your Honour, the conclusion says that you

24 ought to let the case go on, and we can certainly read that out in

25 public.

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Page 8986

1 Your Honour, may I add one further thing, in light of the time

2 pressures that were placed upon us, and in particular, of today's changes

3 in scheduling that were proposed, I'm not at all sure that we have checked

4 all the footnotes properly, indeed one part there may be something

5 missing. Your Honours will have to forgive us if there are errors. If

6 there is any point in which Your Honours feels we should have addressed

7 and we haven't, then we would be grateful if we could agree with that.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

9 MS. KORNER: So, Your Honour, can I take it first of all Your

10 Honour doesn't require the footnotes read?

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correct.

12 MS. KORNER: Second, if Your Honour looks, please, at page 30

13 onwards, paragraph 77, there's a list of names running for some -- between

14 four pages in all. For example, would Your Honour require all those names

15 to be read?

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No.

17 MS. KORNER: Because they can be seen.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the light of the spirit and the sense why we

19 are doing this now, it is to give access to all the Judges in the language

20 they understand, and to Dr. Stakic. I think Dr. Stakic in person has one

21 copy of this document? Because then he can immediately follow this, and

22 it shouldn't be read out.

23 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not sure if one was provided to him,

24 Your Honour. We did receive one this afternoon just now. But no, he does

25 not have a copy, Your Honour.

Page 8987

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think before we come to page 30, it can be

2 provided. No, it's not necessary to read out these names, and if you feel

3 more comfortable for reasons of the protection of the personalities

4 mentioned in this document, you may refrain from reading the names. We

5 have the names before us. It's only to grant access to the content of

6 your response.

7 MS. KORNER: So, can I take it we're now -- I see there is

8 somebody sitting there. We're in closed now?

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think private session.

10 MS. KORNER: Private session.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, let's go in private session. It has not

12 yet been confirmed. Private session, please.

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12 --- Whereupon the Motion Hearing adjourned

13 at 7.11 p.m.

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