Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 701

1 Tuesday, 18 March 2008

2 [Pre-Trial Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 [The accused Stanisic not present in court]

6 --- Upon commencing at 10.02 a.m.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: First I'd like to apologise for the late start.

8 The Chamber has been holding consultations that will have an important

9 bearing on the trial proceedings.

10 Next I'd like to say that notwithstanding the fact that these

11 proceedings relate to the medical condition of the accused, I have, after

12 consultation with the medical doctor at the UNDU, determined that it is

13 in the interests of justice and in the good administration of the trial

14 that the proceedings should be public.

15 Let us move now to the information that we have concerning the

16 present medical status of the accused. We have, and I believe you also

17 have, a report from Dr. Falke, the Medical Officer of the UNDU. It has

18 the date of the 17th of March and it states that the state of health of

19 the accused has not changed since his submission of the 14th. He then

20 looks at his physical condition, notes that he suffers from pouchitis,

21 osteoporosis and has kidney stones, and that the combination of those

22 three conditions and the symptoms determine his present physical

23 condition.

24 As to his emotional status, he says that the accused is in a deep

25 depression for which he is being treated by a psychiatrist, and that that

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1 treatment would take some time because the causes of the depression are

2 partly of a permanent nature. That depression, he says, exacerbates his

3 physical condition, and vice versa.

4 The report of the gastroenterologist, who conducted his

5 examination of the accused yesterday, is not yet available. He says

6 relevantly: "Mr. Stanisic will not be medically fit to attend the

7 hearings tomorrow." That is today's proceedings. "A prognosis as to

8 when he will be fit to attend court is not possible at this time, but we

9 will inform you when some concrete information is available on this

10 matter."

11 With regard to the third point in the order of the Court he says:

12 "Further expert examinations are contraindicated at this point from a

13 medical point of view as they can further increase the anxiety of the

14 patient and can act as a catalyst to the depression." And he says that

15 he expresses these concerns in the exercise of his responsibility as the

16 medical officer under Rule 34(B) of the Rules of Detention.

17 The next piece of information that I have and which I believe you

18 also have is the standard form relating to absence from court due to

19 illness, and as you can see, as was the case with yesterday, it has not

20 been signed by the accused, thereby indicating that the accused has not

21 waived his right to be present.

22 Now, in the light of the report of Dr. Falke, the Chamber has

23 been considering how best to proceed, and what the Chamber has in mind is

24 as follows:

25 We have a break for Easter which will commence on Friday, being

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1 Good Friday, and we are set to resume on Tuesday, the 1st of April. It

2 appears to the Chamber that this hiatus offers an opportunity for the

3 accused to recover from his illness, and it would be the hope of the

4 Chamber that the accused would be fit to attend court on the 1st of

5 April.

6 In relation to that, however, the Chamber will require the

7 Registrar to appoint an independent psychiatrist to examine the accused

8 on or about Friday, the 28th - that's next week Friday - and to present a

9 report by Monday, the 31st. That report, of course, will be supplemented

10 by the report of the gastroenterologist, whose report we were informed by

11 Dr. Falke is not yet ready but would undoubtedly be ready by that time.

12 Additionally, we'll have the weekly report of Dr. Falke.

13 So we'll have three reports - the report of the independent

14 psychiatrist, the gastroenterologist, and Dr. Falke. On the basis of

15 those reports we'll determine how to proceed on the 1st of April in the

16 event that the accused is not in a position to attend court. But it is

17 the expectation of the Chamber that the accused will be in a position to

18 attend. He's getting the best available treatment and we wish him a very

19 speedy recovery.

20 May I ask if any of the parties has anything to say in relation

21 to these matters?

22 Yes, Mr. Groome.

23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the only thing I would add, we have not

24 received those reports so we would appreciate if the Registrar could

25 provide them. The only observation that I would make is it seems that

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1 Dr. Domenicus is a psychiatrist who is actively treating Mr. Stanisic at

2 this time. It would seem that it might also be good for the Court to

3 have the reports of Dr. Domenicus before them as the treating

4 psychiatrist that may also help inform the Chamber's opinion with respect

5 to his ability to participate in the trial on April 1st.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We did consider that and decided against it and

7 felt that it would be better to get the report of a totally independent

8 psychiatrist.

9 Mr. Knoops.

10 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, I agree with this approach. Our

11 observation would have been that in -- according to our information,

12 Dr. Domenicus was not the treating psychiatrist. But Your Honours have

13 already made the decision.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovanovic?

15 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you. I have

16 no further comments to offer about the situation.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: In that event, then, we adjourn until Tuesday,

20 the 1st of April.

21 --- Whereupon the Pre-Trial Conference adjourned at

22 10.13 a.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st

23 day of April, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.