Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1227

 1                           Thursday, 8 May 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused Simatovic entered court]

 4                           [The accused Stanisic is not present]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ROBINSON:  As you are no doubt aware ... [French on English

 7     channel].

 8             Is that an indication that something is amiss with the

 9     technology?  It's fixed now?  Very well.

10             The accused Stanisic is not in court and I am going to ask the

11     court deputy to say what the position is in relation to Mr. Stanisic's

12     attendance either in court or for the purposes of viewing the video

13     conference link.  Yes.  Please go ahead.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the accused is not in court and he

15     will not be in the VTC room today.  He's currently in the hospital

16     awaiting his medical examination and we will be receiving a report

17     shortly and will be able to notify the Court as to the results.

18             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.

19             We should have had in accordance with the procedures set out a

20     medical certificate by this time.  We haven't had it.  The explanation, I

21     understand, is that the medical officer is not present at the UNDU and in

22     his absence, the UNDU had to obtain the services of another doctor and

23     that has led to some delay.  In view of the fact that this is the first

24     time that the procedures which are established are being put in place,

25     the Chamber has some sympathy and understanding for the problems faced by

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 1     the UNDU.  The Chamber expects, however, that the medical report will on

 2     all future occasions be ready and transmitted in a timely manner to it.

 3             I do have, however, a form prepared by the deputy commander which

 4     addresses the first five or six paragraphs of the new set of procedures

 5     and I'd like to ensure that the parties have it.

 6                           [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

 7             JUDGE ROBINSON:  It's being transmitted -- may we have copies

 8     made for the parties, but in the meantime, I'll tell you what it says.

 9     It seeks to give effect to the first five or six paragraphs of the new

10     set of procedures set out.

11             First, there is confirmation that, and this is from the deputy

12     commanding officer, Fraser Gilmour, that he met with Mr. Stanisic at

13     11.55.  He confirms that he informed him about the court hearing

14     scheduled for today to begin at 2.15 and that normal arrangements were in

15     place to transport him to the Tribunal.  Then Mr. Stanisic indicated that

16     he felt too unwell to attend the court in person.

17             He reminded him that he had a right to be present in the

18     courtroom.  Mr. Stanisic was not willing to waive his right to attend

19     court in person.  He then reminded Mr. Stanisic that it was still open to

20     him to participate in the proceedings via the video conference link.

21     Mr. Stanisic then indicated that he did not wish to use the video

22     conference link, and following that answer, the medical officer or

23     another qualified officer was called upon to carry out an examination and

24     to submit a report to the Trial Chamber.  It is that report which we now

25     await and you have just been given the explanation for its absence at

Page 1229

 1     this time.

 2             Does any party have any comment to make?

 3             Mr. Groome.

 4             MR. GROOME:  Not at this time, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Okay.

 6             MR. KNOOPS:  Thank you, Your Honour, nothing.

 7                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 8             JUDGE ROBINSON:  In the circumstances, the Chamber determines

 9     that the best course is to adjourn the proceedings until such time as the

10     medical report is transmitted to the registry and forwarded to it.  We

11     don't believe that that will be a very long time from now, so the parties

12     should stand by and be ready to be recalled shortly.  We are adjourned.

13                           --- Break taken at 2.25 p.m.

14                           --- On resuming at 2.52 p.m.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  We are resumed.  We have two statements.  One is

16     from the deputy registrar received -- or made at 2.25 p.m. and then

17     subsequent to that, I believe we have a statement or a certificate from

18     the doctor who saw Mr. Stanisic today.

19             Since we have this statement in front of us, I am going to read

20     both of them slowly.  I will spare the court deputy the reading.

21             This is from the deputy registrar and I presume this would have

22     been based on a telephone conversation between the deputy registrar and

23     the doctor.  It may be that it would be enough just to go to the doctor's

24     certificate since we have that now, but in the interest of completeness,

25     I'll read both.  In fact, you can read silently the statement from the

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 1     deputy registrar, and then I'll read the doctor's certificate.

 2             It says, "Before me I see Mr. Stanisic.  The patient is suffering

 3     of severe colitis with a lot of blood loss and diarrhea.  He needs

 4     frequently to go to the toilet.  He's very weak and sweaty because of the

 5     blood loss.  Therapy starts today and effect, I hope, will soon be seen.

 6     It is not advisable to go to trial today and not follow by video

 7     conference link."

 8             Then there is something which I thought poor penmanship was a

 9     province of lawyers but apparently -- I can't read this.  That's the name

10     of the -- but there is something before the name, before the signature.

11     I can't make it out but perhaps it has no effect.

12                           [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

13             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I'm informed that it's the initials and the name

14     of the doctor.  May I ask first ask for the Prosecution to make

15     submissions.

16             MR. GROOME:  I really don't have too many comments to make, Your

17     Honour, I rely on the Chamber's reading of the words here, other than to

18     point out that we know from the fitness proceedings that he does -- he

19     cannot have colitis, but I imagine the doctor obviously does not have

20     that much familiarity with him.  I think it is probably safe for us to

21     conclude that his pouchitis is acting up and it's not colitis.

22             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Knoops.

23             MR. KNOOPS:  Your Honour, I believe that in light of the

24     paragraphs 12 and 13 of Your Honours' ruling of this morning, we submit

25     that the proceedings for today should be adjourned.  Thank you.

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 1             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Do you have submissions on that, Mr. Groome?

 2             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, I find myself in a difficult position

 3     because I think I like many of the participants here are getting

 4     increasingly frustrated with the inability for us to make any progress.

 5             I must say though that I am reluctant to simply discard the

 6     opinion of this doctor who seems to be suggesting -- I mean when I look

 7     at her observations that he's very weak and sweaty, it seems that that

 8     seems to be something that can be objectively observable by a trained

 9     doctor and she's attributing it to blood loss.  It does seem rather

10     serious in light of your protocol.  I mean it's obviously the Chamber's

11     decision to make a determination whether or not he's too ill to proceed

12     but I certainly don't feel comfortable in arguing that we should proceed

13     disregarding what this doctor has reported to us.

14             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.

15             MR. KNOOPS:  Your Honour, maybe --

16             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.

17             MR. KNOOPS:  My last remark would be, sorry to interrupt your

18     deliberation, but it's of course significant, I believe, that this is a

19     doctor who previously was not involved in the case and apart from

20     Dr. de Man, Dr. Falke, we have now a third independent doctor who comes

21     to this conclusion, so I think it will just underline my request that in

22     light of paragraphs 12 and 13, there is ample basis for the request to

23     adjourn for today.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.

25                           [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 1232

 1             JUDGE ROBINSON:  The Chamber thanks the parties for their

 2     submissions.  In particular we are indebted to Mr. Groome for his

 3     frankness which is wholly consistent with the best traditions of the bar

 4     as the Prosecutor.

 5             The Chamber concludes that it has no alternative but to adjourn

 6     the hearing.  We take into account the doctor's observations that

 7     Mr. Stanisic has to go to the toilet frequently, he's very weak and

 8     sweaty because of the loss of blood.

 9             We also note that therapy is to start today and the hope is

10     expressed that its effect will soon be seen, but we were given to

11     understand that that therapy would have started yesterday and the

12     registrar might wish to inquire what is happening in that regard.

13             The Chamber therefore determines that Mr. Stanisic is not well

14     enough either to attend court or to participate in proceedings by the

15     video conference link today, and we will adjourn until ...

16                           [Trial Chamber confers]

17             JUDGE ROBINSON:  The date of the adjournment, now it could be a

18     matter for discussion.  Mr. Groome.

19             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, just before you rise -- just before you

20     made -- you set a time for adjournment, it occurs to me that we might be

21     able to make some progress in this case in other ways, I mean there are a

22     number of pending motions.  If it would assist the Chamber and the

23     parties tomorrow if Mr. Stanisic is too ill to proceed, if it would

24     assist the Chamber in having the parties discuss and present argument on

25     the different pending motions, it would help the Chamber resolve, that

Page 1233

 1     might be a productive use of time and advance us in a material way in

 2     this case.

 3                           [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

 4             JUDGE ROBINSON:  The Chamber is considering adjourning until

 5     tomorrow not specifically to take up Mr. Groome's suggestion, because I

 6     am not personally aware of any motions presenting the kind of difficulty

 7     that would benefit from interparty submissions during court.  These are

 8     matters which the Chamber can decide and will decide with promptness.

 9             We will adjourn until tomorrow in the event that Mr. Stanisic is

10     well enough to attend either court or the video conference link.  So we

11     are adjourned.

12                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m.

13                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of May,

14                           2008 at 9.00 a.m.