Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 130

1 Tuesday, 26 March 2002

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused not present]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number:

8 IT-01-42-PT, the Prosecutor versus Miodrag Jokic.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.

10 May I have the appearances, please.

11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. For the Prosecution, Susan

12 L. Somers. To my right, Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky; to my left, Mr. Massimo

13 Scaliotti; and Ms. Susan Grogan.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Ms. Somers.

15 And for the Defence.

16 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour, I am alone

17 today representing Mr. Jokic. My name is Zarko Nikolic, and I am an

18 attorney from Novi Sad.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Nikolic. Since this is the

20 first time we meet in respect of the Jokic case, I'd like to introduce

21 myself as well. My name is Alphonsus Orie, and I'm the Pre-Trial Judge in

22 this case.

23 The main purpose of a Status Conference is to find out whether the

24 trial preparation, especially the communication between the parties,

25 develops as it should develop. Might I perhaps first ask Mr. Nikolic

Page 131

1 whether the change of counsel caused any specific problems as far as

2 disclosure and trial preparation is concerned. And more specifically, on

3 whether the communication with former Defence counsel is going as it

4 should go.

5 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I respond to

6 this question, I would like to inform you that after the decision from the

7 registrar that I was appointed as Defence for Mr. Jokic, in first contacts

8 with him, I suggested and advised him to behave strictly in accordance

9 with the decision of the Trial Chamber regarding his provisional release.

10 So I believe that there will be no problems in this regard and that you

11 will be regularly informed about his conduct.

12 I have taken all the documents which have been presented to the

13 accused, Mr. Jokic, and all the documents are in B/C/S. The English

14 versions which were handed over to the previous Defence, I still have not

15 received so far, even though I have attempted to make contact with them.

16 So in that regard, I would like to tell you that on the 7th of March,

17 after Mr. Jokic requested that I be his Defence, I did get in touch with

18 the Prosecution, and we tried to get some kind of agreement on how we

19 could resolve this problem.

20 After I returned to Yugoslavia, even though I still haven't

21 officially been informed, an e-mail has been sent to Mr. Jones in order

22 for him to return all the documentation that he has in his possession. So

23 far, we haven't had a response from him. This morning also we had a

24 meeting with the OTP. I think it was quite a constructive meeting. I

25 hope the other side will confirm this. And we agreed that perhaps one way

Page 132

1 to resolve this is to ask through the Registry that Mr. Jones return all

2 the documents regarding this case, whether to the Prosecution, to the

3 Registry, or directly to myself as the Defence attorney.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So there are some problems as far as the

5 transfer of disclosed documents is concerned. Of course, I'm quite glad

6 that there is a -- that there is a positive communication between Defence

7 and Prosecution in this respect. If the problem would not be solved on

8 short notice, then if you would need the assistance of the Chamber or

9 perhaps first the assistance of the Senior Legal Officer, but if necessary

10 also the Chamber to give any orders to former Defence counsel, please let

11 us know.

12 Is there anything else at this moment you'd like to bring to our

13 attention in respect of the case? I'll later ask you whether there are

14 any other personal circumstances of Mr. Jokic which need attention, but as

15 far as the case is concerned.

16 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] At present, there are no problems,

17 Your Honour. We have experience from another case in view of the fact

18 that Ms. Somers was also the prosecuting attorney there. So we today

19 agreed for all outstanding questions, to resolve them in direct contact so

20 that we wouldn't burden the Chamber.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, you understand that is always a message

22 we gladly receive, that you are solving your problems, the parties, among

23 each other themselves. But of course, if necessary, you can always

24 address the Chamber.

25 Ms. Somers, may I then ask you whether the Prosecution is of the

Page 133

1 same opinion, that there aren't any problems and apart from communication

2 with former Defence counsel? Yes.

3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I do whole-heartedly confirm

4 that. Mr. Nikolic and I have very good communication. And he did make me

5 aware of the issue of non-receipt of the documents, and the Prosecution

6 found itself in complete compliance with its 66(A)(i) obligations. And it

7 is a concern to us, but particularly in light of this Chamber's protective

8 order issued the 16th of January, where point 7 says, "If a member of the

9 Strugar and Jokic Defence team withdraws, all material in his or her

10 possession shall be returned to their lead Defence counsel," who is of

11 course now this counsel.

12 We have made it clear that we will assist Mr. Nikolic in any way

13 possible to get, before his departure, the B/C/S -- all the B/C/S

14 documents. It was my understanding from our productive meeting this

15 morning that not all the B/C/S documents were in his possession, bits and

16 pieces. And so we want to make sure that he has everything. He has also

17 made a request for the English documentation. We've discussed it, and we

18 believe will be able to accommodate in due course.

19 The other aspects of pre-trial, the pre-trial process leading up

20 to 65 ter obligations, we have discussed at length, including meeting to

21 try to resolve -- to determine what can be admitted, what remains in

22 dispute factually and legally. There are other matters that have to do

23 with other provisions of the Rules that we have discussed. And again I

24 think that there is nothing else that we could add. We are hopeful that

25 he will be able to pick up quickly the other materials.

Page 134

1 In the alternative, I believe, if I'm correct, Mr. Nikolic said

2 that he requested either that the materials be sent directly to him or

3 sent to the Office of the Prosecutor. I would let the Chamber know we do

4 not -- we've had no communication with Mr. Jones, and we have received

5 nothing.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much for your information,

7 Ms. Somers.

8 Mr. Nikolic, you already referred to the situation of provisional

9 liberty Mr. Jokic is enjoying at this moment. Are there any personal

10 aspects which you deem necessary to, or you deem it wise to, bring to the

11 attend of the Trial -- Pre-Trial -- or the Trial Chamber?

12 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, absolutely not at the

13 moment.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. I hope that the limited time we

15 needed for this Status Conference will not disappoint you, but if the

16 communication between the parties is developing well, not only in respect

17 of disclosure obligations but also in order to find out what is in

18 dispute, what is not in dispute, then of course that might save a lot of

19 time later on. I think the Pre-Trial Judge can only be happy.

20 So therefore, I would like to ask either party whether there's

21 anything else we need to discuss at this very moment. I see nodding no

22 four times.

23 MS. SOMERS: Thank you for the opportunity. No.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.

25 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No thank you, Your Honour.

Page 135

1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, thank you very much for your appearance. This

2 concludes that Status Conference.

3 --- Whereupon the Status Conference was adjourned

4 at 2.43 p.m.