1 Tuesday, 27 May 2014
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellants entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.30 p.m.
6 JUDGE MERON: Registrar, will you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-04-74-A, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Registrar.
10 I would like to begin by ensuring that the audio equipment is
11 working properly. Can the appellants hear the proceedings in a language
12 they understand, beginning with Mr. Prlic?
13 Can you hear me?
14 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: Could you repeat the question because I was
15 dealing with --
16 JUDGE MERON: Well, you have answered my question now. You
17 understand, too?
18 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: I didn't hear because I was dealing with
19 something else.
20 JUDGE MERON: Yes. You can understand the proceedings?
21 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: Yeah, I understand you. I understand you.
22 JUDGE MERON: Thank you so much.
23 You can be seated.
24 Mr. Stojic.
25 THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
1 Your Honour. Everything is okay. I can hear you and understand you.
2 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Praljak.
3 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I can hear you very well,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MERON: Thank you very much.
6 Mr. Petkovic.
7 THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can hear
8 you well. I can understand you.
9 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Petkovic.
10 Mr. Coric.
11 THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Everything is in order.
12 Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE MERON: Thank you very much.
14 Mr. Pusic.
15 THE APPELLANT PUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can hear you
16 very well. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MERON: Thank you.
18 Prosecution, I suppose you can hear and understand me.
19 MR. STRINGER: Yes, indeed, Mr. President, we do. And for the
20 record it's Douglas Stringer, Sarah Finnin, and
21 Case Manager Janet Stewart appearing for the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
23 Defence, for Mr. Prlic, I understand that Mr. Karnavas is
24 participating via video-conference.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: [Via videolink] That's correct, Your Honour, and I
1 can hear you very well.
2 JUDGE MERON: Well, that's reassuring. I was worried about that.
3 Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
4 For Mr. Stojic.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Senka Nozica
6 representing Mr. Stojic and Aidan Alice [phoen] my legal assistant.
7 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Ms. Nozica.
8 For Mr. Petkovic now.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good afternoon.
10 Currently in the courtroom only Vesna Alaburic representing
11 General Petkovic.
12 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mrs. Alaburic.
13 For Mr. Coric.
14 MR. PLAVEC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
15 co-counsel Drazen Plavec representing Mr. Coric.
16 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Plavec.
17 For Mr. Pusic?
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
19 Today representing Mr. Pusic, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic and Mulalic, Nermin.
20 JUDGE MERON: Thank you.
21 Now I understand Mr. Praljak will represent himself?
22 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour,
23 Slobodan Praljak is representing Slobodan Praljak.
24 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Praljak.
25 Thank you all. As you are aware, Rule 65 bis (B) of the Rules of
1 Procedure and Evidence requires a Status Conference to be convened within
2 120 days after the last Status Conference for each appellant in the
3 Tribunal's custody. A Status Conference serves two primary purposes.
4 First, it allows the appellants an opportunity to express concerns
5 relating to their appeal or detention conditions and for the Tribunal to
6 inquire about the mental and physical condition of the detained persons.
7 Second, it provides an opportunity to update the appellants with respect
8 to the status of their case. In the present case the last
9 Status Conference was held on 3 February 2014. Today's Status Conference
10 was scheduled by order filed on 14 May 2014.
11 Let me now turn to inquiring into the status of the detention
12 conditions and health situation of the appellants. If any of the
13 appellants wishes, I can have this discussion take place in closed
14 session. Is there any request for closing this session? I see --
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you know that the
16 correspondence between the Trial Chamber and Mr. Pusic was confidential,
17 so if Mr. Pusic wants to say something about that I would kindly ask you
18 to move into private session.
19 JUDGE MERON: So it will depend on whether such a request is made
20 by Mr. Pusic and so far it has not been made. If it is made, there is no
21 problem, I will close the session.
22 Update of the case. I recall the Notices of Appeal of
23 Mr. Praljak and Pusic which were filed on 28 June 2013. I recall that
24 the Notice of Appeal of the Prosecution was filed on 27 August 2013. On
25 21 June 2013 upon request of the parties I ordered that the Notices of
1 Appeal of Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Petkovic, and Mr. Coric be filed
2 within 60 days of the issuance of the official English translation of the
3 trial judgement.
4 I further recall that I ordered Mr. Praljak, Mr. Pusic, and the
5 Prosecution to file their appeal briefs no later than 135 days from the
6 issuance of the official English translation of the trial judgement and
7 that, as a result, there is a harmonised briefing scheduled in place for
8 all the parties.
9 [Appeals Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
10 JUDGE MERON: I note that since the last Status Conference the
11 Appeals Chamber has issued a number of decisions on pre-appeal motions.
12 In particular, on 6 March 2014, the Appeals Chamber issued its decision
13 on Prosecution motion for order striking grounds from Berislav Pusic's
14 Notices of Appeal and on Berislav Pusic's application for leave to file a
15 corrigendum to his Notice of Appeal, in which the Appeals Chamber ordered
16 Mr. Pusic to re-file his Notice of Appeal in accordance with the
17 requirements set out in the relevant provisions of the Rules of Procedure
18 and Evidence and the practice direction on formal requirements for appeal
19 from judgement.
20 On 4 April 2014, the Appeals Chamber issued its decision on
21 Praljak's motions for stay of procedure and assignment of counsel in the
22 interest of justice, in which the Appeals Chamber denied both of
23 Mr. Praljak's motions.
24 On 13 May 2014, the Appeals Chamber issued its order on the
25 Registrar's application pursuant to Rule 45(E) of the Rules, ordering
1 Mr. Praljak to reimburse to the Tribunal for the costs sustained in
2 providing Mr. Praljak with legal aid.
3 On 21 May 2014, in my capacity as pre-Appeals Judge in this case,
4 I issued, one, an order lifting the confidential and ex parte status of a
5 letter sent to me on 28 April 2014, by which Mr. Slobodan Praljak
6 informed me of his decision to represent himself in these proceedings and
7 the requested translations of all filed documents in Croatian and a stay
8 of proceedings until translations are received; and two, a decision
9 allowing Mr. Prlic's counsel to participate in this Status Conference via
11 Let me now turn to the parties and ask whether they have any
12 issues that they would like to raise.
13 You would like to?
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to raise
15 an issue that interests most of us all and that is whether we can receive
16 any information with regard to the date when we could be provided with
17 the translation of the judgement into English. I would like to emphasise
18 that my client is very interested in that translation to coincide with
19 the B/C/S translation of the judgement because pursuant to the Rules of
20 the Tribunal he has to be able to participate actively in his appeal and
21 the drafting of his appeal. If you have any sort of information, I would
22 kindly ask you to impart that information that concerns all of us.
23 JUDGE MERON: Thank you.
24 [Appeals Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
25 JUDGE MERON: I would like to give you some information,
1 tentative as it will be, to give you an idea where we stand. We are now
2 anticipating that the English translation of the judgement would be
3 available sometime in June, so quite soon now. As regards the B/C/S
4 translation, we expect it to be available in September. This gives you,
5 Mrs. Nozica, some idea and I hope that this is helpful.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, this is very
7 helpful. We would kindly ask you if there is any possibility for the
8 translation into B/C/S to come a bit closer to the translation into
9 English, that would be very useful for our clients because the
10 three-month difference is a big difference and it will affect the
11 preparation of our appeal, in view of the time that we have been given to
12 prepare it. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MERON: Registrar, would you please pass on to the language
14 services the comment just made by Mrs. Nozica.
15 These are -- insofar as the Defence is concerned, these are the
16 comments I suppose? I don't see anything else.
17 The Prosecutor --
18 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MERON: Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Mr. Praljak.
20 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like
21 to hand in a piece of paper for Your Honour. Maybe I may be allowed to
22 give it to the officer, who can then hand it to you.
23 JUDGE MERON: What is this paper about?
24 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] These are my objections
25 to some conclusions in the appeals judgement, and if you wish me to do so
1 I can actually list some of those facts. For example, on two occasions
2 it is stated that I requested a breakdown of the costs that the Registry,
3 i.e., the Court, had in terms of the payment of my Defence. At the last
4 Status Conference I said that I did not request that --
5 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Praljak, I think that the more proper procedure
6 would be if you have some comments in writing, is to present them in the
7 proper form, and I presume that this is something that would be shared
8 with the Prosecution. This is not ex parte, is it? But in any event, I
9 think that done in a proper form of a motion or whatever it is would be
10 something that could be -- I would favour. Handing in a piece of paper
11 to the President, to the pre-Appeal Judge or Presiding Judge is
12 perhaps -- in this form is not --
13 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No problem.
14 JUDGE MERON: You can of course file your form for the record,
15 but I would like to follow a more formal procedure, whether by motion or
16 filing with the Court for the record. So I suggest that you follow one
17 of those procedures and that we do not proceed to discuss those
18 objections of yours now orally.
19 If that's agreeable with you, I will now turn to the Prosecution.
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Just to inform
21 Your Honour that probably shortly after today's proceedings, possibly
22 tomorrow morning, the Prosecution will be filing its response in regard
23 to the letter of General Praljak that was recently made available to us
24 on the issue of representation and the other matters that are raised in
25 the letter. So Your Honour will have that probably later today or by
1 tomorrow after its distributed by the Registry.
2 And secondly, just to confirm for the record, Mr. President, that
3 now that in view of Your Honour's decision on the issue of funding and
4 representation for Mr. Praljak, the Prosecution is going now to start
5 making its disclosure directly to General Praljak and we're going to
6 follow the procedures that have been followed in other cases on appeal
7 where the accused was self-representing, Krajisnik and I think Tolimir,
8 in which we made our disclosures through the Registry. And so I just
9 wanted to put that on the record and to inform General Praljak that as we
10 continue to make our document reviews and disclosure, we will be working
11 with Registry to provide those materials directly to him since he no
12 longer has counsel.
13 JUDGE MERON: I suppose this is agreeable to Mr. Praljak?
14 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I agree with that,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MERON: Thank you, Mr. Praljak.
17 Any additional issues for the Prosecution? No.
18 MR. STRINGER: None, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MERON: So as the appellants do not have any other issues
20 they would like to raise, I would like to thank the parties for their
21 attendance --
22 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MERON: Mr. Praljak, I spoke too soon I see.
24 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, I would just like to
25 respond. Obviously I will receive documents as per procedure, but I will
1 receive only those in Croatian or the B/C/S language as they call it
2 here. These are the only documents I am prepared to receive.
3 JUDGE MERON: Comments, Prosecution?
4 MR. STRINGER: Well, Your Honour, it raises an issue that goes
5 right to the heart of the matter. Certainly when I'm talking about
6 disclosure now, we're basically talking about disclosure of things
7 that -- of relevance to the case that have come in in the meantime from
8 other trials and what not, and generally these tend to be documents from
9 the region. And so generally the original language is B/C/S, and so with
10 respect to probably most of what I'm referring to now as disclosure,
11 there won't be an issue because the original language is B/C/S. Also, of
12 course with other documents, it's very likely that we will have a
13 translation into B/C/S if it's already in English or a different
14 language. So I don't see a problem there. Of course, the longer-term
15 problem, as Your Honour knows, relates to some of the items that
16 Mr. Praljak's requesting, such as trial transcripts and final trial
17 briefs and all the rest. And we've made a reference to that issue in the
18 submission that we're going to be submitting later today.
19 JUDGE MERON: Thank you. We will look at it when we receive it.
20 So I would like now to thank the parties for their participation
21 and to call these proceedings to a close.
22 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
23 adjourned at 3.51 p.m.