1 Wednesday, 10 February 2016
2 [Open session]
3 [Status Conference]
4 [The appellants entered court]
5 [The appellant Pusic not present]
6 --- Upon commencing at 3.59 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, everybody.
8 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
10 IT-04-74-A, The Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 Before we proceed, I would make sure that appellants, in
13 particular, can follow the proceedings in a language that they
15 Mr. Prlic.
16 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: Yes, I'm able to follow.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 Mr. Stojic.
19 THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
20 Your Honour. Everything is fine. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 Mr. Praljak.
23 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can follow
24 the case without any problems.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Mr. Petkovic.
2 THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hear and
3 understand everything.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Coric.
5 THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything is
6 all right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I now have appearances for the parties,
8 starting with the Prosecution.
9 MS. MARSDEN: Good afternoon, Katharine Marsden for the
10 Prosecution, along with Senior Appeals Counsel Douglas Stringer, our
11 Case Manager Thomas Laugel, and our intern David Hamer.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Before calling appearances for the Defence, I need to note that
14 on the 28th of January counsel for Mr. Pusic requested to attend this
15 Status Conference by videolink. Mr. Pusic has provided consent for the
16 Status Conference to be held in his absence, and has indicated that he
17 does not have any issues to raise at this hearing. Under Rule 65 bis (C)
18 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, I grant this request and allow
19 counsel for Mr. Pusic to participate by videolink.
20 I also note that on the 5th of February, 2016, Mr. Prlic filed a
21 waiver of his right to have his counsel and co-counsel present at this
22 Status Conference.
23 So now let's proceed.
24 Could I have the appearance for Mr. Stojic.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. The
1 Defence of Mr. Stojic is represented by Senka Nozica, attorney, and
2 Adam Ellis, legal representative. Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 Appearances for Mr. Praljak.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. On
6 behalf of General Praljak, Nika Pinter.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 Appearances for Mr. Petkovic.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good afternoon. On
10 behalf of General Petkovic, Defence Attorney, Vesna Alaburic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and on behalf of Mr. Coric.
12 MR. PLAVEC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Drazen Plavec,
13 co-counsel for Mr. Valentin Coric.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And appearances for Mr. Pusic.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation][Via videolink] Good afternoon,
16 Your Honour, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, attorney from Sarajevo on behalf of
17 Mr. Pusic. Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ibrisimovic.
19 This Status Conference is called in accordance with Rule 65 bis
20 paragraph (B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. This rule requires
21 a Status Conference to be convened within 120 days after the last
22 Status Conference has been held for each appellant in the Tribunal's
23 custody. A Status Conference serves two primary purposes. First, it
24 allows the appellants an opportunity to express concerns relating to
25 their appeal or detention conditions and for the Tribunal to inquire
1 about the mental and physical condition of the detained persons. Second,
2 it provides an opportunity to update the appellants with respect to the
3 status of their case as well as inform the general public thereof.
4 I note that the last Status Conference was held on the 23rd of
5 November, 2015, and that today's Status Conference was scheduled by an
6 order signed by me and issued on the 11th of January of this year.
7 Let's proceed now and I would like to inquire into the status of
8 detention conditions and health situation of the appellants. If any of
9 the appellants so wishes, this discussion can take place in closed
10 session or in private session.
11 So let me address myself to the appellants straight away. Would
12 any one of you prefer to have this discussion held in private or in
13 closed session?
14 I see no reaction from anyone, so I take it -- the same applies
15 to you, counsel for Mr. Pusic? Yes, okay. Thank you. So we will
16 proceed in open session.
17 Mr. Prlic, in the context of the conditions of your detention and
18 health situation, would you like to raise any issue?
19 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: Mr. President, I have no issues or
20 complaint to make. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much, Mr. Prlic.
22 Mr. Stojic.
23 THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] No complaints, likewise.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Stojic.
1 Mr. Praljak.
2 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no
3 complaints, but I would have a question later if you would allow me.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
5 Mr. Petkovic.
6 THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no
7 complaints whatsoever.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Mr. Coric.
10 THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 And counsel for Mr. Pusic.
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation][Via videolink] Thank you,
15 Your Honour. (redacted)
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I will deal now with recent procedural
20 I shall now update you on the case. All of the appellants'
21 briefs in this case were filed on the 12th of January, 2015; that's a
22 year ago. And all of the Defence and Prosecution respondent's briefs
23 were filed on the 7th of May of last year. The Defence and Prosecution
24 reply briefs were filed on the 29th of May of last year.
25 I note that there have been no new public filings since the
1 previous Status Conference, with the exception of the Scheduling Order
2 for this Status Conference of today, and there are no public motions
3 pending before the Appeals Chamber. There are some confidential motions
4 pending, but I cannot give any details on those precisely because they
5 are confidential.
6 This brings me to the last part of today's Status Conference, and
7 I will be asking both the Prosecution and the appellants whether they
8 have -- whether they would like to raise any issues.
9 I'd like to start with you, madam.
10 MS. MARSDEN: Thank you, Your Honour. We have no issues to
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
13 I'll address the appellants one by one.
14 Mr. Prlic first.
15 THE APPELLANT PRLIC: I have nothing to say more.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
17 Mr. Stojic.
18 THE APPELLANT STOJIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing further to
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 Mr. Prlic would you switch off your -- yes.
22 Mr. Praljak.
23 THE APPELLANT PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Agius,
24 I want to ask you about a problem that has been bothering me for quite a
25 long time in these proceedings and that is the relationship between the
1 issue that culpability has to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt and
2 on the other hand in many proceedings, sometimes in the entirety of the
3 judgement or in parts of the judgement, there is outvoting between the
4 Judges, 60 per cent versus 40 per cent proven guilt or 30 per cent doubt.
5 According to me, this is absurd because we cannot claim that culpability
6 is 66 per cent, whereas the remaining Judge has doubts amounting to
7 33 per cent that guilt has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.
8 That's why I would like to ask you, as President of this Tribunal and as
9 a Judge, to clarify this for me. I have consulted a -- legal authorities
10 and I have not found anywhere that 66 per cent proven culpability is in
11 conformity with the principle that guilt has to be proven beyond all
12 reasonable doubt.
13 If you could give me an answer to this dilemma, I would be
14 extremely grateful.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Praljak, and I appreciate your
16 concerns; however, you need to understand that I -- my function does not
17 include that of giving advice to the parties. If you want legal advice,
18 you seek it from your counsel, from your legal advisor.
19 I can explain something very fundamental and very easy to
20 understand. Decisions in this Tribunal are reached by a majority,
21 sometimes by unanimity, sometimes by majority. So whenever there is not
22 unanimity and there is a majority, say out of five Judges three
23 constitute a majority and two constitute a minority, you still can't look
24 at it from the perspective that you are presented. We're not talking of
25 percentages or not or anything like that. We're talking of whether in
1 the mind of the majority the charges have been proven beyond reasonable
2 doubt or not. The fact that there may be a minority who do not believe
3 that the charges were proven doesn't offset the rule that decisions are
4 taken by majority. But I am sure that your counsel will be able to
5 advise you in detail on this, but thank you for asking me to clarify this
7 Mr. Petkovic, do yu have -- would you like to raise any issue?
8 THE APPELLANT PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no issues,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 And Mr. Coric.
12 THE APPELLANT CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have nothing
13 to ask, nothing to say.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 Counsel for Mr. Pusic.
16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation][Via videolink] Thank you,
17 Your Honour. We have nothing to raise.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So since there are no other matters to
19 be raised, I bring this Status Conference to an end.
20 Let me assure you all that now that -- since I became President
21 of this Tribunal and I automatically became Presiding Judge in this
22 appeal, I'm talking all the necessary steps to ensure that the momentum,
23 the preparation of the judgement is increased and kept steady. I'm happy
24 with the progress that we are making, and still we are a little bit early
25 to say or to give more details, but I'm hopeful, based on what I -- what
1 I know and what I see. So we'll get back to you as we have more
3 I thank you for your attendance and declare these proceedings
4 adjourned. Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
6 4.15 p.m.