Friday, 24 January 2003
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Good day to everyone. Madam Registrar, would you be so kind as to read out the case number, please.
THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-41-PT, the Prosecutor versus Pasko Ljubicic.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar. I'd like to invite the parties to introduce themselves for the sake of the transcript, please. I'd like to start with the Prosecution.
MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is Mark Harmon. Appearing with me to my right is Mr. Fergal Gaynor, and to my left, the case manager Ms. Kamala Janakiram.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And the Defence, please.
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour. My name is Tomislav Jonjic, and I'm Pasko Ljubicic's attorney.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Before commencing with this hearing, I would like to address Mr. Ljubicic. We discovered, and we're quite affected by this, about an event that has struck your family, and the Trial Chamber is very much aware of your situation, but unfortunately, there was nothing we could do because we were aware of your request to go home, we were informed of this 75 request to go home to be with your family on this occasion, and the Trial Chamber would have liked to grant your request, but unfortunately, it was too late. We received this request on the day that you were supposed to be at home. I would have been happy if -- I would like to wish you all the best, and I hope that you will manage to get through this event. Unfortunately, this is something that all humans experience. I'd like to express my condolences, and I hope that this is going to be the last painful event for you.
Please sit down. Thank you, sir. I would like to remind you of the order dated the 3rd of December and the 17th of January, 2003. Pursuant to these two orders, I'd like to state that this hearing today has been called. It's a Status Conference, and it's been called pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules in order to discuss the preparation of the trial.
I have been informed of the amended request submitted by the Defence about the documents -- with regard to the documents that it would like the Chamber to order, for them to be provided. It is a request for the Chamber to issue an order for the provision of these documents, and I want to thank Mr. Jonjic for the efforts he has made in that he has been willing to specify the documents that are necessary, and I'm referring to point 7 of the request for clarifications that he submitted on the 24th of January, 2003, and I will ensure that a response is provided as soon as possible, a response to this request.
I believe that you are all familiar with the most recent decision rendered by the Trial Chamber concerning judicial notice. Are you 76 familiar with the decision rendered by the Trial Chamber, Mr. Harmon?
MR. HARMON: Yes. I received it this afternoon, and I've read it. Thank you.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Jonjic, have you received the decision rendered by the Chamber?
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. I received the Trial Chamber's decision a few minutes before the beginning of this hearing. I have familiarised myself with it, and I spoke to Mr. Harmon about it briefly, and after this Status Conference, I shall examine the facts that the Trial Chamber has accepted to accept as adjudicated facts. Thank you.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, but so that everything is clear, and if I'm mistaken, please correct me. If I have understood you correctly, the sides were agreed during the meeting presided by our dear colleague the league officer, Mr. Harhoff, on the 30th of November. I would like to remind you that the Defence does not contest certain facts which appear in the indictment. And if I'm mistaken, please put me right.
This concerns, first of all, paragraph 1 of the indictment.
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. The Defence does not contest the first count in the indictment.
MR. HARMON: Your Honour, the English translation of that was that the Defence does not contest the first count of the indictment. I think the proper translation may have been and I think it's Mr. Jonjic's intention the first paragraph numbered 1 and not the first count. 77
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. We're speaking about paragraphs. Isn't that correct? The first one. The first paragraph. If there's any confusion, I'll read out the entire paragraph, by I think that you agree. Isn't that correct?
Yes? Yes, Mr. Jonjic?
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. Mr. Harmon is correct. The Defence does not contest the first paragraph in the indictment. Thank you.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Exactly. That's what I said. So it is not necessary for me to read out the entire paragraph. So I think you have also reached agreement with regard to paragraph 2. Paragraph 3, up to the end of the sentence "The date when Vlado Santic replaced him provisionally." That means that the remainder of the paragraph is contested.
You agree, Mr. Jonjic? It's for the sake of the transcript.
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The first sentence in paragraph 4, the remainder of the paragraph is thus contested.
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Paragraph 5 similarly. You agree?
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] That's correct.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And 7 as well? Thank you. Perhaps it would be premature to ask for your opinions with regard to judicial notice. I think you have the possibility of studying the 78 decision, examining the decision, and of contacting Mr. Harhoff, our dear colleague. I'm saying this because I believe that it is necessary, within the context of rendering justice, it is necessary that the case advance, and it is for this reason that I would suggest a timetable for the continuation of the case.
If you don't have any questions to raise, we can address the issue of the witness list, et cetera. Does any of the parties have any issues to raise about this phase?
Yes, Mr. Harmon. I can see that you are taking the floor. Please go ahead.
MR. HARMON: Yes. Your Honour, I don't know if Your Honour intended to conclude with all of the portions of the indictment that are not contested and that have been agreed upon by the Defence, but I note from my records from the meeting that took place on the 13th of November, the 65 ter conference, that paragraph 14 and 15 -- paragraphs 14 and 15 in their entirety were not contested as well.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Jonjic. Have you heard what the Prosecutor said? What is your response?
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It's correct that the entire paragraphs 14 and 15 are not contested by the Defence. Thank you.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So paragraphs 14 and 15 are not contested. This has been confirmed by our dear friend Mr. Harhoff. Would one of the parties like to raise an issue, a problem of any kind at this moment? 79BLANK PAGE 80 I would like to ask Mr. Harmon to advance a bit. How much time would you need to establish a witness list within the scope of Rule 65 ter?
MR. HARMON: I have had an opportunity to consult with the investigators in this case, Your Honour. We have identified a number of witnesses, both witnesses from previous trials, and we're in progress of confirming their availability. We've made substantial progress in that regard. We have identified new witnesses. We are conducting interviews of those witnesses. We recently completed a mission that has identified a number of those witnesses. We're preparing their statements, and we will be disclosing those to the Defence shortly. We have identified additional witnesses who we have been unable to contact, and we are making efforts to contact them.
My most conservative estimate, to answer your question directly, would be that we would be in a position to identify most, if not all, of those witnesses by the 28th of March of this year.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Before giving the Defence the opportunity to respond, I would like to inform you of some of my concerns. It seems to me that you have made a list. You have already done so. If it is necessary to call additional witnesses, well, that doesn't change the fact that you have made a list. And if I have understood you correctly, it has been provided to the Defence with inculpatory evidence. So I don't know if that is the case, but I would like to be informed of this. If I have understood you correctly. I'll rephrase that. You have, nevertheless, made a list of witness with 81 inculpatory evidence which has been provide to the Defence and you think you have other witnesses that you would like to add to that list, but I don't think that waiting for witnesses that might appear is not sure yet. I don't think that this should be an obstacle to the normal unfolding of the proceedings.
So what I suggest is that we should move ahead on the basis of what we had, on the basis of what has been communicated to the Defence, and then we shall see. If a witness who is of great importance appears, you can always request that that witness be added to your witness list. But at the moment, saying that you don't have a list, I must say it disturbs me a bit.
I would like to hear what your opinion is on this matter.
MR. HARMON: Perhaps, Your Honour, I didn't make myself as clear as I wished to. We have a list of witnesses that we have identified and that we will be calling to testify in this case, and to the extent that we have identified those people as witnesses, we provided to the Defence copies of their statements.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes.
MR. HARMON: We are in the process of assessing witnesses who have recently been interviewed. When I say "recently," I think it's within the last week or two. I have not seen the copies of those statements. I will be reviewing those statements when they're available to me and I will be making an assessment as to whether or not those witnesses will be witnesses for the trial. Once I make that determination, I will be providing copies of those statements to the Defence. 82 Insofar as the second part of your request, your request to me, that is, have we given to the Defence copies of all the exhibits that we intend to use in the course of this trial, the answer is no. There is not reciprocal discovery yet. We are in the process of analysing that evidence, and it is our view that the list of exhibits that are required to be disclosed first come up in the -- when the pre-trial brief is submitted to the Court, I think as part of Rule 65 ter, sub-part -- sub-part (E)(iii), that is where we have to identify the lists, identified what are the exhibits, and that is an exercise that has not yet been completed.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Okay. But then since you are talking about Article 65 ter (E)(ii) and (iii), and then comes paragraph (F). So if I understand you correctly, you mean that you are waiting for a date to be set for your pre-trial brief in order to present your list of witnesses and your list of exhibits. Is that it?
MR. HARMON: That's correct.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So we can go ahead in the following way: Could you set a date when you would be able to submit your version, your pre-trial brief?
MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour. That would be March the 28th. Again, a conservative estimate.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So it's the 28th of March. That's for your pre-trial brief; right?
MR. HARMON: Correct.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In that case, there are three 83 weeks, then, left for the Defence, allowed the Defence. Right. So we could move ahead on the assumption that a date around the 28th of March would be set for the pre-trial brief. And at that moment, if I understood correctly, before that date the list of witnesses, together with the list of exhibits, will be disclosed to the Defence. Is that right?
MR. HARMON: That's correct, Your Honour.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you. Mr. Jonjic, would you like, having heard the proposal of the Prosecution concerning the date for their pre-trial brief, according to procedure, you are allowed, I believe, three weeks after that date for your own pre-trial brief. Do you have any comments, anything to say?
MR. JONJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The Defence has no objection to the schedule proposed by the Prosecution, and the Defence believes they will be able to fulfil their obligations within the dates mentioned.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no doubt as to your cooperation.
I hope, nevertheless, at the risk of repeating myself, I invite the parties not to hesitate to ask for the help of Mr. Harhoff, our learned friend, in anything that has to do with procedure, because I will not conceal from you that I'm very much anxious to have this case move along as speedily as possible.
I would now like to address Mr. Ljubicic. Would you please tell me if you have anything to tell me about the state of your health, the conditions of your detention? Of course I know it is not a pleasant 84 thing, but please do not hesitate to address to us any comments, anything at all that you would like to say. And if there is anything I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to share with me any of your concerns. Do you have any?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no objection to the conditions of my detention in the Detention Unit, no objection to the way I'm treated by the staff.
As for my health, I could say, although I have arrived here already suffering from that condition, that I have asthma --
THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the accused.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Would you please speak more slowly, because the interpreters cannot follow you, and please press the "On" button on your microphone.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said I have no complaint against the staff at the Detention Unit or the conditions of my detention. As for my health, I didn't mention until now that I am suffering from asthma and an ulcer on my stomach, but these are old ailments for which I am being regularly treated by the medical staff at the Detention Unit, and I have no complaint in that respect.
I believe I should note that as far as my asthma is concerned, the symptoms are more pronounced in the past couple of months than they used to be. As for the rest, I have no complaint at all. Everything else is fine.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So are you complaining, even a little bit, against the treatment you are receiving currently? Because 85 you have just said that recently you have been suffering more than before. Perhaps the medication given to you is not very good. Are you being regularly seen by the doctor, by specialists who prescribe this medication for you?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have undergone examinations, and I repeat I have no complaint against the medical staff for the medication I'm receiving.
JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you very much. Please take your seat.
I believe that having said this, and in case the parties have no other issues to raise, I believe the parties and hope the parties will continue to cooperate and that by the date of the 28th of March, which has been set, although I hope -- I don't think we should regard it as a deadline, I hope that with the enthusiasm of Mr. Harmon, things may move along even more quickly.
Once again, I encourage the parties to address, whenever necessary, Mr. Harhoff, who is always ready and willing to offer his good services to the parties.
On this note, I am adjourning this hearing. I would like to wish you all belatedly a happy New Year, and every success in our common work. Thank you very much.
--- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at 3.32 p.m.