184 Wednesday, 30 July 2008
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 4.02 p.m.
JUDGE PROST: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon, everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-05-88/2-PT, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir et al. Thank you.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, ma'am. Good afternoon to everyone.
Mr. Tolimir, as per usual, if -- I just want to confirm that you're receiving -- oh, we seem to have a problem.
Can we check on the interpretation, please. Okay. Now, if you have any difficulties during the course of the proceedings, please just let me know and we'll deal with it. Noting the appearances, Mr. Tolimir of course self-represented, but I note that Mr. Gajic is present in the courtroom, one of his legal advisors. Good afternoon to you, sir.
And for the Prosecution, I see Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Nicholls this afternoon. Good afternoon, gentlemen.
This is the fifth Status Conference in the matter, and I think we're all well familiar with the reasons for a Status Conference at this point, for organization, to ensure trial preparation, and reviewing the 185 status of the case.
I have a few issues to deal with this afternoon on my agenda, and then I will hear from both parties if they have any additional matters that they wish to cover this afternoon.
I want to start by concluding on the matter that was discussed at the last Status Conference, which relates to the filing of documents. I want to make the status of that matter very clear on the record. After the last conference, Mr. Gajic exceptionally, with the authorisation of the Chamber, filed a document indicating that the legal advisors for Mr. Tolimir would receive all documents served in this case by the Registry or by the Prosecution. This was subsequently confirmed by Mr. Tolimir in a written filing. I am further advised that this process has been used successfully to serve documents. So I am confirming on the record that for the time being, unless ordered otherwise, this will be the process to be followed in this case for the service of documents and such service on the legal advisors by the Prosecution, by the Registry will constitute proper service on Mr. Tolimir for the purposes of this case and in accordance with the Rules.
Now, on a related issue, I have the submission of the Prosecution of the 25th of July and I have as well your response, Mr. Tolimir, which was filed on the 29th of July. Let me just say this about both filings. I don't intend to hear further from either of you this afternoon on that particular issue. For the moment - and I stress that - for the moment the topic of language is closed and we won't deal with the issue today. However, should we encounter problems, should further issues arise as we 186 proceed along, both in the pre-trial phase and obviously later, we will and can re-visit the issue. But for today, in order to try and move matters along, we're going to deal with other subjects for today's Status Conference.
Now, there is a third somewhat related albeit distinct point. Mr. Tolimir, I need to clarify something with you on this issue. While it is acceptable and the Trial Chamber has accepted for you to designate your legal advisors to accept material that is being served upon you, the same is not true when it comes to representations orally or to your own filings. You have elected, as you know, to represent yourself, and what that means, as I've explained to you previously, is that the responsibility for oral submissions, filing of written materials rests entirely with you. As a result, absent an exceptional circumstance such as we had, and specific authorisation of the Chamber, you must personally make all the filings and representations. How you arrange that with your legal advisors is your matter, but this is the very nature of self representation. Your legal advisors have no right of audience nor will their filings be accepted. In essence, by electing self representation, it's not possible for you to have it both ways. So by that election, it is you who is responsible for all the filings. Is that clear, Mr. Tolimir? Do you have any questions on that point?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] God help you all who are present. I wish that this case before this Tribunal be ended with God's will and that everything be done with God's will and design. I don't know why 187 this issue is being raised because my legal advisors have not filed anything without my permission and I don't think they will be doing so in the future. They have no such ambition to take upon themselves what is not within their competence. My greetings to you all. Thank you.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. That's fine. I just wanted to make sure, because we did have actually a matter that I'm going to move to now. We did have an issue regarding a previous attempted filing by your legal advisors, which is what has prompted me to raise the issue today. And perhaps I can just deal with that matter since it's relevant to this point.
On the 26th of June your legal advisors attempted to file an appeal against the Registrar's decision of June 3rd relating to financial matters. Now, having now clarified the process for you, that filing at the time was refused, properly, by the Registry because it was coming from your legal advisors, and that is in accordance with the process I just outlined. In relation to that specific filing, Mr. Tolimir, which is still not before the Tribunal, albeit I know you made representations upon -- in relation to it. But on this occasion and only this occasion, exceptionally, I am going to authorise the acceptance of that particular filing and I'm going to ask that it be considered to have been filed as of the 26th of June. And I would instruct the Registry to file that appeal with that date accordingly.
But I do stress again that that's exceptional and all future filings must come from you personally.
I just mentioned, and I'm certainly not going to re-open the 188 issue today, but I just mention, Mr. Tolimir, that should you reach a point where you feel you would prefer to have the filings of your legal advisors directly permissible, then your option is simply to alter your election regarding representation, and you are certainly free to do that at any time in these proceedings. You simply have to notify that. But again, we're not going to re-visit that issue today. I just wanted to clarify the process.
Okay. The next matter I wanted to address, earlier this week the Chamber, as all of you will be aware, issued a decision dismissing Mr. Tolimir's June 20th submission relating to contempt and while that submission is finished and that issue is finished, it does not totally end the subject matter. The issue to which that submission related or the underlying issue was the circumstances surrounding your arrest, Mr. Tolimir. And I note again, as you're aware, the Chamber's already decided the jurisdictional challenge based on the circumstances of your arrest in its decision on preliminary motions on the 14th of December, and there's nothing before us at this time to justify any re-consideration of that.
But notwithstanding this, Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber does acknowledge that that is always a serious issue, and if there were evidence which in some way altered the factual basis on which the issue was decided, that should be before us.
And to that end, Mr. McCloskey, I know that at the time of the initial appearances you made a request, the Office of the Prosecutor made a request, to Serbia for a report on the circumstances of the arrest, a 189 request which was never responded to. And I seem to recall that you also made -- renewed the request or made reminders of it. But it's still, I take it, not been responded to. Would that be correct?
MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Madam President. Those sorts of things go on a schedule and they get re-reminded and re-reminded, and I am not aware that we've ever received anything, but it's something that I will again look into because you always have to look to see what the latest may be around here. So I will look again and see, and of course we'll -- that request will continue to be there and we'll see if the winds change.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you for that, Mr. McCloskey. Yes, in fact, I would appreciate it if you could check on the matter and renew -- if there's some way of placing a renewed with emphasis, that the Trial Chamber is interested -- Pre-Trial Chamber is interested in receiving this information, and if you can perhaps report back as to any developments on that at the next Status Conference that would be appreciated.
I had nothing further on that particular issue. We come then to disclosure -- oh, Mr. Tolimir, go ahead.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for accepting that my legal advisors filed the appeal to the decision of the Registry because I had authorised them in that case. I was not able to write myself because I had not received that decision. I am not able to comment on something I haven't read. And as for the issue you raised now, I believe that this issue should go into procedure in keeping with my submission because new circumstances have been presented in my submission. I can speak about 190 them, those new circumstances are the book of Carla del Ponte, who says that I was interested in Belgrade. She was Chief Prosecutor at the time of my arrest, so please read the book and look into the circumstances. How can Serbia provide all the materials about me and cannot submit this one? It's not only about the arrest but also the documents that were found in my apartment during my arrest in Belgrade and that are relevant to this trial.
If you allow me, I can elaborate further but I have written all of that in my submission. So please take it into account and let the procedure run for the sake of the fairness of this trial. Thank you.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. No, I'm well familiar with the submissions that you have made and that the points which you have raised in them, including the reference to Madam del Ponte's book, but for the moment -- and so there's no need to re-elaborate. The Trial Chamber is well aware of your concerns and the points you've made on this, and that's the reason I'm asking at this time for a renewed emphasis on the request that's been made to Serbia. So we'll leave that as it is for the moment, and we'll see by the time the next Status Conference where matters stand on the particular issue. Okay. Now, if we can move to the question of disclosure.
Mr. McCloskey, it's been a bit of time since March I think since we've actually talked about it for obvious reasons, but perhaps you could provide a bit of an update of where you stand in terms of disclosure under Rule 66(A)(ii).
MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, we've provided all the -- all the 191 requirements of 66(A)(ii) as far as I know, all the -- basically the witness statements, the list of witnesses, and that's been done, both through the EDS and through actual physical material that has now been, as you know, accepted. So that is well on course and has worked. The next chapter in that, I just spoke to Mr. Gajic about, and that would be our providing a very detailed list of all the relevant materials in this case, which is basically the list from the Popovic et al. case which Ms. Stewart keeps as an internal document. And I know she, since the last time we were here on my request, has been turning that from an internal document to a document that can be turned over to the accused because it has the ERN numbers and all the material in a very organized, indexed fashion that will allow the Defence team and the accused to go right to the document in the EDS. And that's the key item that we hope to get out in a few weeks. Ms. Stewart is on holiday at the moment, so I -- but I know she's working hard on that. And as we get to know each other better with the accused and the Defence, as they have questions, if they have concerns, if they have particular requests for material like any Defence team would, we are of course open to do that. But this disclosure list is really -- there's not much more complete thing than this disclosure list. The large collections of Drina Corps documents and intercepts and all that material is on the EDS and available now and has been available, but the actual ones that were used in court, the ones that we have in our various collections and documents that we've used as exhibits in court, are all laid out on that list. And in addition to that we periodically go back 192 and get DVDs of the ongoing trial, because as you imagine that trial is full of information which -- well, could be exculpatory because things will be different from other things, and it's something that I want the accused to be able to have, whether it's Rule 68 or not. And so we do try to provide that on an ongoing basis and we have from -- for example, they have the other two trials all on DVD and I don't remember precisely how much we've given them on this trial. But I know that the process is in place to get it all copied. And so that is something else that will be an ongoing process, and that of course is getting more complicated as more Srebrenica cases come to play. But that's another thing we are doing.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much for that, Mr. McCloskey. Yes, certainly I would agree that that continuing disclosure of material which I can factor into our planning here, keeping that on an ongoing basis is good news. And I can tell from the submissions you just made that the Rule 68, I don't need to remind you of your Rule 68 obligations, you seem quite cognizant of them.
So that deals with the disclosure issue from your side. Mr. Tolimir, do you have any particular issues that you want to raise on the question of disclosure, as the Prosecution has just indicated their view that the Rule 66(A)(ii) disclosure process is complete, subject of course to ongoing material arising from the current trial and Rule 68 material which is exculpatory material? Do you have anything you wish to raise at this stage on that issue?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I would like 193 to thank the Prosecutor for his efficient assistance and I would like to ask him to provide that efficient assistance to my legal advisors and to disclose material in hard copies as he does to other accused. Since I am self represented, it would not be fair to them to have to translate all these papers as if they were lawyers.
I would also like to ask you to talk to the Detention Unit and see if I can have a cell where I could keep this material and work on it. On my floor there are over 30 cells that are free, and I have requested this back at my third Status Conference and it's still not resolved. I don't know whether it's up to the Court or the Registry or the Detention Unit. I just don't know. It's not my business, so to speak. I would like you to look into the problem. Thank you.
JUDGE PROST: I'll take your second point first, Mr. Tolimir. I will ask the Registrar to perhaps provide me with an update of their perspective on the issue that you've raised about accommodating in terms of material and working space. That is primarily and almost exclusively a matter for the UNDU and for the Registrar, but if perhaps we can work something out, I'll certainly take a look at what the Registrar has to say on that particular issue. But as I say, that is really a matter that I would encourage you with your advisors to discuss with the officials at the UNDU.
Before I say anything on the first issue, which I take to be a request for hard copies, Mr. McCloskey, do you have any comments on that particular issue?
MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Madam President. As you can imagine, the 194 materials I just described, basically the materials from the Popovic case, would be hundreds of thousands of pages. And it would not be my intention to provide hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pages in hard copy. That would bury the accused, his counsel, the unit, and would be unworkable. However, we're always open to specific designated requests, practical requests where something is wanted in the hard copy, and those we'll always have consider and have in the past and will be able to provide some limited, you know, hard copy material, though they also have the ability and a budget to print out material themselves and it's all on the electronic disclosure. And like other people that have electronic disclosure, they need to be like those other people and print out material they need. That's part of what their -- the budget goes for. But as I say, if there's specific reasons -- specific material that we can help with, it shouldn't be a problem. A large request for everything with -- is something that would require the judicial intervention.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Tolimir, what I'm going to suggest we do, having heard both you and the Prosecution on this, and I think that there is much room for a coming to a reasonable compromise on the issue, what I will suggest is that you have a discussion with your legal advisors and, Mr. McCloskey, if the Prosecution could have a discussion as well with Mr. Tolimir with the advisors to try and identify perhaps a practical way forward on this issue that would not involve necessarily disclosing all of the material in hard copy, but as you suggested perhaps identifying certain areas for 195 that and we will take the issue up again at the next Status Conference. Mr. McCloskey.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Madam President, absolutely we'll do that. But if at this time I could just ask the General if he's now willing -- would be willing to meet with me or my staff on these issues of disclosure.
JUDGE PROST: All right. Well, we'll deal with that issue. Mr. Tolimir, are you prepared to meet to discuss these kinds of procedural issues as a self-represented accused with the Prosecution? Obviously you can have your legal advisors with you, but I think it would be helpful since you're self represented and in the lead on all these procedural matters if you were willing to discuss that directly with the Prosecution to avoid miscommunications.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this. I believe that my legal advisor, Aleksandar Gajic, is able to discuss this because he is also aware and familiar with all the technical problems encountered here. I'm talking about the material that needs to be translated. I said it wouldn't be good for my advisors to have to translate material. I did not mean asking for material that would create additional costs for the Registry or the OTP. On the contrary, I believe that all the material that doesn't need to be printed or made public shouldn't be, and it would save time for my legal advisors as well to use in electronic form whatever they're able to. They have only one week at a time. I hereby authorise publicly my legal advisor to do that. If necessary, I can put it in writing. 196
JUDGE PROST: No, that's fine. Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. That's fine.
What I would suggest then for the moment is if the Prosecution could meet with the legal advisors for the moment and discuss that procedural issue, and we'll see if we cannot resolve it. It sounds very much like it is something that can be solved without any need for judicial intervention. So I will leave it to you to handle it in that manner for the moment.
All right. Then there is -- I just want to acknowledge, Mr. Tolimir, I know that there is a pending filing from you which I'm not going to deal with and we're not going to deal with today because there's no translation of it. The OTP will not have received it and I haven't seen it other than I've been made aware that it's there. So that matter will obviously be received and looked at in due course, but we're not going to deal with it at all today.
Now, just before I ask if there are any issues from the parties, I wanted to give fair warning, if you will, to both parties that at the next Status Conference, as we need to move this matter along, we will be discussing very particular matters related to trial preparation, in light particularly of Rules 65 ter (D), (E), and (F). So that will include matters such as a work-plan, the setting of time-limits for relevant filings, and I expect both parties to come prepared next time to discuss this in really concrete terms so we can set some dead-lines and advance the matter.
In the interim, to the extent necessary and possible, the Senior 197 Legal Officer, Mr. Cubbon, will liaise with the parties on these matters and report back to me prior to the Status Conference. So I just wanted to be clear that we're going to be moving forward on those Rule requirements, and if there are issues that you wish to discuss certainly you can raise them with Mr. Cubbon during the course of the interim period.
Does any -- do either of the parties have any comment on that particular point?
MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Madam President.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Tolimir?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would kindly ask you to take into account my filing according to Rule 72. My first filing was done when I was still not familiar with the procedure and I announced my intention to re-file it again. It was a month ago and we have, indeed, re-filed our submission. And the only thing that we referred to are some concrete problems and the Prosecutor will certainly benefit from reading it; and if they want to communicate with us, we are more than happy to continue communicating with them by submitting our filings. I would kindly ask you to take into account my second filing which was announced a month ago.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. Yes, certainly I'm aware that that is the subject matter of your filing and certainly I will read it carefully, and I know the Prosecution will as well. It was only that we don't have a translation of it as of yet, but certainly it will be 198 given due attention by the Chamber, certainly. So we can leave it at that for the moment until we have the translation material. But yes, we will certainly have regard to what you have raised in your filing. All right. Then prior to dealing where the usual matter of health and detention issues, is there anything else that either of the parties wish to raise?
Perhaps I'll start with you, Mr. Tolimir. Are there any other issues that you wish to raise today because that's the end of my list, subject to the health and detention issues. Is there anything else you wanted to raise today, Mr. Tolimir?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have nothing to raise. I would just like to ask you to help me deal with the conditions of my work in the Detention Unit and the communication with my legal advisors. What I mean by saying that is that I would like to have a place for my archives and I would also like to ask you, once again, to take into account my filing which bears upon the indictment and it will be beneficial both for the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution in terms of understanding our position. Thank you very much.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. Then just to perhaps compact matters and save time, there's no other issues you wish to raise about the conditions of your detention or any health issues that you wanted to bring to my attention; is that correct?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do have something to raise. I would like to say and state that my health condition is excellent, despite the fact that different things have been implied by 199 the media. Members of the ICRC have visited me and asking me whether I have started taking medication. I told them that I have not been on any medication since I arrived here and this is my way to fight for my human rights in view of the fact that I was arrested in an illegal way, that I was actually kidnapped. I can state that my health condition is very good, but my cell is under surveillance and the guards keep on waking me every half an hour to perform a visual inspection of my cell. I hope you can do something to change that, because I really don't see any reason for my cell to be visually expected every half an hour. This has been going on for a whole year. This interrupts my sleep and the interrupted sleep pattern is never good, and that's why I never go to bed before 12.00. I believe that I should be granted at least six hours of sound, uninterrupted sleep. When my sleep is uninterrupted, I can go back to sleep again. Thank you very much.
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will make some inquiries with the Registry about that issue. Again, as I've mentioned to you on previous occasions, these are matters in the primary responsibility of the UNDU, but I can certainly understand what you're raising and the issues that you've identified. So I will make some inquiries and we will see where that takes us on those issues.
That brings me then to you, Mr. McCloskey, whether you have any issues you wanted to raise today other than the one that I've indicated I don't wish to discuss today.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing, Madam President. 200
JUDGE PROST: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Well, then, if there are no further issues we will meet again in -- after the recess period and the conference is adjourned. Thank you. Thank you to everyone.
--- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at 4.37 p.m.