Case No. IT-02-53-PT


Before: Judge Wolfgang Schomburg, Pre-Trial Judge

Registrar: Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of: 26 February 2002







The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Peter McCloskey

Counsel for the Accused

Mr. Michael Karnavas, for Vidoje Blagojevic
Mr. David Wilson, Mr Dusan Slijepcevic for Dragan Obrenovic
Mr. Miodrag Stojanovic, Ms. Cynthia Sinatra for Dragan Jokic


I, Judge Wolfgang Schomburg, Pre-Trial Judge:

NOTING that, pursuant to an oral decision of 15 January 2002 and a written decision of 16 January 2002, Trial Chamber II ("Trial Chamber") has ordered that the cases of Prosecutor v. Obrenovic (IT-01-43-PT), Prosecutor v Blagojevic (IT-98-33/1-PT) and Prosecutor v Jokic (IT-01-44-PT) are to be jointly charged and tried;

NOTING that, in accordance with the oral directive of the Trial Chamber on 15 January 2002 and the subsequent written decision of 16 January 2002, the prosecution filed a "Joinder Indictment" against all three accused on 22 January 2002 ("New Indictment"), which also amends the initial indictments brought against the three accused respectively in various material ways;

NOTING that, pursuant to Rule 50 (B) of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("Rules"), "SiCf the amended indictment includes new charges and the accused has already appeared before a Trial Chamber…a further appearance shall be held as soon as practicable to enable the accused to enter a plea on the new charges…";

NOTING further that Rule 50 (C) grants the accused "a further period of thirty days in which to file preliminary motions pursuant to Rule 72 in respect of the new charges…"

NOTING that, on 3 September 2002, the Pre-Trial Judge stayed, until further order, the motion on the form of the indictment filed by the accused Obrenovic on 27 July 2001 in relation to the initial indictment against him and that the objections raised in his motion have not been determined to date;

NOTING that, neither the accused Blagojevic nor the accused Jokic have filed any preliminary motions relating to the indictments initially brought against them;

CONSIDERING, however, that, pending the determination of the prosecution’s motion to join the three cases, it was not practicable for the accused Blagojevic or Jokic to file preliminary motions on the form of the indictment;

CONSIDERING the individual character of initial appearances;

CONSIDERING also the need for a status conference to discuss matters concerning the commencement of the trial in this case, particularly in light of budgetary decisions concerning this Tribunal that are expected in mid-March 2002;

HEREBY ORDERS as follows:

  1. A joint status conference, with each of the three accused being present, will take place on 21 March 2002, commencing at 2:30 p.m.;
  2. At the conclusion of the status conference on 21 March 2002, a further initial appearance for each of the accused will take place at which time each accused individually may enter a plea to each count of the New Indictment;
  3. The thirty-day time-period for the accused to file preliminary motions, pursuant to Rule 50 (C) and Rule 72, will commence running from 21 March 2002. In the circumstances of this case, the three accused may raise preliminary objections in relation to the form of the New Indictment in its totality and will not be restricted to the parts of the New Indictment that constitute "new charges", as would generally be the case pursuant to Rule 50 (C).


Done in French and English, the English version being authoritative.

Dated this 26th day of February 2002,
At The Hague,
The Netherlands

Wolfgang Schomburg
Pre-trial Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]