1 Friday, 9 December 2011
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon. Good afternoon to everybody in
7 the courtroom. Could the Court Officer call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the
9 contempt case of Dragomir Pecanac, case number IT-05-88/2-R77.2.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Pecanac can you hear the proceedings in your own language?
13 THE ACCUSED PECANAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 And I should like to ask the appearances for the accused.
16 MR. DIECKMANN: Thank you very much. Good afternoon,
17 Your Honours. This is Jens Dieckmann, from Germany, for the accused as
18 Defence counsel, together with Ms. Marie O'Leary as assigned legal
19 assistant. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The Chamber, consisting of
21 myself Judge Christoph Fluegge as Presiding Judge,
22 Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, and Judge Prisca Matimba Nyambe, will now
23 pronounce the judgement in the contempt case of Dragomir Pecanac. The
24 Chamber is sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis because Judge Mindua is absent
25 this afternoon for urgent reasons. I shall read the summary of the
1 Chamber's findings. The authoritative account of the Chamber's findings
2 is contained in the written judgement. Copies of it will be made
3 available after this hearing. The accused will be given a confidential
4 version of the judgement and a public redacted version will be available
5 to the public.
6 First, I should outline the case against the accused. In the
7 Order in Lieu of Indictment, the Chamber ordered the Prosecution of the
8 accused for contempt of the Tribunal, which is punishable under Rule 77
9 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal. The accused is
10 prosecuted for, and I quote:
11 "Having been informed on the 2nd of September, 2011, of the
12 contents of the subpoena ad testificandum dated 31st of August, 2011, and
13 of his obligation to appear before the Chamber, obstructing all attempts
14 by the VWS," that is the Victims and Witnesses Section of the Tribunal,
15 "to implement the decision on safe conduct and make arrangements for his
16 travel to The Hague, thereby failing to appear before the Chamber as
17 ordered or to show good cause why he could not comply with the subpoena,
18 and, therefore, knowingly and wilfully interfering with the
19 administration of justice by refusing to comply with the subpoena."
20 The charge against the accused rests on Rule 77(A) which provides
21 in the relevant part:
22 "The Tribunal in the exercise of its inherent power may hold in
23 contempt those who knowingly and wilfully interfere with its
24 administration of justice, including any person who ... without just
25 excuse fails to comply with an order to attend before ... a Chamber."
1 To satisfy the material element of contempt under Rule 77(A), an
2 order by a Chamber, whether oral or written, must be objectively breached
3 and to satisfy the mental element for contempt, there must be a knowing
4 and wilful conduct in violation of a Chamber's order.
5 I turn now to the findings by the majority of the Chamber on the
6 material element of the offence of contempt.
7 It is necessary to determine whether during the period from the
8 service of the subpoena on the accused on the 2nd of September, 2011, to
9 his arrest on the 27th of September, the accused failed to appear before
10 the Chamber as ordered or to show good cause why he could not comply with
11 the subpoena.
12 First, it should be noted that the accused did not appear as
13 ordered before he was arrested on the 27th of September.
14 A Memorandum of Service of the subpoena records what the accused
15 said when he was served with the subpoena on the 2nd of September. He
16 indicated that he was, "willing to appear but unable to give testimony
17 for reasons of health." This without further specifics or substantiation
18 cannot amount to showing good cause why he should not testify.
19 He is also recorded as having stated that as a former member of
20 the armed forces he has an obligation to keep state official and military
21 secrets. Again, this cannot amount to showing good cause why he should
22 not testify. It is certainly no impediment to his appearance or to his
23 giving testimony on matters not covered by this obligation.
24 The other points that the accused mentioned when he was served
25 with the subpoena are simply practical matters that he and the relevant
1 authorities needed to resolve before he could testify.
2 Of the various issues that the accused raised when he was served
3 with the subpoena, only the reasons of health, if properly substantiated,
4 could constitute a good cause for not complying with the subpoena. After
5 service of the subpoena, the accused took no steps to substantiate these
6 reasons of health.
7 The subpoena imposed an obligation on the accused to appear
8 before the Tribunal during the week of the 5th of September or on a
9 further date to be specified. It also alerted him to the manner in which
10 this was to be facilitated. Irrespective of the practical arrangements
11 to be made by the Victims and Witnesses Section and the Serbian
12 authorities for his travel to the Tribunal, in the entire period from the
13 moment of service of the subpoena until his arrest on the
14 27th of September, the accused took none of the multiplicity of actions
15 necessary either to facilitate his attendance at the Tribunal or to show
16 good cause why he should not attend.
17 The Chamber, by majority with Judge Nyambe dissenting, concludes
18 that the accused neither appeared before the Chamber as ordered nor
19 showed good cause why he could not comply with the subpoena.
20 I shall now move to the findings by the majority of the Chamber
21 on the mental element of the offence.
22 On the basis of medical reports and the Memorandum of Service,
23 the Chamber, by majority with Judge Nyambe dissenting, finds that the
24 accused was fully able to comprehend not only the subpoena and its
25 implications but also the obligations it imposed on him from its service
1 on the 2nd of September until his arrest on the 27th of September.
2 Therefore, the Chamber, by majority with Judge Nyambe dissenting,
3 finds that the accused knowingly and willfully interfered with the
4 administration of justice and, therefore, the requisite mental element
5 for contempt is proven.
6 Accordingly, the Chamber, by majority with Judge Nyambe
7 dissenting, is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused
8 committed an act of contempt of the Tribunal punishable under Rule 77.
9 Will the accused Dragomir Pecanac please rise.
10 For all the reasons I have summarised, the Trial Chamber by
11 majority, Judge Nyambe dissenting, finds you, Dragomir Pecanac to be
12 guilty of contempt of the Tribunal punishable under Rule 77. The
13 contempt of the Tribunal is a serious offence, which goes to the essence
14 of the administration of justice. By your failure to comply with the
15 subpoena and to appear at the seat of the Tribunal and testify, you have
16 acted against the interests of justice. Having considered all of the
17 relevant factors, the majority of the Chamber sentence you to a single
18 sentence of 3 months of imprisonment. Subject to credit being given for
19 the 74 days that you have spent in detention. You may sit down.
20 As I said at the beginning. Copies of the written judgement will
21 be made available after the hearing. The dissenting opinion of Judge
22 Nyambe is appended to the written.
23 I have to address one final matter which was raised by the
24 Defence during the closing arguments. The Defence requested an
25 Order for Safe Conduct if the accused were to be acquitted and released.
1 Since the accused has been convicted, the request is now moot. But also,
2 the Chamber would draw the attention of the Defence to the provisions
3 regarding immunity in Article 20 of the headquarters agreement between
4 the United Nations and the host state.
5 The hearing is now adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.13 p.m.