Before: Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (Presiding)

Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen

Judge Rafael Nieto Navia

Registrar: Mrs. Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh

Decision of: 22 April 1998








Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Grant Niemann
Mr. Michael Keegan
Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff
Mr. Morten Bergsmo

Counsel for the Accused:

Mr. Dusan Vucicevic
Mr. Anthony D’Amato


THIS BENCH OF THE APPEALS CHAMBER of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 ("International Tribunal");

NOTING the Prosecutor’s Application For Leave To Appeal From The Trial Chamber’s Denial of Prosecutor’s Request For Leave To File An Amended Indictment ("Application"), filed on 13 March 1998, and the Prosecutor’s Request For Determination Of Timely Filing, Or In The Alternative, Request For Variation Of Time Limit, filed on 19 March 1998;

NOTING the letter of Defence counsel, Mr. D’Amato, addressed to President McDonald, filed on 27 March 1998, in which Mr. D’Amato stated that the Defence has "no objection to the Prosecutor’s request to hear the merits of StheC Application" and requested ten days to file a response to the Application;

NOTING that on 30 March 1998 the Bench of the Appeals Chamber ordered the Defence to file a formal response to the Application by 9 April 1998;

NOTING FURTHER the Defendant’s Response to the Prosecutor’s Application ("Response"), filed on 8 April 1998, in which the Defence stated that it "has not objected to the Prosecution’s request for interlocutory review of the Trial Chamber’s decision . . . for the reason that the Defense agrees that the decision is an important one in a case of first impression";

CONSIDERING Sub-rule 73(B) and Rule 116 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal ("Rules");

CONSIDERING that the proposed appeal raises the issue of whether the decision of Trial Chamber II in denying leave to amend the indictment on the grounds inter alia that the accused was denied the right to be informed promptly of the charges against him and his right to an expeditious trial, is in contravention of the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or internationally recognized legal standards;

CONSIDERING FURTHER that the said issue is of general importance to proceedings before the International Tribunal or in international law generally;

 HEREBY DECIDE to grant leave to appeal pursuant to Sub-rule 73(B) of the Rules;

NOTING that as provided by Rule 116 bis of the Rules, the appeal shall be heard expeditiously on the basis of the original record of the Trial Chamber and without the necessity of any written brief, and that Rules 109 to 114 of the Rules shall not apply to the appeal;

NOTING that the President, having consulted the members of the Appeals Chamber, has decided not to apply Sub-rule 117(D) of the Rules;

 FURTHER DECIDE that the appeal will be determined on the basis of the Application and the Response, and without oral hearing.


Done in both English and French, with the English text being authoritative.


Gabrielle Kirk McDonald

Presiding Judge

Dated this twenty-second day of April 1998

At The Hague,

The Netherlands.

[Seal of the Tribunal]