IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
Before: Judge Iain Bonomy, Presiding
Judge Ali Nawaz Chowhan
Judge Tsvetana Kamenova
Judge Janet Nosworthy, Reserve Judge
Registrar: Mr. Hans Holthuis
Decision of: 1 November 2006
decision on prosecution motion for testimony of K58
to be heard via video-link conference
Office of the Prosecutor
Mr. Thomas Hannis
Mr. Chester Stamp
Counsel for the Accused
Mr. Eugene O’Sullivan and Mr. Slobodan Zečević for Mr. Milan Milutinović
Mr. Toma Fila and Mr. Vladimir Petrović for Mr. Nikola Šainović
Mr. Tomislav Višnjić and Mr. Norman Sepenuk for Mr. Dragoljub Ojdanić
Mr. John Ackerman and Mr. Aleksander Alekšić for Mr. Nebojša Pavković
Mr. Mihajlo Bakrač and Mr. Ðuro Čepić for Mr. Vladimir Lazarević
Mr. Branko Lukić and Mr. Dragan Ivetić for Mr. Sreten Lukić
THIS TRIAL 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 ("Tribunal") is seised of the partly confidential "Prosecution Motion for Testimony to be Heard via Video-Link Conference with Confidential Annex A" ("Motion"), filed on 20 October 2006, requesting the reception of the testimony of K58 by video-link conference, and hereby renders its decision thereon.
- The Trial Chamber considers that the Prosecution, as the moving party, has, on the basis of the material in the Confidential Annex to its Motion, satisfied its burden of demonstrating that the request should be granted and notes that no objection has been taken by any of the Accused.
- The Prosecution requests that the testimony of the witness be conducted by video-link conference from the ICTY Pristina Field Office. The jurisprudence of the Tribunal supports the arguments that the testimony of witnesses by video-link conference should be given as much probative value as testimony presented in the courtroom, and that such measures do not violate the rights of the accused to cross-examine the witness and to confront the witness directly.
- Pursuant to Rules 54 and 71 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Trial Chamber HEREBY ORDERS as follows:
- The testimony of the witness identified as K58 shall be received through video-conference link in the week of 6 November 2006, provided that the necessary equipment can be made available to the Tribunal. The Registrar is directed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the video-conference link is established under the following conditions:
- The party making the application for video-link testimony shall make arrangements for an appropriate location from which to conduct the proceedings. The venue must be conducive to the giving of truthful and open testimony.
- The safety and solemnity of the proceedings at the location must be guaranteed.
- The non-moving party and the Registry must be informed at every stage of the efforts of the moving party, and they must be in agreement with the proposed location. Where no agreement is reached on an appropriate location, the Trial Chamber shall hear the parties and the Registry and make a final decision.
- The Trial Chamber will appoint a Presiding Officer to ensure that the testimony is given freely and voluntarily. The Presiding Officer will identify the witness and explain the nature of the proceedings and the obligation to speak the truth. The Presiding Officer will inform the witness that he or she is liable to prosecution for perjury in case of false testimony, will administer the taking of the oath, and will keep the Trial Chamber informed at all times of the conditions at the location.
- The testimony shall be given in the physical presence only of the Presiding Officer and, if necessary, of a member of the Registry technical staff, unless the Trial Chamber decides otherwise.
- The witness must, through a monitor, be able to see, at various times, the Judges, the Accused, and the questioner. The Judges, the Accused, and the questioner must each be able to observe the witness on their monitor.
- A statement made under solemn declaration by a witness shall be treated as having been made in the courtroom and the witness shall be liable to prosecution for perjury in exactly the same way as if he or she had given evidence at the seat of the Tribunal.
Done in English and French, the English text being authoritative.
Judge Iain Bonomy
Dated this first day of November 2006
At The Hague
[Seal of the Tribunal]