Case No. IT-98-34-A

Prosecutor v. Vinko MARTINOVIC



CONSIDERING the Statute of the Tribunal as adopted by the Security Council under Resolution 827 (1993), and in particular Article 21 thereof;

CONSIDERING the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as adopted by the Tribunal on 11 February 1994, as subsequently amended, and in particular Rules 44 and 45 thereof;

CONSIDERING the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel, as subsequently amended, and in particular Article 19 (A) (i) thereof;

CONSIDERING the Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel Appearing before the International Tribunal ("the Code of Conduct"), and in particular, Article 5, Article 9, and Article 20 thereof;

NOTING in particular Article 9(D) of the Code of Conduct, which requires the surrender of papers and property to which the client or Tribunal is entitled to the accused or replacement counsel, upon termination or withdrawal of representation.

NOTING Article 13(A) of the Code of Conduct, which states, that:

Whether or not counsel continues to represent a client, counsel shall preserve the confidentiality of the client’s affairs and shall not reveal to any other person, other than to members of his team who need such information for the performance of their duties, information which has been entrusted to him in confidence or use such information to the client’s detriment or to his own or another client’s advantage.

CONSIDERING that Mr. Vinko Martinovic (hereinafter "the accused"), filed a request dated 25 April 2003, in which he asserted that he no longer trusts Mr. Branko Seric (hereinafter "lead counsel") and requested that the assignment of Mr. Seric as lead counsel be withdrawn.

CONSIDERING that a representative of the Registry met with the accused at the United Nations Detention Unit on 16 May 2003 and confirmed that exceptional circumstances exist, justifying the withdrawal of Mr. Seric as lead counsel.

CONSIDERING that the accused has officially informed the Registry on 25 April 2003 that he consents to the withdrawal of Mr. Branko Seric as his lead counsel;

CONSIDERING that Article 19 (D) of the Directive stipulates that if the Registrar has withdrawn the assignment of counsel, then the Registrar shall immediately assign a new counsel to the accused;

CONSIDERING that upon the request of lead counsel, Mr. Zelimir Par was assigned as co-counsel to the accused as of 11 July 2001;

CONSIDERING the request of the accused of 5 May 2003 to assign Mr. Par as lead counsel.

CONSIDERING that Mr. Zelimir Par has has officially informed the Registry that he wishes to represent the accused as his lead counsel on 16 May 2003;

CONSIDERING that Mr. Zelimir Par is currently on the Rule 45 list of counsel who are eligible to be considered for assignment of counsel, and that there are no conflicts of interest;

NOTING that a withdrawal of Mr. Seric at this stage of proceedings would not be detrimental to the representation of the accused and would not delay appeal proceedings.

FINDING that the circumstances cited by the accused justify a withdrawal of counsel "in the interests of justice" under Article 19(A)(1).

HEREBY DECIDES to withdraw the assignment of Mr. Branko Seric as lead counsel and to assign Mr. Zelimir Par as replacement lead counsel for the accused, effective as of the date of this decision.


Hans Holthuis

Dated this 19th day of May 2002
At The Hague
The Netherlands