Case No.: IT-04-81-PT
Date: 16 November 2006
IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
Judge Patrick Robinson, Presiding
Judge Krister Thelin
Judge Frank Höpfel
Registrar: Mr. Hans Holthuis
Decision of: 16 November 2006
DECISION ON REQUEST FOR ALTERATION OF CONDITIONS OF PROVISIONAL
Office of the Prosecutor
Government of the Republic of Serbia
Mr. Mark Harmon
Ms. Susan Somers
Counsel for the Accused
Mr. James Castle
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 a motion filed by Counsel for Momčilo Perišić (“Counsel")
seeking a modification of the terms of his provisional release and hereby renders
a decision ("Decision") thereon.
- On 8 November 2006, Counsel filed the "Request for Alteration of Conditions of Provisional Release" ("Motion"), in which he requests modification of the condition of Mr Perišić’s ("Accused") provisional release that requires the Accused to remain within the confines of the municipality of Belgrade. Specifically, Counsel requests permission for the Accused to travel to Koštunići, a town in Serbia approximately 130 km south of Belgrade, on the following dates:
(i) 15-30 December 2006, (ii) 15-30 January 2007, (iii) 15-30 February 2007,
(iv) 15-30 March 2007, and (v) 15-30 April 2007. The Accused wishes to "travel to his hometown to his brother’s home where he can visit family and the graves of his close family members" and "seeks permission to visit his brother Radislav Perišić who lives with his wife Vedrana Perišić".
- Counsel notes that the Accused has previously sought permission four times from the Trial Chamber for a modification of the conditions of his provisional release, and that those requests were granted.
- Counsel also submits that the Accused has fully complied with the Chamber’s previous orders pertaining to his stay in Koštunići. Counsel attaches to the Motion correspondence from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, "reflecting also the information received by the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Serbia confirming the Accused’s cooperation during his stay in Koštunići and compliance with the Trial Chamber’s conditions outlined in their decision of 9 June 2005. Counsel further notes that “the Ministry of Justice in its statement fully supports the Accused’s request to be allowed to travel to Koštunići".
- In addition, Counsel recalls that, with regard to the request for modification of the conditions of provisional release filed on 19 July 2006, the Trial Chamber had required clarification as to the identity of the Accused’s brother, following which the birth certificates of the Accused and Mr. Radislav Perišić, together with their translated versions, were provided to the Chamber. These documents are resubmitted in Annex A to the Motion.
- In its "Prosecution’s Response to Defence Request for Alteration of Conditions of Provisional Release", filed on 10 November 2006, the Prosecution "takes no position" on the request.
- The Trial Chamber considers that sufficient reasons have been given, and sufficient guarantees have been provided, to warrant the temporary modification of the conditions of the Accused’s provisional release. However, unlike previous requests, Counsel has requested the modifications to extend approximately six months beyond the date of issuance of this Decision. The Trial Chamber is of the view that it is inappropriate to vary the conditions of provisional release so far in advance. Therefore, the Trial Chamber will grant the request only as it concerns the time periods in December 2006, January 2007 and February 2007. The Trial Chamber also notes that the month of February 2007 has only 28 days.
- The Trial Chamber reiterates, as it did in the earlier decisions granting the Accused’s requests for modification of conditions of his provisional release dated 20 January 2006, 11 May 2006 and 14 August 2006, that the Government of the Republic of Serbia has not complied with the Trial Chamber’s order that, during the period in which the Accused is allowed to travel to Koštunići, the Government shall submit a report on the Accused’s compliance with the modified terms of his release every two weeks and not on a monthly basis, as required under the original terms of his release. The Trial Chamber stresses once again that it expects this order to be strictly adhered to.
- For these reasons, the Trial Chamber, pursuant to Rules 54 and 65 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, GRANTS the Motion and ORDERS that:
- The Accused has permission to visit his family, the graves of his close family members, and his brother at 32308 Pranjani, Koštunići, Gornji Milanovac, Republic of Serbia on
(i) 15-30 December 2006, (ii) 15-30 January 2007, and (iii) 15-28 February 2007.
- The Accused shall provide details of each visit (including the dates of travel and a copy of this Decision granting permission for the visit) to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia at least seven days in advance of the departure date of each visit.
- The Government of the Republic of Serbia shall (i) between 15 December 2006 and 28 February 2007 submit a written report to the Trial Chamber every two weeks on the compliance of the Accused with his provisional release conditions as set forth in this Trial Chamber’s Decision of 9 June 2005 and this Decision; (ii) immediately arrest and detain the Accused if he should breach any of his provisional release conditions as set forth in this Trial Chamber’s Decision of 9 June 2005 and this Decision; and (iii) immediately report to this Trial Chamber any breach of his provisional release conditions as set forth in this Trial Chamber’s Decision of 9 June 2005 and this Decision.
- Nothing in this Decision should be read as altering the terms and conditions of the Accused’s provisional release contained in the Trial Chamber’s decision of 9 June 2005, save as provided in paragraph 8 above.
- The Trial Chamber requests that the Registrar serve this Decision on the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
Done in English and French, the English text being authoritative.
Dated this sixteenth day of November 2006
At The Hague,