Case No. IT-03-67-PT


Judge Wolfgang Schomburg, Presiding
Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba
Judge Carmel A. Agius

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Order of:
6 March 2003







The Office of the Prosecutor:

Hildegaard Uertz-Retzlaff
Ulrich Mussemeyer
Daniel Saxon

Counsel for the Accused:



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 ("the International Tribunal");

BEING SEISED OF the Accused’s letter to the Tribunal Registry dated 4 March 2003 stating that he will accept court documents and prosecution material only in Serbian;

NOTING that according to the Statute, Rules and practice of the Tribunal, the general standard regarding translation of documents during the pre-trial stage of the proceedings requires that the following material, in any event, be submitted to the Accused in a language he understands:

(a) a copy of the Indictment according to Article 21(1) and 21(4)(a) of the Statute and Rule 53bis(B) in combination with Rule 47(G) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("the Rules");

(b) a copy of the supporting material which accompanied the Indictment against the Accused and all prior statements obtained by the Prosecutor from the Accused, irrespective of whether these items will be offered at trial, in accordance with Rule 66(A)(i) of the Rules;

(c) statements of all witnesses (either in hard copy or in audio format) that the Prosecutor intends to call to testify at trial along with all written statements taken in accordance with Rule 92bis, and statements of additional Prosecution witnesses when a decision is made to call those witnesses, see Rule 66(A)(ii) of the Rules;

(d) discovery material which appeared in a language understood by the Accused at the time it came under the Prosecution’s custody or control, pursuant to Rule 66(B) of the Rules; and

(e) written decisions and orders rendered by the Trial Chamber or Appeals Chamber .

NOTING that the effective date of filing of the material listed above shall be the date of filing in one of the official languages of the Tribunal, but that all time-limits for responses laid down in the Rules shall begin to run from the date of filing of the translation in the language understood by the Accused;

NOTING that while the Tribunal is committed to ensuring the Accused’s right to a fair and expeditious trial, translation in advance of each and every document into the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language ("B/C/S") beyond what is required under the Statute and Rules, may seriously jeopardise the Accused’s right to an expeditious trial because of the very substantial time and resources required for translation of all documents;

NOTING that the Accused has been informed of his entitlement to Defence Counsel, fluent in one of the official languages of the Tribunal and at the same time fluent in a language the Accused understands;

CONSIDERING that the Accused has declined so far to appoint Defence Counsel or request the assignment of Defence Counsel pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules;

CONSIDERING the Prosecution’s "Motion for Order Appointing Counsel to Assist Vojislav Seselj with his Defence" dated 28 February 2003 ("the Prosecution’s Motion");

NOTING that according to Rule 126bis of the Rules, unless otherwise ordered by the Chamber, the Accused has fourteen days to file any response to the Prosecution’s Motion;

NOTING that the next appearance of the Accused is scheduled to take place on 25 March 2003;

CONSIDERING the right of the Accused to be heard in relation to the Prosecution’s Motion;

HEREBY ORDERS the Registry to provide the Accused with a translation of the Prosecutor’s Motion, not including the attached legal authorities, in B/C/S by 11 March 2003 at the latest; and

INVITES the Accused to file a response to the Prosecution’s Motion in accordance with Rule 126bis of the Rules by 21 March 2003, to be translated into English no later than 12.00pm on 24 March 2003; and

FURTHER ORDERS the Registry to provide the Accused with translations of any future motions filed by the Prosecution (without attachments) in B/C/S, for the period during which the Accused does not have any legal assistance, i.e. until further order, thereby guaranteeing the right of the Accused to be heard in a language he understands.


Done in English and French, the English version being authoritative.

Dated this sixth day of March 2003
At The Hague
The Netherlands

Judge Wolfgang Schomburg

[Seal of the Tribunal]

1. See Prosecutor v Pasko Ljubicic, Decision on the Defence Counsel’s Request for Translation of All Documents, 20 November 2002.