“Decision on Defence Motion Requesting the Determination of Rules for Communicating with Potential Witnesses of the Opposing Party”
7 May 2003
· On 31 March 2003, Mile Mrksic’s Defence filed the “Defence Motion Requesting Determination of Rules of Communication with Potential Witnesses of the Opposite Party” and Confidential Annex thereto (“Motion”). The Defence required that the pre-trial Judge “establish an unambiguous and precise method of communication between each of the opposing parties to these proceedings and the respective potential witnesses of the opposite side”.1
· On 11 April 2003, the Prosecution filed the “Prosecution’s Opposition to Defence Motion Requesting the Determination of Rules of Communication with Potential Witnesses of the Opposite Party” and Confidential Annex thereto (“Response”).
· On 22 April 2003, the Defence filed its reply to the Prosecution’s Response.4
The Trial Chamber dismissed the Defence Motion.5
The Trial Chamber recalled that a witness may be called to testify in one case and by the Prosecution in another6 and emphasised that “the fact that a potential witness has given a statement to a party to proceedings does not preclude the other party from seeking to interview him or her at this stage of pre-trial proceedings”.
It considered that “if a potential witness refuses to grant an interview to the Defence, or refuses to respond to a Prosecution summons, that party’s relief lies with the Trial Chamber’s power pursuant to Rule 547”.
The Trial Chamber did not find necessary to establish the requested guidelines and dismissed the Defence Motion. Should this be necessary, it held that at the appropriate stage it will see to it that the appropriate guidelines are in place.