(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
Blaskic Case:The chamber orders the appearance as witnesses of General Philippe Morillon
(former unprofor commander), Colonel Robert Stewart (former Britbat commander),
a former chief of staff of the Croatian defence council (HVO), muslim commanders of
the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of the former chief of the ECMM
Trial Chamber I, consisting of Judge Jorda (Presiding), Judge Shahabuddeen and Judge Rodrigues, recently decided to use its power under Rule 98 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence "to summon witnesses and order their attendance".
"In order to ascertain the truth in respect of the crimes the accused has been charged with", the Judges issued on 25 March a series of Decisions on the appearance of at least six witnesses believed to have a specific knowledge of facts within the indictment.
These witnesses are: Mr. Jean-Pierre Thébault, Chief of the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) at the time of the acts mentioned in the indictment. Colonel Serif Patkovic and other Commanders of the 7th Muslim Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina from May 1992 to January 1994. General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Commander of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time of the acts mentioned in the indictment. General Milijov Petkovic, Commander of Main Staff of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) at the time of the acts mentioned in the indictment. Colonel Robert Stewart, Commander of the British Battalion of UNPROFOR during part of the time covered by the indictment. General Philippe Morillon, Commander of UNPROFOR at the time of the acts mentioned in the indictment.
The Chamber decided that these witnesses must appear before the closing arguments of the Prosecution and Defence, "that is, before the end of June 1999". The order following which the witnesses will be called remains to be set.
MODALITIES OF APPEARANCE
Should the witnesses desire protective measures or assistance, such as being heard in closed session, they may so request the Registry of the Tribunal by 9 April at the latest.
The Chamber’s decisions also specify that each witness will "testify freely about matters of which he had knowledge that occurred within the scope of his then mission and that relate to the acts with which the accused has been charged as they appear in the indictment". The witnesses "may rely on personal notes" but "not read a prepared statement".
The witnesses will then answer the questions put to them by the Judges, by the Prosecution and by the Defence. Both the Prosecution and the Defence will have and equal and limited period of time and will question the witness within the scope of the latter’s statement at the hearing.
The Chamber’s Decisions were transmitted on 25 March to the Embassies of France, the United Kingdom, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in order for the authorities "to take all the necessary measures to ensure that the witness(es) appear".
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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