Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
Today Trial Chamber II, by majority with Judge Nyambe dissenting, convicted Dragomir Pećanac of contempt of the Tribunal and sentenced him to three months of imprisonment.
Dragomir Pećanac, former Security and Intelligence Officer of the Main Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska, was found guilty of having knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice by failing to appear before the Chamber as ordered or to show good cause why he could not comply with a subpoena ordering him to appear as a witness in the case of Zdravko Tolimir.
In rendering its Judgement, the Chamber found that “[c]ontempt of the Tribunal is a serious offence, which goes to the essence of the administration of justice. By his failure to comply with the Subpoena and to appear at the seat of the Tribunal and testify, the Accused has acted against the interests of justice. His failure to testify has deprived the Chamber of relevant evidence.”
“The Tribunal is dependent on witness testimony and the deprivation of such relevant evidence amounts to a serious interference with the administration of justice, and in fact, endangers the fulfilment of the Tribunal’s functions and mandate,” added the Chamber.
On 31 August 2011, the Trial Chamber issued a subpoena, by majority with Judge Nyambe dissenting, ordering Pećanac to appear at the Tribunal as a witness in the Tolimir case. The subpoena was served to the Accused on 2 September 2011. Following Pećanac’s obstruction of the Tribunal’s attempts to facilitate his transfer to The Hague, and his failure to appear before the Chamber as ordered or to show good cause why he could not comply with the subpoena, the Chamber issued an order in lieu of an indictment for contempt on 21 September 2011.
A warrant for his arrest and transfer was also issued on 21 September 2011. Pećanac was transferred to the custody of the United Nations Detention Unit on 9 October 2011.
At his initial appearance on 10 October 2011, Pećanac deferred his plea. During a hearing that took place the same day in the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, Pećanac refused to testify as a witness. At his further initial appearance held on 19 October 2011, Pećanac entered a plea of not guilty.
The trial was held on 30 November 2011 and 1 December 2011.
Pećanac’s sentence is subject to credit being given for 74 days that he spent in detention.
* * *
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 Fax: +31-70-512-5355 - Email: press [at] icty.org ()
Follow ICTY on Twitter and Youtube