|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)||
The Hague, 13 December 2000
Plea Agreement announced at motion Hearing in Todorovic case
Today, 13 December 2000, Judge Robinson (sitting in the absence of Judges Hunt and Bennouna) held a hearing on the joint ex parte and confidential motion filed by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and counsel for Stevan Todorovic, dated 29 November 2000.
The joint motion reflected a negotiated plea agreement whereby Todorovic would plead “guilty” to Count 1 of the indictment, dated 25 March 1999, namely persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, a crime against humanity. The agreement also provided that the accused would withdraw all motions pending before the Trial Chamber relating to an evidentiary hearing regarding the circumstances of his arrest and his request for judicial assistance. Specifically, he would withdraw the allegations that his arrest was unlawful and that SFOR or NATO was involved in any unlawful activity in relation to his arrest (please see Press Releases 536 and 539).
The OTP stated that it would formally request the withdrawal of Counts 2 to 27 of the indictment against Todorovic and would recommend to the Trial Chamber that they impose a sentence of not less than five years and not more than 12 years. At the hearing, Judge Robinson reminded the parties that any final decision on sentencing ultimately rested with the Trial Chamber.
At the hearing, Todorovic entered a plea of “guilty” to Count 1 of the indictment, however, pursuant to Rule 62 (vi)(b) of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, Judge Robinson will refer the plea of “guilty” to the fully constituted Trial Chamber so that it may satisfy itself that, pursuant to Rule 62 bis, the plea was made voluntarily, it was informed, not equivocal, and that "there is a sufficient factual basis for the crime and the accused’s participation in it, either on the basis of independent indicia or on lack of any material disagreement between the parties about the facts of the case".
A hearing has been scheduled to take place on 12 January 2001 for the Trial Chamber to determine whether it is satisfied as to the matters set forth in Rule 62 bis and to enter a finding of guilt, if it is so satisfied.
The parties have been ordered to submit a brief setting out the full factual basis for the Count, including the participation of the accused in the crimes and witness statements by 5 January 2001.
Todorovic was detained by SFOR in September 1998 and transferred into the custody of the Tribunal. He pleaded “not guilty” to all counts charged against him at an initial appearance on 30 September 1998.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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