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The Hague, 19 January 2001
Todorovic case: Guilty Plea accepted by Trial Chamber
Today, 19 January 2001, Trial Chamber III, composed of Judges Robinson (Presiding), Hunt and Bennouna, held a hearing to determine whether it was satisfied that the guilty plea entered by Stevan Todorovic on 13 December 2000 met the conditions set forth in Rule 62 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
On 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. This motion reflected a negotiated plea agreement whereby the accused would plead "guilty" to Count 1 of the indictment and withdraw all motions pending before Trial Chamber III relating to an evidentiary hearing regarding the circumstances of his arrest and his request for judicial assistance (see Press Release No. 549). At this hearing, Stevan Todorović entered a plea of “guilty” to Count 1 of the indictment, namely persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds as a crime against humanity.
Today, Trial Chamber III satisfied itself that the conditions laid down in Rule 62 bis were met, namely that:
"(i) the guilty plea has been made voluntarily;
(ii) the guilty plea is informed;
(iii) the guilty plea is not equivocal; and
(iv) 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".
The Trial Chamber accordingly entered "a finding of guilt on the basis of the guilty plea".
A date for the sentencing hearing will be set at a later stage and will be announced in due course.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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