Trial Chamber I yesterday issued a Revised Order in Lieu of Indictment in the Jojić et al. contempt case, following official notification by the Serbian authorities that one of the three accused, Jovo Ostojić, passed away on 29 June 2017. The Revised Order in Lieu of Indictment lists Petar Jojić and Vjerica Radeta as the only remaining accused.
Considering that in the case of the death of an accused, the proceedings against the deceased are to be terminated, the Trial Chamber with this Revised Order vacates the Tribunal’s arrest warrants against Jovo Ostojić and terminates all proceedings in this case with respect to him. Further, the Trial Chamber orders the Registry of the Tribunal to provide all United Nations Member States and Interpol with the Revised Order in Lieu of Indictment.
The accused in the Jojić et al. case are charged with contempt of the Tribunal for allegedly having threatened, intimidated, offered bribes to, or otherwise interfered with two witnesses in the former trial against Vojislav Šešelj and a related contempt case against him.
Petar Jojić, Jovo Ostojić and Vjerica Radeta were originally charged in 2012, with a revised Order in Lieu of Indictment having been issued confidentially by Trial Chamber II on 5 December 2014, and warrants for the arrest of the three accused having been issued confidentially on 19 January 2015. On 1 December 2015, the Trial Chamber lifted the confidentiality of these documents. Following the Republic of Serbia’s continued failure to arrest and transfer the accused, the Trial Chamber subsequently issued international arrest warrants, which were made public on 29 November 2016.
Rule 77 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence sets out that the Tribunal may hold in contempt those who “knowingly and wilfully interfere with its administration of justice”. The integrity of the Tribunal’s proceedings and the safety of witnesses are fundamental to the proper administration of justice and the fulfilment of the Tribunal’s mandate.