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The Hague, 20 October 2006
Appeals Chamber Reverses Decision to Assign Šešelj Defence Counsel
The Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber today reversed the Trial Chamber’s Decision to assign counsel to represent Vojislav Šešelj.
The Appeals Chamber explicitly warned Šešelj that, “should his self-representation subsequent to this Decision substantially obstruct the proper and expeditious proceedings in his case, the Trial Chamber will be justified in promptly assigning him counsel after allowing Šešelj the right to be heard with respect to his subsequent behaviour”.
The Trial Chamber decided on 21 August 2006 to assign Šešelj a defence counsel on the basis that “the conduct of the Accused as a whole – obstructionist and disruptive behavior; deliberate disrespect for the rules; intimidation of, and slanderous comments about, witnesses – leads Chamber to conclude that there is a strong indication that his self-representation may substantially and persistently obstruct the proper and expeditious conduct of a fair trial.”
In today’s ruling, the Appeals Chamber granted in part the appeal filed by the assigned stand-by counsel in this case, Tjarda Eduard van der Spoel, “in light of the absence of a specific warning to Šešelj before assigning him counsel”.
The trial in the Prosecutor vs. Vojislav Šešelj case is scheduled to start on 2 November 2006.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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