|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)||
The Hague, 2 March 2001
The Appeals Chamber upholds the Conviction of Mr. Vujin for Contempt of Court
On 27 February 2001, the Appeals Chamber rendered its Judgement on allegations of contempt of court against prior counsel for Dusko Tadic, Milan Vujin, a lawyer from Belgrade. The Appeals Chamber upheld its initial Judgment of 31 January 2000. It dismissed the appeal and ordered Milan Vujin to pay a fine of Dfl 15,000 to the Registry of the Tribunal within twenty-one days. The Appeals Chamber also held that the Registrar might consider striking Mr. Vujin off or suspending him for a suitable period from the list of assigned counsel, and also reporting his conduct to the professional body to which he belongs.
At the start of 1999, Mr. Milan Vujin was called upon to appear before the Appeals Chamber to answer allegations that he had knowingly and willfully intended to interfere with the administration of justice. Mr. Vujin represented Dusko Tadic in various capacities during proceedings before the Tribunal up until November 1998, that is, as pro bono co-counsel during the pre-trial phase and as assigned counsel during the preparation of Tadic’s appeal against his conviction and during the actual appeals proceedings. The allegations of contempt arose out of Mr. Vujin’s conduct whilst he was assigned counsel for Dusko Tadic during the appeal.
The first allegation of contempt against Mr. Vujin arose out of the fact that he put forward a case which he knew to be false in relation to the weight to be given to statements made by one Mladjo Radic and in relation to the responsibility of one Goran Borovnica for the killing of two Muslim policemen. The second allegation concerned manipulation of the testimony of the proposed witnesses. The third allegation concerned the bribing of a witness to lie or to withhold information.
On 31 January 2000, the Appeals Chamber ruling in the first instance delivered its Judgment on the allegations of contempt against prior counsel, Milan Vujin, in which it found prior counsel guilty of contempt of the Tribunal and fined the Appellant Dfl 15,000. Furthermore, the Appeals Chamber directed the Registrar of the Tribunal to consider striking him off the list of assigned counsel (see Press Release no. 467-E of 31 January 2000).
That same day, Milan Vujin filed an Application for leave to appeal against the Judgment. This was granted by a bench of the Appeals Chamber on 25 October 2000.
In the Judgement of 27 February 2001, the Appeals Chamber found that a person found guilty of contempt by the Appeals Chamber must be entitled to appeal the conviction and decided that, given the special circumstances, it was appropriate for it to consider the merits of the Appellant’s complaints. The Appeals Chamber nonetheless held that the evidence relied upon by the Appeals Chamber, ruling in the first instance, could have "been accepted by any reasonable tribunal" and that the evaluation of the evidence was in no manner "wholly erroneous" and, accordingly, that there was no basis to consider overturning the finding of fact.
Judge Wald is appending to the Judgment a Dissenting Opinion on the finding of jurisdiction.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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