Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 11 October 2002
TRIAL CHAMBER III ORDERS THE REGISTRAR OF THE ICTY TO REVOKE APPOINTMENT OF AMICUS CURIAE
On 10 October 2002, in the Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, Trial Chamber III rendered an oral decision "instructing the Registrar to revoke the appointment of Michail Wladimiroff as an amicus curiae".
This followed a complaint by the accused about articles, which appeared in two newspapers. The first was published on 7 September, 2002 in the Haagsche Courant, a Dutch newspaper and the second on 13 September, 2002 in the Kultura, a Bulgarian newspaper. Both articles resulted from interviews given by Mr. Wladimiroff, one of the amici curiae in this case.
In rendering the decision, Judge May, the presiding Judge, stated the following:
"The Chamber has considered this matter very carefully, and has concluded that the statements made by Mr. Wladimiroff, even with the explanations accepted, raise serious questions about the appropriateness of his continuing as amicus curiae. The Chamber observes that not only did he comment on parts of the case in respect of which evidence has been given, but that he also made
an assessment of parts in respect of which evidence had not yet been adduced, and that in both instances he appears to have formed a view of the case unfavourable to the accused. Of particular concern is the view expressed that the accused must be convicted of, at least, some of the charges. The statements taken as a whole, would, in the Chamber's view, give rise to a reasonable
perception of bias on the part of the amicus curiae.
Implicit in the concept of an amicus curiae is the trust that the court reposes in "the friend" to act fairly in the performance of his duties. In the circumstances, the Chamber cannot be confident that the amicus curiae will discharge his duties (which include bringing to its attention any defences open to the accused) with the required impartiality.
Accordingly the Chamber has instructed the Registrar to revoke Mr. Wladimiroff's appointment as an amicus curiae. This is a decision that the Chamber has arrived at with regret, since Mr. Wladimiroff has, like the other amici, provided useful assistance to the court."
The full text of the decision is available upon request from the Public Information Services of the ICTY. It is also available on the ICTY Internet site: www.un.org/icty