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Appeals Chamber Orders Adjournment in Jovica Stanišić Trial

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 16 May 2008

Appeals Chamber Orders Adjournment in Jovica Stanišić Trial

The Appeals Chamber today granted Jovica Stanišić’s request to adjourn proceedings due to his health condition for a period of at least three months in the Prosecutor’s case against him and Franko Simatović.

The decision reversed Trial Chamber III decision of 9 April 2008 in which it ordered a video-link be set up in the Tribunal’s detention unit which would allow the accused to follow the proceedings.

The Appeals Chamber found that in deciding to establish a video-conference link to enable Stanišić to participate in the proceedings from the detention unit when he is too unwell to be physically present in court, the Trial Chamber gave insufficient weight to Stanisic's fundamental right to be present in court. The Appeals Chamber also found that the Trial Chamber had failed to consider whether Stanišić would be able to effectively participate in his trial via the video-conference link in light of his physical and mental state of health.

Therefore, the Appeals Chamber ordered the Trial Chamber to adjourn the proceedings for a minimum of three months and to reassess Stanišić's health condition before determining when the trial should recommence.

The trial commenced on 28 April 2008 with the opening statements of the Prosecution but Stanišić neither attended the hearings nor participated in them via video-link while at the same time he refused to sign waivers from the hearings. The accused suffers from pouchitis, osteoporosis and kidney stones, while he is also being treated for deep depression.

Stanišić and Simatović, high level officials of Serbian Secret Service, are accused of having directed, organized, equipped, trained, armed and financed secret units of the Serbian State Security which murdered, persecuted and deported Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia between 1991 and 1995.


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