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Weekly Press Briefing - 17 February 2010

Date:  17.02.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

Good afternoon,

I’ll turn first to a decision issued on 12 February by the Appeals Chamber in the case of Radovan Karadžić. In the decision, the Appeals Chamber dismissed in its entirety Karadžić’s motion to vacate the appointment of Richard Harvey as standby counsel. The Appeals Chamber ruled that an accused is not entitled to enjoy simultaneously both the right to defend himself in person and the right to be defended through legal assistance of his own choosing. The Chamber specified that as Karadžić has chosen self-representation, he therefore ‘does not enjoy any rights that are derived from choosing to be represented by legal counsel’.

The Appeals Chamber also rejected the parallels drawn by Karadžić between his situation and that of Vojislav Šešelj, who was allowed to choose standby counsel from a list. The Chamber explained that this was in the context of the Trial Chamber having failed to warn Šešelj that if he behaved obstructively, his right to self-representation would be limited. Karadžić in contrast, was warned on numerous occasions that his obstructions would result in curtailment of his self-representation.

 Finally, the Appeals Chamber ruled that Karadžić failed to establish that the Trial Chamber had inappropriately applied the ‘Kvočka et al. Appeal Decision criteria’ in upholding the Registrar’s selection of standby counsel. These criteria allow for the reversal of an administrative decision should it be judged that that decision violated, amongst other factors, ‘the basic rules of natural justice and procedural fairness towards the person affected by the decision’. The Appeals Chamber judged that none of these Appeal Decision criteria were met by the factors the Registrar considered in selecting Richard Harvey.

Moving now to the upcoming court schedule:

A Status Conference in the trial of Ljube Boškoski and Johan Tarčulovski will be held this Friday, 19 February at 14:15 in Courtroom I. Only Johan Tarčulovski will be present. Defence counsel will be heard via a telephone link.

In the trial of Momčilo Perišić, the Defence’s opening statement will be made on Monday 22 February, and will be followed by the calling of the Defence’s first witness.

A pre-trial Conference in the case of Zdravko Tolimir will be held on Thursday 25 February at 14:15 in Courtroom III. The trial then commences with the Prosecution’s opening statement the next day, Friday 26 February at 14:15 also in Courtroom III.

Proceedings in the trials of Gotovina and others, Prlić and others, Vojislav Šešelj, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, Vlastimir Ðorđević as well as Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin continue this week and next as scheduled.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, the Special Adviser of Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, was present to respond to questions related to the Office of the Prosecutor.


No questions were asked.