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Celebici case: Prosecution case to continue Friday after Decision on contempt issue.

Press Release · Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 29 May 1997


Following an adjournment of over one week, the Prosecutor will call its next witness in the Celebici case on Friday 30 May 1997 at 2.30 p.m.

The adjournment was called at the request of the Prosecutor following the leaking of a list of Prosecution witnesses, including protected witnesses, to the publication Sloboda Herzegovina, and its publication therein in the 15 April 1997 issue, alongside an interview with the defendant Zejnil Delalic.

After reporting the leak to Trial Chamber II on Thursday 15 May 1997, the Prosecutor sought the stay in order to investigate the circumstances of the leak and consider whether contempt proceedings should be brought against those found to be responsible.

On 15 May, Judge Karibi-Whyte, Presiding, referred the matter to the President of the Tribunal, Judge Antonio Cassese.

On Wednesday 28 May 1997, Trial Chamber II convened to present the findings of the President's investigation into the leaking of the list.

The President's report reached the following conclusions:

(a) that there was no evidence of misconduct on the part of Mrs. Edina Residovic and Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan, counsel for Mr. Delalic;

(b) that it was likely that the defendant Delalic gave an interview to the magazine Sloboda Herzegovina. In the course of that interview, Delalic might have acted in contempt of the court's order of non-disclosure of witness names. The court may thus wish to initiate proceedings for contempt against Delalic;

(c) the investigations into the author of the article and editor of the magazine were inconclusive.

Following a discussion of the implications of these findings amongst the parties, the Trial Chamber handed down the following ruling on Thursday 29 May 1997:

The Chamber accepted the President's finding regarding counsel for Mr. Delalic. However, the Trial Chamber could not accept his finding regarding Mr. Delalic. Mr. Delalic has denied giving an interview to Sloboda Herzegovina and has claimed his right to silence. Delalic's denial still stands and there is no evidence to the contrary, and no evidence that he should be charged
with contempt. There is thus no basis for continuing any suspicion against him. According to the Trial Chamber, this concludes the matter.

Mr. Eric Ostberg, chief Prosecutor in the Celebici case, indicated that he was satisfied with the position taken by the Trial Chamber regarding the contempt issue.