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Celebici case - Trial Chamber issues subpoenas with regard to six witnesses.

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 15 October 1997




Bosnia and Herzegovina Government requested to assist

in ensuring the appearance of six witnesses

and in authenticating 14 documents

On Wednesday 15 October 1997, the Trial Chamber sitting on in the Celebici Case ( Judge Karibi-Whyte, presiding, Judge Odio-Benito and Judge Jan) granted from the bench an application by the Prosecutor for the issuance of Subpoenas ad testificandum to six witnesses.

Accordingly five witnesses are ordered to appear in court to provide testimony next week, tentatively on Monday 20 October 1997 (for two of them) and on Tuesday 21 October 1997 (for three of them). These five witnesses are residing on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and/or are employed by its government, which has been requested by the Trial Chamber to serve on the
witnesses the above subpoenas and to ensure their appearance before the Judges.

The Trial Chamber also granted the Prosecutor's request for the Custodian of Record of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to appear before the Judges in order to provide testimony concerning the authenticity of 14 documents relevant to the case of the Accused DELALIC: Special authorization of the War Presidency in Konjic Municipality for Zejnil Delalic; Decision of the War
Presidency in Konjic Municipality re. the appointment of Zejnil Delalic as coordinator of the municipal defence forces; Letter of appointment of Zejnil Delalic as Commander of Armed Forces in certain areas; Letter of appointment of Zejnil Delalic as Commander of Tactical Group 1 (TG-1) in certain areas; Order of TG-1, Zejnil Delalic, re. the interrogation of prisoners in Konjic Order
of TG-1, Zejnil Delalic, re. the establishment of a commission to classify prisoners; Registration card of Zejnil Delalic with the United Association of War Veterans of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Order of appointment of Zejnil Delalic; Order regarding the distribution of military equipment in Podorasac signed by Zejnil Delalic, Esad Ramic and Dinko Zebic; Authorization
for Zejnil Delalic to conclude agreements on materiel signed by the Minister of National Defence, Jerko Doko; Military order by TG-1, Zejnil Delalic, to the Municipal Staff of the BH Armed Forces in Prozor; Military order by TG-1, Zejnil Delalic, to the Municipal Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Konjic; Military Order by TG-1, Zejnil Delalic, to the Logistics Deputy Commander of
the Armed Forces of Konjic; Order of the appointment of staff to TG-1, signed by Zejnil Delalic.

Legal findings of the Trial Chamber

1. Subpoenas to witnesses:

The ruling of the Trial Chamber is based upon Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which provides that "At the request of either party or proprio motu, a Judge or a Trial Chamber may issue such orders, summonses, subpoenas, warrants and transfer orders as may be necessary for the purposes of an investigation or for the preparation or conduct of the

As stated by Presiding-Judge Karibi-Whyte, "under Rule 54, the Trial Chamber can grant the issue of subpoena against private individuals"

2. Request to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

The Prosecutor's request that an Order be issued to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was based on Article 29 (2) of the Statute of the Tribunal, which reads: "States shall comply without undue delay with any request for assistance or an order issued by a Trial Chamber, including, but not limited to: the identification and location of persons; the taking of testimony
or production of evidence; the service of documents; the arrest or detention of persons; the surrender or the transfer of the accused to the International Tribunal.

According to the Trial Chamber, "Article 29 vests in the Trial Chamber the power to make an order in respect of requests to sovereign states".

Background on the Prosecutor's request

Filed on Tuesday 14 October 1997, the Prosecutor's motion stated that "repeated requests have been made" to the witnesses "to voluntarily provide testimony before the Trial Chamber", and that "requests for assistance have been made to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the presence of these witnesses and the presence of the Custodian of Records to
provide testimony during the trial proceedings of the present case: none of these requests have been fulfilled".

The above summarized ruling of the trial chamber is not available in writing.

The full text of the Prosecutor's request will be made available upon request at the Press and Information Office


* ERDEMOVIC CASE: A closed status conference will be held on Thursday 16 October 1997 before the Trial Chamber consisting of Judge Karibi-Whyte (Presiding), Judge Jan and Judge Shahabuddeen

* CELEBICI CASE: As a consequence of the above mentioned hearing the Celebici Trial will resume on Thursday 16 October 1997 at 11 a.m.