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Dokmanovic case - A bench of the Appeals Chamber upholds the rejection of the Motion for Release.

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 12 November 1997




On 11 November 1997, a Bench of the Appeals Chamber (Judge Cassese, presiding, Judge Stephen and Judge Vohrah) rendered a decision by which it unanimously rejected the application of the Accused for leave to appeal the "Decision on the Motion for Release by the Accused Slavko Dokmanovic" of Trial Chamber II, and denied his motion for release ( see
PR 254 and PR 259).

The Bench found that the accused "failed to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the [Chamber] that there is serious cause for granting leave to appeal..." Showing serious cause is a requirement under Rule 72(B)(ii) which provides for leave to appeal against interlocutory decisions. According to the Judges, "it is apparent that the Motion does not satisfy" this

However, "in view of the fundamental nature of the issues in this matter, namely the continuing deprivation of the liberty of the Accused and the lawfulness of his arrest", the Appeals Bench considered the merits of the application.

The Judges rejected the application on the following grounds:

The accused’s motion fails to "demonstrate any relevant inconsistencies or contradictions in the testimony relied on by the Trial Chamber so as to demonstrate any error in the decision"; The submission by the accused that the Trial Chamber had incorrectly interpreted Rule 53 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence "is so vague and imprecise as to be not capable of any serious
..."; The allegation of the accused that the Trial Chamber erroneously assumed that the FRY would not execute the arrest warrant against the accused is "manifestly ill-founded" and "does not raise any issue which could be the subject matter of an appeal..."; The argument by the accused that UNTAES is not mandated to "kidnap and arrest" any person is
"manifestly ill-founded in fact and in law"; The contention by the Defence that only the Statute of the Tribunal, and not the Rules has supremacy over national legislation "raises no ground of appeal, and is manifestly ill-founded".


The full text of the above decision is available upon request

in the Press and Information Office