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Guilty Plea by Darko Mrdja

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 24 July 2003



Today, Thursday 24 July 2003, Trial Chamber I comprised of Judge Alphonse Orie (Presiding), Judge Amin El Mahdi and Judge Joaquín Martín Canivell held a hearing to consider a "Joint Motion for Consideration of Plea Agreement Between Darko Mrdja and the Office of the Prosecutor".

Filed confidentially five days before the opening of the trial, scheduled on 29 July, the Joint Motion reflected a negotiated Plea Agreement whereby the accused would agree to plead guilty to Count two of the Indictment (murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war) and to Count three of the Indictment (inhumane acts as a crime against humanity). During the hearing, the
Prosecution introduced an oral Motion to withdraw Count one (extermination, as a crime against humanity) from the Indictment.

The Joint Motion also reflected an agreement between the Defence and the Office of the Prosecutor to recommend to the Trial Chamber that it impose a single sentence within the range of 15 to 20 years imprisonment, with the accused to be given credit for the time he has served in the custody of the ICTY.

Following a short deliberation, the Trial Chamber accepted the change of plea by the accused and entered a finding of guilt on counts two and three of the Indictment. It also granted the Prosecution’s oral Motion to withdraw Count one.

A date for the Sentencing Hearing will be set in due course.

For background information on the case, please see Press Release 680e.