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Motion hearings scheduled.

Press Release · Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 28 July 1997



On Friday 1 August 1997 at 9:30 a.m., Trial Chamber I composed of Judge Claude Jorda (Presiding), Judge Fouad Riad and Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen will hear the oral submissions of the Defence and the Prosecution on the preliminary motions filed by the Defence on 19 June 1997, namely, "Motion on the Form of the Indictment" and "Application for a Separate Trial". (See
PR 220)

On Tuesday 8 July 1997, the Prosecution filed responses to the two preliminary motions by the Defence :

In the Response to the Defence Motion on the Form of the Indictment, the Prosecution addressed the Defence's argument that the particulars contained in the indictment are "insufficient", for, amongst others, lack of precision concerning the "place, time, persons and manner of execution of the alleged crime" by the accused.

The Prosecution found that the indictment is "... in compliance with the provisions of the Statute and international law..." and that it "... gives the accused sufficient notice of the nature of the crimes with which he is charged and the factual basis therefor, and concisely describes the underlying conduct and participation of the accused that form the basis of
his criminal liability
". Therefore, the Prosecution contended that it had provided Aleksovski with sufficient detail to allow him "to prepare his defence adequately".

In its Response to the Defence Application for a Separate Trial, the Prosecution did not oppose the request by the Defence for a separate trial due to the fact that other co-accused (apart from Tihomir Blaskic) are not under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, and that the accused Aleksovski has a right to be tried diligently.


On Monday 8 September 1997 at 10:00 a.m., Trial Chamber II, composed of Judge Kirk McDonald (Presiding), Judge Stephen and Judge Vohrah will hold a hearing to consider the oral submissions by the Defence and the Prosecution on preliminary motions filed by the Defence on 7 July 1997.

On Monday 21 July 1997, in response to above-mentioned preliminary motions (See PR 224), the Prosecutor filed two responses :

In the Response to the Defence Motion for Discovery of Evidence Presented at the Rule 61 Hearing, [on the "Vukovar hospital" indictment] the Prosecution stated that it had no objection to the Defence obtaining materials from the Rule 61 hearing that are in the public domain. In the Response to the Defence's Motion for Release, the Prosecution stated that the
Defence's allegation that the arrest of Dokmanovic was "contrary (sic) to the empowerement of the UNTAES forces", is without merit as UNTAES was acting pursuant to an arrest warrant signed by a Judge of the Tribunal. The Prosecution argued that : "With such an order in hand, UNTAES would have been in contravention of a court order had they failed to take the accused into

With regard to the Defence's contention that Dokmanovic was arrested in "a tricky way" which amounted to "kidnapping", the Prosecution replied that "... the Prosecutor had a reasonable basis for believing that [Mr. Dokmanovic] could be arrested, but only if he was not made aware of the existence of the indictment and arrest warrant (...) and made an application to the
confirming judge for non-disclosure, setting forth the basis for this request
." The Prosecution then pointed out that Judge Riad had found these reasons valid and signed the order for non-disclosure.

Furthermore, the Prosecution contended that the allegation of "kidnapping" by the Defence was unfounded because the measures taken for the arrest of Mr. Dokmanovic "... were clearly justified, especially in light of the fact that Dokmanovic was in possession of a loaded handgun. Under these circumstances, what happened to Dokmanovic was not kidnapping, it was simply an arrest -
an arrest that was carried out legally and without incident

The Prosecution requested that the motion be denied.