Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
CHAMBRE DE 1ERE INSTANCE
The Hague, 26 March 1998
PROVISIONAL RELEASE OF THE ACCUSED ORDERED
On Thursday 26 March 1998, Trial Chamber I, consisting of Judge Claude Jorda, presiding, Judge Riad, and Judge Rodrigues, granted the Defence’s Motion for the provisional release of Milan SIMIC
Arrangements are being made for the release of the accused who will return to Bosanski Samac as soon as practicable.
The Trial Chamber’s ruling
The Trial Chamber noted that the physical condition of the accused, who is partially paralysed and who suffers from other health problems, constitute an exceptional circumstance as required by Article 65 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
It also noted the agreement of the Parties on various conditions as well as the guarantees given by the authorities of Republika Srspka (see below).
It furthermore noted that the host-country, namely the Kingdom of the Netherlands, had no objection to the provisional release of the defendant.
The Parties’ Agreement and the "significant" assurance given by the authorities of Republika Srspka.
During the hearing on 26 March, the Office of the Prosecutor supported the Defence’s Motion after having secured an Agreement with the Defence on the conditions for the provisional release and Guarantees by the authorities of Republika Srspka that they would see to it that this agreement be complied with.
1. The Defence Lawyer and the Defendant signed in court an agreement setting forth various conditions for the provisional release:
- Milan Simic will return to the Hague, at his own costs, to attend pre-trial proceedings and will surrender himself into the custody of the Tribunal two weeks before the beginning of the trial (no date has been set yet)
- In the meantime, Milan Simic will return to the municipality of Bosanski Samac where he will stay. His passport will be given to the International Police Task Force (IPTF) which will hand it over to the Office of the Prosecutor.
- The IPTF will check on a weekly basis the records and logs of the local police station where Milan Simic will report once a day.
- The accused will not have contact with any of his co-accused nor with any of the Prosecution witnesses
- A "bail bond" of US.$ 25.000 is filed with the Registry of the Tribunal in the form a letter of guarantee by the authorities of Republika Srspka.
2. The endorsement by the authorities of Republika Srspka
This agreement was endorsed on 20 March 1998 by the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Mr Dodik, and by the Minister of Interior, Mr Stankovic, who signed a formal letter to that effect.
This letter was read out in court by the Trial Attorney, Ms Nancy Paterson, who further described it as "a significant advance in the relationship between the Republika Srpska and the Tribunal. The authorities of the entity knows as Republika Srpska acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to prosecute this case".
Additional charges will be pressed against Milan Simic
Notwithstanding its agreement to the provisional release of the accused, the Prosecutor announced that she "will unambiguously prosecute this case" and that after the collection of "additional evidence against the accused, the indictment will be amended".
Once the trial of Milan Simic begins, the defendant will remain in the custody of the Tribunal as long as necessary.