Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
|CHAMBRE DE 1ÈRE INSTANCE
The Hague, 30 May 2000
JL/ P.I.S./ 506-e
TRIAL CHAMBER III ORDERS THE PROVISIONAL RELEASE OF MILAN SIMIC
On 29 May 2000, Trial Chamber III consisting of Judge Patrick Robinson presiding, Judge David Hunt and Judge Mohamed Bennouna, ordered the provisional release of Milan Simic under certain terms and conditions detailed in the decision.
In coming to its decision, the Trial Chamber noted the arguments set forth by both parties and considered inter alia:
"that the Trial Chamber finds no merit in the contention of the Prosecution that the amendment to Rule 65(B) (removing the requirement of exceptional circumstances) is to be ignored since it is said to be inconsistent with the Statute, and finds that the amendment is wholly consistent with the Statute and the internationally recognized standards regarding the rights of the
"that a determination as to whether release is to be granted must be made in the light of the particular circumstances of each case, and may be granted only if the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the accused ‘will appear for trial and, if released, will not pose a danger to any victim, witness or other person,’"
"that the accused has been acquitted of allegations of interference with a witness and that nothing in the Prosecution’s submissions raises any credible apprehension that the accused has or will interfere with any victim or witness if released,"
"the physical condition of the accused,"
"that the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the accused, if released, will appear for trial and further, that he will not pose a danger to victims, witnesses or other persons,"
"that the accused has twice voluntarily surrendered to the custody of the International Tribunal, has once returned for hearings and that he has previously been provisionally released by the International Tribunal and complied with all Orders concerning his release,"
"that the accused has provided the guarantees and undertakings sought by the Trial Chamber in its Order of 16 May 2000".
The Trial Chamber further denied the Prosecution’s application for a stay of any decision granting the accused’s motion for provisional release and ordered that Simic be released as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made by the Registry.
The Prosecution nevertheless has seven days in which to file an application for leave to appeal this decision pursuant to Rule 65 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
This decision by the Trial Chamber follows a motion for provisional release filed by Milan Simic on 16 December 1999. A decision on the motion was deferred pending the outcome of the contempt proceedings brought against Simic and his former counsel, Branislav Avramovic.
On 29 March 2000, the Trial Chamber unanimously found that neither the contempt allegations against Milan Simic nor those against Branislav Avramovic had been "established beyond reasonable doubt" and therefore neither respondent was found to be in contempt of the Tribunal (see Press Release No. 483).
On 26 April 2000, the Prosecution filed "further observations in connection with the Simic motion for provisional release" pursuant to the Scheduling Order issued by the Trial Chamber on 19 April 2000.
The Trial Chamber issued a decision on the request for provisional release on 16 May 2000. Considering that it was not yet satisfied that sufficient guarantees existed for the granting of the requests, the Trial Chamber ordered Simic to provide, within 14 days, certain undertakings and guarantees in writing, as specified in the order, from the appropriate authorities and the
The Defence filed its submissions in reply to the Trial Chamber’s order providing the requested guarantees on 25 May 2000.
Milan Simic is one of the five co-accused in the Bosanski Samac case. Two of his co-accused, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric have recently been provisionally released (see Press Release No. 492). Stevan Todorovic is in the Tribunal’s custody and Blagoje Simic remains at large.