Before: Judge Antonio Cassese, Presiding

Judge Richard May

Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba

Registrar: Mrs. Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh

Decision of: 24 August 1998




Drago JOSIPOVIC, Dragan PAPIC, Vladimir SANTIC, also known as "VLADO"




The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Franck Terrier
Mr. Albert Moskowitz

Counsel for the Accused:

Mr. Ranko Radovic, for Zoran Kupreskic
Ms. Jadranka Glumac, for Mirjan Kupreskic
Mr. Borislav Krajina, for Vlatko Kupreskic
Mr. Luko Susak, for Drago Josipovic
Mr. Petar Puliselic, for Dragan Papic
Mr. Petar Pavkovic, for Vladimir Santic


THE TRIAL CHAMBER of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,

BEING SEISED of a Request by the Prosecutor for a Non-disclosure Order, and the wording of the draft Order included therein, filed on 24 August 1998,

BEING ALSO SEISED of a strictly confidential letter from the ICTY Liaison Officer for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Vasvija Vidovic, dated 23 August 1998, and its enclosures, including a letter dated 21 August 1998, from the witness referred to below,

NOTING that on 20 August 1998, the Prosecutor applied to the Trial Chamber for protective measures on behalf of a witness scheduled to appear at that time;

NOTING that all counsel for the accused acquiesced in that request;

NOTING that on 20 August 1998, the Trial Chamber issued an Order designed to protect the identity of that witness;

NOTING that this witness did in fact testify before the Trial Chamber as a protected witness on 20 August 1998;

CONSIDERING that on the following day, 21 August 1998, the identity of that protected witness was disclosed in open session by Mr. Radovic, defence counsel for one of the accused, during his cross-examination of another witness;

NOTING that This Trial Chamber, upon recognising the disclosure, acted as quickly as possible by immediately ordering the appropriate redaction;

NOTING, however, that disclosure was made in an open session at which members of the public and the media were present in the public gallery;

WHEREAS, it is essential to the safety and security of this witness that his or her identity not be revealed;

AND WHEREAS it is crucial to the integrity of these proceedings that the protection provided to witnesses by the Trial Chamber be scrupulously observed so that persons with relevant evidence for the Prosecution or for the defence, in this case as well as in all other cases, will not hesitate to come forward out of fear for their well-being;

CONSIDERING FURTHER Rule 77(A)(iii) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which reads, "Any person who (iii) discloses information relating to those proceedings in knowing violation of an order of the Chamber, commits a contempt of the Tribunal",

CONSIDERING, however, that the circumstances of disclosure by Mr. Radovic of the said witness’s identity on 21 August 1998, does not afford this Trial Chamber "good reason to believe" that Mr. Radovic disclosed such information in "knowing violation of an order of the Chamber", and therefore that it would not be appropriate to proceed with contempt proceedings under Rule 77, or indeed to order any other inquiry as requested by the Prosecutor at this time,

CONSIDERING, however, that Mr. Radovic’s partial explanation in the hearing of 24 August 1998, that "after the testimony of any witness, nothing happened to any witness in the territory of the former Yugoslavia", even if true, does not excuse contravention of the Trial Chamber’s Order,

PURSUANT to Rules 54 and 75 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

CAUTIONS the said counsel that the Orders of the Tribunal must be complied with categorically and unquestioningly, and that any further disclosure of a protected witness’s identity could lead to contempt proceedings under the said Rule 77,

ORDERS the media and members of the public not to publish or disclose in any way the identity of the protected witness named by defence counsel during cross examination on 21 August 1998.



Antonio Cassese

Presiding Judge

Dated this 24th day of August 1998

At The Hague

The Netherlands

[Seal of the Tribunal]