Case No. IT-04-81 PT

The Prosecutor v. Momcilo Perisic



NOTING the Statute of the Tribunal as adopted by the Security Council under Resolution 827 (1993), and in particular Article 21 thereof;

NOTING the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as adopted by the Tribunal on 11 February 1994, as subsequently amended ("Rules"), and in particular Rule 45 thereof;

NOTING the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel as adopted by the Tribunal on 28 July 1994, as subsequently amended ("Directive"), and in particular Articles 14 and 16 thereof;

NOTING the Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel Appearing Before the International Tribunal (IT/125 REV.1) ("Code of Conduct") and in particular Article 14 thereof;

CONSIDERING that on 9 March 2005, acting pursuant to Rule 62(B) of the Rules, the Registrar assigned Mr Karim Khan as duty counsel to Momcilo Perisic (ďAccused");

CONSIDERING that on 21 April 2005, the Registrar assigned Mr James Castle, attorney at law from the United States, as counsel to the Accused for a period of 120 days pending the completion of the Registryís inquiry into the Accusedís ability to remunerate counsel;

CONSIDERING that on 15 August 2005, the Deputy Registrar issued a decision finding that the Accused was able to remunerate counsel in part and assigning Mr Castle as his counsel permanently;

CONSIDERING that Mr Castle has requested the Registry to assign Mr Dusan Slijepcevic, an attorney from Serbia and Montenegro, as his co-counsel and that the Accused has joined in this request;

CONSIDERING that Mr Slijepcevic is on the Tribunalís list of counsel eligible for assignment to indigent suspects and accused but because he does not speak a working language of the Tribunal to the requisite standard, he is eligible for assignment as co-counsel only;

CONSIDERING that Mr Slijepcevic previously acted as co-counsel in the case of Dragan Obrenovic before the Tribunal (IT-02-60/2);

CONSIDERING that the proceedings against Mr Obrenovic have been completed and that Mr Slijepcevicís representation has ended;

CONSIDERING that the cases of the Accused and Mr Obrenovic are substantially related in that there is a factual nexus between the charges brought against the Accused in relation to events in Srebrenica in 1995 and the crimes for which Mr Obrenovic was convicted, giving rise to a concern about conflict of interest;

CONSIDERING that because the matters are substantially related, Mr Slijepcevic cannot act in the Accusedís case if the interests of the Accused are materially adverse to those of Mr Obrenovic or are likely to become materially adverse in the future;1

CONSIDERING that a superior-subordinate relationship allegedly existed between the Accused and Mr Obrenovic at the relevant time, but that this relationship, if established, was remote and therefore may not necessarily cause a conflict of interest;

CONSIDERING that although there is a nexus between the charges brought against the Accused and Mr Obrenovic, they are not charged with the same acts or omissions in relation to the events in Srebrenica;

CONSIDERING that Mr Obrenovicís former lead counsel has provided the Registry with an opinion in which he states that, in his view, Mr Slijepcevicís former representation of Mr Obrenovic would not place him in a conflict of interest situation if he were to act for the Accused;

CONSIDERING that although there is a possibility of Mr Obrenovic being called to testify as a Prosecution witness in the Accusedís case, Mr Slijepcevic and Mr Castle have agreed that should this happen, Mr Slijepcevic would take no part in the examination of Mr Obrenovic or in the preparation of that examination;

CONSIDERING that in light of the foregoing, the Registry is satisfied that the interests of the Accused are not materially adverse now and that the possibility of those interests becoming materially adverse in the future is acceptably low;

CONSIDERING therefore that within the legal framework of this Tribunal, Mr Slijepcevicís former representation of Mr Obrenovic does not disqualify him from acting as co-counsel in the Accusedís case;

CONSIDERING that in addition, the Registry has fully informed the Accused and his counsel of the effect that Mr Slijepcevicís former representation of Mr Obrenovic will have on his ability to act for the Accused and that after being so informed, the Accused has consented in writing to Mr Slijepcevic acting as co-counsel in his case;

CONSIDERING that pursuant to Article 16(C)(ii) of the Directive, the Registrar may assign a co-counsel who does not speak either of the two working languages of the Tribunal but who speaks the native language of the accused if it is in the interests of justice in a particular case;

CONSIDERING that, having reviewed the submissions of Mr Castle and the Accused, the Registry is of the view that in the Accusedís case it is in the interests of justice to assign Mr Slijepcevic as co-counsel;

CONSIDERING that Mr Slijepcevic has indicated his willingness to be assigned as co-counsel;

HEREBY DECIDES to assign Mr Slijepcevic as co-counsel to Mr Castle, effective as of the date of this decision;

ADVISES Mr Castle and Mr Slijepcevic that the Code of Conduct places them under a duty to exercise all care to ensure that no conflict of interest arises and to take prescribed steps if a conflict does arise.

John Hocking
Deputy Registrar

Dated this 7th day of April 2006
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

1. Article 14(D)(iii) of the Code of Conduct; The Prosecutor v. Tolimir et al. (Case No. IT-05-88-PT) Decision on Appointment of Co-counsel for Radivoje Miletic, 28 September 2005, at paragraphs 28 through 36; The Prosecutor v. Prlic et al. (Case No.IT-04-74-PT), Decision on Requests for Appointment of Counsel, 30 July 2004, at paragraphs 16 and 30 through 31. Subsequently upheld in The Prosecutor v. Prlic et al. Decision on Appeal by Bruno Stojic against Trial Chamberís Decision on Request for Appointment of Counsel, 24 November 2004, at paragraph 25.