Case No.: IT-03-67-AR73.2


Judge Theodor Meron, Presiding
Judge Fausto Pocar
Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen
Judge Mehmet Güney
Judge Inés Mónica Weinberg de Roca

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
29 January 2004



Vojislav SESELJ




Counsel for the Prosecutor

Ms. Hildegaard Uertz-Retzlaff
Mr. Daniel Saxon

The Accused:

Mr. Vojislav Seselj

Standby Counsel:

Mr. Aleksandar Lazarevic


THE APPEALS CHAMBER of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia Since 1991 ("Appeals Chamber" and "Tribunal", respectively),

BEING SEISED of "Motion Number 27" filed (after translation) on 12 January 2004 by the accused Vojislav Seselj ("Accused"), with which the Accused, pursuant to Rule 73 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, lodges an interlocutory appeal ("Interlocutory Appeal") against the "Decision on Motion Number 19" issued by Trial Chamber II on 30 September 2003 ("Impugned Decision"), which, inter alia, denied the Accused’s request, filed on 9 September 2003, to receive a visit in the Detention Unit by Bishop Filaret of Milesevo ("Request");

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Response to the Accused’s Appeal of the Trial Chamber’s ‘Decision on Motion Number 19’" filed on 22 January 2004;

NOTING the "Decision on Certification to Appeal and to Extend the Deadline for Filing Certain Preliminary Motions" issued by the Trial Chamber on 18 November 2003, which, inter alia, granted the Accused certification to file the Interlocutory Appeal;

NOTING the "Decision on Motion Number 28" issued by the Trial Chamber on 19 December 2003, which, inter alia, granted the Accused an extension of time in which to file the Interlocutory Appeal ("Decision Granting Extension of Time");

CONSIDERING that in the Interlocutory Appeal, the Accused seeks to obtain permission to receive a visit in the Detention Unit by Bishop Filaret of Mileševo, mainly on the ground that under Rule 70 of the Rules Governing the Detention of Persons Awaiting Trial or Appeal before the Tribunal or otherwise Detained on the Authority of the Tribunal (IT/38/Rev. 8) dated 22 November 1999 ("Rules Governing Detention") he is entitled to receive a visit from a representative of his religion and that the existence of a ban on Bishop Filaret from entering any member State of the European Union should not constitute a ground to refuse visits to any detainee in the Detention Unit because the "International Tribunal of the United Nations and its Detention Unit should be ex-territorial";

CONSIDERING that Regulation 32 of the United Nations Detention Unit Regulations to Govern the Supervision of Visits to and Communications with Detainees (IT/98/Rev. 3) dated July 1999 provides that "all visitors, other than counsel or a representative of the Tribunal, shall first apply to the Registrar for permission to visit a named detainee";

CONSIDERING that Rules 63(A) and (B) of the Rules Governing Detention provide respectively that "[d]etainees shall be entitled to receive visits from family and others, subject only to the provisions of Rule 66 and to such restrictions and supervision as the Commanding Officer, in consultation with the Registrar, may impose"1, and that "[t]he Registrar may refuse to allow a person to visit a detainee if he has reason to believe that the purpose of the visit is to obtain information which may be subsequently reported in the media";

CONSIDERING that in light of the above regulation the matter of determining which visits an accused is allowed to receive while at the Detention Unit falls within the competence of the Registry (of which the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit is also an officer) and not of the Chambers;

CONSIDERING that the Accused did not show that any request by him or by Bishop Filaret to allow the visit of the said Bishop had been addressed to the Registrar and that it was the Registrar and not the Trial Chamber which was competent to rule on the matters raised in the Request;

RECALLING that, contrary to what the Trial Chamber did in the Decision Granting Extension of Time, it is within the exclusive competence of the Appeals Chamber to entertain requests for extension of time for the filing of interlocutory appeals, but that, in all the circumstances, the Appeals Chamber considers that there is good cause for recognizing, as it hereby recognizes, as validly filed the Interlocutory Appeal in this matter;


1. DISMISSES the Interlocutory Appeal;

2. INSTRUCTS the Accused that any request he may have with regard to visits must be addressed to the Registrar.


Done in English and French, the English version being authoritative.

Done this 29th of January 2004,
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

Judge Theodor Meron

[Seal of the Tribunal]

1. Rule 66 (in relevant part) provides: "The Prosecutor may request the Registrar or, in any case of emergency, the Commanding Officer, to prohibit, regulate or set conditions for contact between a detainee and any other person if the Prosecutor has reasonable grounds for believing that such contact: (i) is for the purposes of attempting to arrange the escape of the detention from the detention unit; (ii) could prejudice or otherwise affect the outcome of: (a) the proceedings against the detainee; or (b) any other investigations; (iii) could be harmful to the detainee or any other person; or, (iv) could be used by the detainee to breach an order for non-disclosure made by a Judge or a Chamber pursuant to Rule 53 or Rule 75 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence".