Case No. IT-03-67-PT


Judge Carmel Agius, Presiding
Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti
Judge Kevin Parker

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
14 March 2005






(Submission Number 74)


Counsel for the Prosecutor:

Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff
Mr. Ulrich Mussemeyer
Mr. Daniel Saxon

The Accused:

Mr. Vojislav Seselj

Standby counsel:

Mr. Tjarda Eduard van der Spoel


TRIAL CHAMBER II ("Trial 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 ("Tribunal");

BEING SEISED OF the "Request of the Accused for the Trial Chamber to Issue an Order to Bar the Registry From Preventing or Obstructing Dr Vojislav Seselj in the Preparation of his Defence"1 ("Motion"), filed by Vojislav Šešelj ("Accused") on 21 February 2005, wherein he requests an order to the Registrar and the Commander of the United Nations Detention Unit to give authorisation allowing the Accused "to be visited by Aleksandar Vucic, a member of the Expert Team assisting him in the preparation of his defence, on the premises of the Detention Unit to provide conditions free of any official monitoring to allow Dr Vojislav Seselj and Aleksandar Vucic to speak to each other, to allow the conveyance of all the necessary instructions pertaining to the preparation and production of the film that Dr Vojislav Seselj intends to use as part of the defence he will present";

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Response to ‘Request of the Accused for the Trial Chamber to Issue an Order to Bar the Registry From Preventing or Obstructing Dr Vojislav Seselj in the Preparation of his Defence’ filed confidentially and ex parte on 1 March 2005 ("Response");

NOTING the letter dated 7 December 2004 addressed to the Accused from the Office of Legal Aid and Detention Matters ("OLAD"), a section of the Registry ("Letter of 7 December"), in which the Accused is informed that he may have up to three persons as legal associates who would be granted privileged communication, similar to that an accused has with counsel, provided that these legal associates meet certain minimum requirements2;

NOTING the letter dated 15 January 2005 addressed to the Accused from OLAD ("Letter of 15 January"), which denied the visit of Mr. Aleksandar Vucic and held that Aleksandar Vucic is firstly not recognised as his legal associate and secondly that he is not among the two representatives from the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) which the Accused has chosen to receive and in addition, the Accused was further reminded of the content of the Letter of 7 December;

NOTING that no reason has been given by the Accused why the preparation and production of the film that he intends to use as part of his defence cannot be equally carried out using the services of someone else than Mr. Vucic;

CONSIDERING that according to Regulation 35 of "Regulations to Govern the Supervision of Visits to and Communications With Detainees" ("Regulations")3, a detainee may request the President of the Tribunal to reverse any decision of the Registrar taken under paragraphs A and B of Regulation 33 of the Regulations, which includes the decision of the Registrar to refuse a visit;

CONSIDERING HOWEVER that the issue before the Trial Chamber is not that regulated by Regulation 35, but the issue of whether the Accused’s rights to prepare his defence are being respected or not;

CONSIDERING that the Registry in the Letter of 7 December 2004 and again in the Letter of
15 January 2005 explicitly informed the Accused that he may have up to three persons with whom he may have privileged communication;

FINDING that the Accused has not been barred from preparing his defence and that it rests upon him to arrange the practicalities and submit the necessary documentation in order to have the three persons he wishes and who can be accepted by the Registry to assist him granted privileged communication;


PURSUANT TO Rule 73 of the Rules, HEREBY DENIES the Motion, and

INVITES the Accused to submit the necessary documentation to the Registry.


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

Dated this fourteenth day of March 2005,
At The Hague,
The Netherlands

Judge Carmel Agius

[Seal of the Tribunal]

1. Submission Number 74.
2. The minimum requirements set out by Letter are:-a detailed curriculum vitae;-a certificate of professional qualification issued by the competent professional body, including a certificate of good standing indicating the absence of current and past disciplinary proceedings against the prospective legal associates; -evidence that the prospective legal associate has not been found guilty in relevant criminal proceedings; -the names and addresses of two referees who practice in the fields of criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law or international criminal law, and who are in a position to advise the Registrar as to the professional competence of the legal associates in these fields; -for prospective legal associates whose native language is not English or French, a certificate from a language institute or other evidence of proficiency in English or French. (The Registrar may require a prospective legal associate to take a language proficiency test); -any other information which you deem relevant.
3. IT/98/Rev.3.