Before: Judge Claude Jorda

Judge Fouad Riad

Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen

Registrar: Mr. Jean-Jacques Heintz. Deputy Registrar

Decision of: 5 November 1998







The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Mark Harmon
Mr. Andrew Cayley
Mr. Gregory Kehoe

Defence Counsel:

Mr. Anto Nobilo
Mr. Russell Hayman

Counsel for the Republic of Croatia:

Mr. David B. Rivkin Jr
Mr. Lee A. Casey


TRIAL CHAMBER I 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 (hereinafter "the Tribunal"),

NOTING the orders issued to the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter "Croatia") for the production of documents dated 30 January 1998 and 21 July 1998,

NOTING the response of Croatia to the order of 30 January 1998 dated 18 May 1998 (hereinafter "the Response") and the supplemental response dated 25 May 1998,

NOTING the facsimile communication from Croatia of 7 July 1998 and its letter of 18 August 1998 addressed to the Legal Officer of the Trial Chamber,

NOTING the Judgement of the Appeals Chamber of 29 October 1997 "on the Request of the Republic of Croatia for Review of the Decision of Trial Chamber II of 18 July 1997" in respect of the power of the Tribunal to issue binding orders (hereinafter "the Judgement"),

PURSUANT to Article 29 of the Statute of the Tribunal and Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,

CONSIDERING that, on several occasions, Croatia asserted that for reasons of national security it was unable to produce certain categories of documents requested in the orders of the Trial Chamber dated 30 January 1998 and 21 July 1998,

CONSIDERING that, in its Response, Croatia suggests that a "duly authorised government officer" appear to justify its Response to the request concerning categories I and VI of the annex to the order of 30 January 1998 and to provide details in respect of its national security concerns; that, in its letters of 7 July 1998 and 18 August 1998, it indicated to the Trial Chamber, that such person might be Vice-Admiral Davor Domazet, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Croatian army,

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber deems that Croatia must provide an unambiguous explanation as to which national security considerations would preclude its providing the requested documents,

CONSIDERING that, in this context, the Trial Chamber notes that Vice-Admiral Domazet has already appeared before the Trial Chamber as a Defence witness; that he refused to answer some of the questions on the grounds that he had not been authorised to do so,

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber therefore expects that Croatia will grant to the witness full authority to speak freely and clearly about the national security concerns and other issues relating to the documents whose production has been requested,

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber must take into account the sensitive and confidential nature of the information which might be provided,

CONSIDERING that, in its Judgement, the Appeals Chamber stated "the possible modalities of making allowance for national security concerns"; that, in this context, the Trial Chamber considers that grounds exist for holding a closed ex parte hearing in order to review the validity of the argument of national security considerations invoked by Croatia,


ORDERS that an ex parte hearing be organised on 26 November 1998 at 10 am to permit Vice-Admiral Domazet to appear before the Trial Chamber in the presence of the Prosecutor,

STATES that a qualified representative of the Republic of Croatia may be present at the hearing and, under the supervision of the Trial Chamber, may make a statement,

STATES that, at the request of such representative or the witness, the hearing will not be public.


Done this fifth day of November 1998

At The Hague

The Netherlands

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



Claude Jorda

Presiding Judge Trial Chamber I

[Seal of the Tribunal]