Case No. IT-01-48-PT

Prosecutor v. Sefer Halilovic

DECISION

THE DEPUTY REGISTRAR,

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

CONSIDERING the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as adopted by the Tribunal on 11 February 1994, as subsequently amended, and in particular Rules 44 and 45 thereof;

CONSIDERING the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel, as adopted by the Tribunal on 28 July 1994, as subsequently amended, and in particular Article 19 (A) (i) thereof;

CONSIDERING that on 6 October 2003, Mr. Ahmet Hodzic, assigned counsel to Mr. Sefer Halilovic (hereinafter "the accused") by a decision of the Registrar dated 18 February 2003, filed a request to withdraw his assignment;

CONSIDERING that in the request of 6 October 2003, Mr. Hodzic cited an inability to prepare the case for trial in view of the trial schedule as determined by the Trial Chamber;

CONSIDERING that on 7 October 2003, the accused filed a Notice of Acceptance of Resignation and Withdrawal of Lead Counsel in which he agreed to the request of withdrawal of Mr. Hodzic and further asked to replace Mr. Hodzic by a new lead counsel, Mr. Stefan Kirsch, attorney at law from Frankfurt;

CONSIDERING that Mr. Kirsch is currently assigned co-counsel in The Prosecutor v. Momir Nikolic, in which proceedings will be concluded shortly;

CONSIDERING however that the Registrar has ascertained that there exists no conflict between the assignment in The Prosecutor v. Momir Nikolic and the present assignment;

CONSIDERING that on the basis of Article 19 (A) (i) of the Directive, the Registrar may withdraw the assignment of counsel at the request of the accused or his counsel

CONSIDERING that on the basis of Article 19 of the Directive, the Registrar may withdraw the assignment of counsel at the request of the accused if is in the interest of justice;

NOTING that in light with the Tribunalís case law, the Accusedís right to choose counsel, as provided for in Article 21 of the Statute is not absolute and must be exercised within the confines of the legal aid system applied by the Tribunal;

NOTING that the withdrawal of Mr. Hodzic at this stage of the proceedings would not be detrimental to the representation of the Accused, nor would it unduly delay the pre-trial proceedings;

CONSIDERING that the Accused understands that the replacement of lead counsel in itself does not constitute a basis for the the allocation of additional funds;

NOTING that in accordance with Article 9(D) of the Code of Conduct, Mr. Hodzic is obliged to surrender any papers and property to which the client or the Tribunal is entitled;

NOTING that in accordance with Article 13(A) of the Code of Conduct, Mr. Hodzic remains subject to a continuing duty of confidentiality of the client's affairs and shall not reveal to any other person, other than to members of his team who need such information for the performance of their duties, information which has been entrusted to him in confidence or use such information to the client's detriment or to his own or another client's advantage;

CONSIDERING that Mr. Kirsch is on the Rule 45 list of counsel who are eligible to be considered for an assignment as counsel and is a member of the Association of Defence Counsel;

CONSIDERING FURTHER that Mr. Kirsch meets the requirements for assignment as set forth in Article 14 of the Directive;

FINDING that the Registrar is satisfied that the replacement of lead counsel will not occasion any further delays and that the withdrawal of Mr. Hodzic is "in the interest of justice" under Article 19(A)(i);

DECIDES to withdraw Mr. Ahmet Hodzic and to assign Mr. Stefan Kirsch as lead counsel effective as of the date of this decision.

_________
David Tolbert,
Deputy Registrar

Dated this Thirty-first day of October 2003
At The Hague
The Netherlands