IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba, Presiding
Judge David Hunt
Judge Fausto Pocar
Mrs. Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh
22 March 2000
ORDER ON DEFENCE MOTION PURSUANT TO RULE 79
Office of the Prosecutor:
Mr. Dirk Ryneveld
Counsel for the Accused:
Mr. Slavisa Prodanovic for the accused Dragoljub Kunarac
Mr. Momir Kolesar for the accused Radomir Kovac
Mr. Goran Jovanovic for the accused Zoran Vukovic
1. The Trial Chamber is seised of the joint confidential "Defence Motion Pursuant to Rule 79 (i) (ii) (iii) SsicC" ("Motion") which was filed on 14 March 2000. The Defence requests the Trial Chamber to order that the press and public be excluded from parts of the proceedings when the Prosecution witnesses FWS-52, FWS-50, FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-127, FWS-152, FWS-96, FWS-95, FWS-48, FWS-132, FWS-186, FWS-191, FWS-192, FWS-190, FWS-205, FWS-101, FWS-175 and FWS-183 will testify. The Defence asserts that in addition to the protective measures already granted to these witnesses, their testimony be heard in closed session.
2. The Prosecutor orally responded to the Motion during the hearings of 20 March 2000. She opposed the Motion, stating that the protective measures already requested on behalf of and granted for these witnesses are adequate.
3. The Trial Chamber, at various stages of the pre-trial proceedings, has ordered that the following witnesses shall testify in closed session: FWS-95, FWS-96, FWS-175, FWS-190; FWS-191; and FWS-186. The Defence is therefore, in effect, requesting the Trial Chamber to extend the same protective measures closed session testimony - to witnesses FWS-52, FWS-50, FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-127, FWS-152, FWS-48, FWS-132, FWS-192, FWS-205, FWS-101 and FWS-183. The reasons advanced for the request, are the following. Because of the nature of their testimony, the quality of the testimony of these witnesses may be influenced were they to testify in open session. Also, because of the nature of the alleged acts, their testimony may violate the morality of these witnesses themselves as well as that of the public. Finally, closed session testimony would be in the interests of justice, since unless these witnesses feel secure, they may not testify correctly on the relevant facts of the case.
4. The witnesses for whom the Defence is seeking protective measures are Prosecution witnesses. The Prosecutor has already, at various stages, requested those protective measures on behalf of these witnesses. In each instance the Trial Chamber carefully considered the request with respect to every individual witness before the protective measures were granted. In the present circumstances, the Trial Chamber considers that the various protective measures already granted to the Prosecution witnesses are sufficient. Further, the nature of the alleged crimes themselves, as charged in the present indictment, does not offend public order or morality, neither would testimony on them amount to that. As to the argument with respect to the interests of justice, the Trial Chamber will assess the truthfulness of the testimony of various witnesses.
5. The Trial Chamber is of the view that it is of great importance that proceedings before this Tribunal should be public as far as possible. Non-public proceedings should be the exception and will be allowed only in accordance with the Statute and the Rules that do provide for certain limited instances where proceedings may be non-public. Over and above the reasons that public proceedings facilitate public knowledge and understanding and may have a general deterrent effect, the public should have the opportunity to assess the fairness of the proceedings. Justice should not only be done, it should also be seen to be done.
6. The Trial Chamber, pursuant to Rules 73, 75 and 79 of the Rules,
HEREBY DENIES THE MOTION.
Done in both English and French, the English version being authoritative.
Dated this twenty-second day of March 2000,
At The Hague,
[Seal of the Tribunal]