Case No. IT-95-13/1-PT

IN TRIAL CHAMBER II

Before:
Judge Wolfgang Schomburg, Presiding
Judge Florence Ndepele Mwachande Mumba
Judge Carmel Agius

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
1 November 2002

PROSECUTOR
v.
MILE MRKSIC

______________________________________________

DECISION ON LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED INDICTMENT

______________________________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Jan Wubben
Mr. Mark J. McKeon

Counsel for the Accused:

Mr. Miroslav Vasic

 

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");

NOTING that the initial Indictment against Mile Mrksic ("Accused") was confirmed by Judge Fouad Riad on 7 November 1995;

NOTING the "Order Granting Leave for Amendment of the Indictment" issued on 28 November 1997;

NOTING the Amended Indictment against the Accused issued on 2 December 1997;

NOTING the "Defense Preliminary Motion" filed on 15 July 2002 challenging the defects in the form of the Amended Indictment;

NOTING the Prosecutionís "Motion to Hold Pre-Trial Motions in Abeyance" filed on 18 July 2002, requesting the Trial Chamber to order that filings of motions and responses by all parties be held in abeyance;

NOTING the "Order to Hold Pre-Trial Motions in Abeyance" issued by the Trial Chamber on 25 July 2002 ordering that filings of motions and responses by all parties be held in abeyance pending the filing of a motion for leave to amend the indictment by the Prosecution;

NOTING the "Prosecutionís Motion for Leave to File an Amended Indictment" ("Prosecutionís Motion") filed on 29 August 2002:

NOTING the "Order for Filing of Motions and Related Matters" issued on 2 September 2002 by the Pre-Trial Judge;

NOTING the "Defense Response to "Prosecutionís Motion for Leave to file an Amended Indictment" ("Defence Response") filed on 2 October 2002, requesting the Trial Chamber not to allow the proposed amendments in terms of the additional charges as suggested by the Prosecution;

NOTING the "Motion to Strike Defense Response to Prosecution Motion for Leave to file an Amended Indictment, or Alternatively for Leave to File a Reply" ("Prosecution Motion to Strike") filed by the Prosecution on 7 October 2002, requesting that the Trial Chamber strike the Defence Response as filed out of time or alternatively grant the Prosecution leave to file a reply;

NOTING the "Defense Response to "Prosecutionís Motion to Strike Defense Response to Prosecutionís Motion for Leave to File an Amended Indictment, or Alternatively for Leave to File a Reply" filed on 8 October 2002, explaining the delay in filing its Response and requesting that the Trial Chamber reject the Prosecutionís Motion to Strike;

NOTING the "Decision on Leave to File a Reply to the Defence Response" ("Decision") of 16 October 2002, which found that the Defence Response was validly filed and characterised it as a preliminary motion challenging the form of the proposed indictment under Rule 72(A)(ii) and accordingly granted the Prosecution thirty days to respond, as prescribed by Rule 50(C);

NOTING the "Defence Notification to the Trial Chamber in regard of Decision of 16 October 2002" of 18 October 2002, in which the Defence submits that the Defence Response was not a preliminary motion within the meaning of Rule 72(A)(ii) but in fact a response within the provisions of Rule 50(A)(i)(c), and asks the Trial Chamber to confirm its right to file a Rule 72 motion after any amended indictment is eventually filed;

CONSIDERING that the Decisionís characterisation of the Defence Response as a motion on the form of the indictment was done in an effort to expedite proceedings and was not intended to deprive the Defence of any right to file comprehensive comments on the form of the indictment;

CONSIDERING that the Defence Response challenges the form of the indictment and does not raise any objections to the filing of the amended indictment;

CONSIDERING that Rule 50(B) states that an accused must enter a plea as soon as practicable to any new charges contained in an amended indictment;

PURSUANT TO Rules 50, 54, and 72 of the Rules;

HEREBY ORDERS as follows:

  1. the Prosecution is granted leave to file the amended indictment ("Second Amended Indictment");
  2. the Defence is granted leave to file a motion on the form of the indictment but should restrict itself to arguments additional to those already raised in the Defence Response;
  3. any Defence motion on the form of the indictment shall be filed within thirty days of the date of filing of this decision;
  4. pursuant to Rule 50(B), the Accused shall enter a plea to the new charges contained in the Second Amended Indictment during the status conference scheduled for 11 November 2002.

 

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

__________________________
Wolfgang Schomburg
Presiding Judge

Dated this 1rst day of November 2002,
At The Hague
The Netherlands

[Seal of the Tribunal]