Case No. IT-04-74-PT

Prosecutor v. Slobodan Praljak

DECISION

THE DEPUTY REGISTRAR,

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

NOTING the Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("Rules") as adopted by the Tribunal on 11 February 1994, as subsequently amended, and in particular Rule 44, 45(A) and 45(E) thereof;

NOTING the Directive on Assignment of Defence Counsel as adopted by the Tribunal on 28 July 1994, as subsequently amended ("Directive"), and in particular Articles 7, 8, 10, 11(C), and 18 thereof;

NOTING the Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel Appearing before the International Tribunal as adopted on 12 July 2002 ("Code");

CONSIDERING that on 5 April 2004, the day he was transferred to the Tribunal, Slobodan Praljak ("Accused") informed the Registry that he would not request the assignment of Tribunal-paid counsel and that he had retained Mr. Kresmir Krsnik, attorney at law from Croatia, as counsel to represent him before the Tribunal;

CONSIDERING that on 14 June 2004, the Accused informed the Registry that he had discontinued the services of Mr. Krsnik and had engaged Mr. Bozidar Kovacic and Ms. Nika Pinter, attorneys at law from Croatia, as counsel and co-counsel respectively, to represent him before the Tribunal;

CONSIDERING that on 13 September 2004, the Accused submitted a declaration of means to the Registry, thereby applying for the assignment of Tribunal-paid counsel on the basis that he did not have sufficient means to remunerate counsel;

CONSIDERING the Deputy Registrarís Decision of 17 June 2005, by which the Deputy Registrar denied the Accusedís request for legal aid as the Accused had refused to provide information relevant for the Registryís determination of his financial status and that, by doing so, the Accused had failed to show that he was unable to remunerate counsel;

CONSIDERING that on 21 September 2005, Trial Chamber I upheld the Deputy Registrarís Decision of 17 June 2005;

NOTING the "Notice of Slobodan Praljakís Counselís and Co-counselís Withdrawal as Counsel and Co-counsel of Record Based on the Registryís Decision Denying Slobodan Praljakís Rule 45 Request for Legal Assistance in Light of His Inability to Finance His Defence" of 29 September 2005, by which Mr. Kovacic and Ms. Pinter notified the Registrar and the Chamber that the Accused had discontinued their services;

NOTING the Deputy Registrarís Notification of 3 November 2005 of the Accusedís election to conduct his own defence pursuant to Rule 45(F) of the Rules;

CONSIDERING the "Request of Slobodan Praljak for the Review of an Opinion of the Registrar of the Tribunal and Request for Assignment of Defence Counsel" of 5 January 2006 and the Registryís reply of 27 January 2006;

CONSIDERING Trial Chamber IIís "Decision on Assignment of Defence Counsel" with Confidential Annex of 15 February 2006 ("Trial Chamberís Decision"), by which the Trial Chamber directs the Registrar to assign counsel to the Accused in the interest of justice and orders the Accused to provide and substantiate answers to the questions set out in the Confidential Annex, in order to allow the Registry to determine what financial means, if any, are available to the Accused;

CONSIDERING that on 16 February 2006, the Accused requested the Registry to assign Mr. Bozidar Kovacic as his counsel pursuant to the Trial Chamberís Decision;

CONSIDERING that on 19 February 2006, Mr. Kovacic requested the assignment of Ms. Nika Pinter as his co-counsel;

CONSIDERING that Mr. Kovacic and Ms. Pinter are on the Registryís list of counsel eligible for assignment to indigent suspects and accused, and have agreed to be assigned as counsel and co-counsel respectively;

RECALLING Article 21(4)(d) of the Statute, Rule 45(A) of the Rules and Article 6(A) of the Directive, which provide that an accused is entitled to have counsel assigned to him and paid for by the Tribunal if he lacks the means to remunerate counsel;

CONSIDERING that in accordance with the Trial Chamberís Decision the Accused is still to establish whether he lacks the means to remunerate counsel;

CONSIDERING that the onus is on the Accused to produce evidence that he lacks the means to remunerate counsel and that once he does so, the Registry will be in a position to determine the Accusedís eligibility to have his defence costs borne by the Tribunal;

DECIDES without prejudice to Rule 45(E) of the Rules and Article 18 of the Directive, to assign Mr. Kovacic and Ms. Pinter as counsel and co-counsel to the Accused respectively pursuant to the Trial Chamberís Decision, effective as of the date of this decision.

 

_____________
John Hocking
Deputy Registrar

Dated this sixth day of March 2006
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.