Case No. IT-04-74-PT

BEFORE THE PRE-TRIAL JUDGE

Before:
Judge Alphons Orie

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
10 December 2004

PROSECUTOR

v.

JADRANKO PRLIC
BRUNO STOJIC
SLOBODAN PRALJAK
MILIVOJ PETKOVIC
VALENTIN CORIC
BERISLAV
PUSIC

________________________________________

DECISION ON STOJICíS MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME-LIMIT TO FILE PRELIMINARY MOTIONS

________________________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Mr. Kenneth Scott

Counsel for the Accused:

Mr. Camil Salahovic and Mr. Zelimir Par for the accused Mr. Jadranko Prlic
Mr. Zeljko Olujic for the accused Mr. Bruno Stojic
Mr. Bozidar Kovacic and Ms. Nika Pinter for the accused Mr. Slobodan Praljak
Ms. Vesna Alaburic for the accused Mr. Milivoj Petkovic
Mr. Tomislav Jonjic for the accused Mr. Valentin Coric
Mr. Marinko Skobic for the accused Mr. Berislav Pusic

 

I, ALPHONS ORIE, pre-trial judge of Trial Chamber I ("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");

BEING SEISED of the "Motion of Bruno Stojic for Extension of Time Limit for the Motion on the Form of the Indictment Pursuant to the Rule 72" filed on 3 December 2004, whereby the accused Bruno Stojic ("Accused") requests an extension of time-limit until February 2005 when a new Defence Counsel is appointed and ready to represent him effectively ("Motion");

NOTING that the Motion is filed by the accused Bruno Stojic himself ("Accused") because "Mr. Zeljko Olujic accepted [the] final decision of the Appeals Chamber and withdrew from the case last week. So I am not legally represented at all and have to engage another counsel who has to study the case and file the submission on the form of the indictment";1

NOTING the letter by the Registry to Mr. Zeljko Olujic ("counsel or counsel for the Accused") on 7 December 2004 whereby Mr. Olujic is reminded of his obligations under Article 9(D) of the Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel Appearing before the International Tribunal ("Code of Conduct")2 to remain on the case "until a replacement of counsel is engaged by the client or assigned by the Registrar, or the client has notified the Registry in writing of his intention to conduct his own defence" and is required to continue the legal representation of his client until such time a replacement is assigned to the Accused;

CONSIDERING that the immediate termination of the legal representation of the Accused by Mr. Olujic may have been prompted by the existence of an apparent conflict between the Appeals Chamber "Decision on Appeal by Bruno Stojic against Trial Chamberís Decision on Request for Appointment of Counsel" dated 24 November 2004 which confirms the Trial Chamberís Decision on Requests for Appointment of Counsel dated 30 July 2004 barring Mr. Olujic from further representing the Accused and Article 9 of the Code of Conduct which requires counsel to remain on the case until a replacement is found; that however in its Decision barring Mr. Olujic from representing the Accused the Trial Chamber, deeming that the prejudice to be caused to the Accused by the immediate termination of his legal representation was greater than the prejudice caused by the conflict of interests between counsel and his client, "invited Mr. Stojic to appoint another lead counsel within a period of one month. In the meantime, Zeljko Olujic shall continue to represent the accused";3 that the time-limit given by the Trial Chamber to counsel to continue representing the Accused before resigning from the case was suspended until the Appeals Chamber had disposed of the appeal lodged by counsel; that that time-limit started running at the date of the above-mentioned Appeals Chamberís Decision;

CONSIDERING furthermore that that counsel for the Accused could have foreseen the possibility that the Trial Chamberís Decision be confirmed and he could have addressed the issue of the possibility of a replacement by, for instance, securing the appointment of a co-counsel;

CONSIDERING that counsel for the Accused, who must act in accordance with the tenets of the Tribunalís Code of Conduct and continue the representation of his client until such time a replacement is effective, is therefore expected to make appropriate filings on behalf of his client until that time, and in particular meet the deadlines set by the Chamber, if any fall within that time;

CONSIDERING that counsel for the Accused was informed during a meeting held pursuant to Rule 65ter on 23 November 2004 that the time-limit to file preliminary motions was extended from 25 November 2004 to 15 December 2004; that counsel for the Accused has not expressed any reservations during that meeting in relation to his ability to meet the new deadline;

CONSIDERING that counsel for the Accused is required to file preliminary motions on behalf of the Accused by 15 December 2004;

FINDING that the request of the Accused for an extension of time limit to file preliminary motions until a replacement to Mr. Olujic is effective is without merits at this stage;

PURSUANT TO Rules 54 and 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel Appearing before the International Tribunal,

REJECT the Motion, and

ORDER counsel Zeljko Olujic to

(1) continue the legal representation of Bruno Stojic until such time a new Defence counsel is appointed and effectively represent the Accused, and

(2) file any preliminary motions pursuant to Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence on behalf of the Accused by 15 December 2004, reserving the possibility for the new counsel to be selected by the Accused to amend such motions in a reply to be filed by 4 February 2005.

 

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

Dated this 10th day of December 2004.
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

_______________________________
Judge Alphons Orie
Pre-trial Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]


1. Motion, p. 1. See Appeals Chamber "Decision on Appeal by Bruno Stoji} against Trial Chamberís Decision on Request for Appointment of Counsel" filed on 24 November 2004.
2. IT/125/Rev.1, 4 September 2002.
3. See disposition of the Trial Chamberís "Decision on Requests for Appointment of Counsel" dated 30 July 2004.