Case No. IT-03-67-PT

Prosecutor v. Vojislav Seselj

DECISION

THE DEPUTY REGISTRAR,

NOTING the decision of the Registrar filed on 8 April 2004 (the "Decision") followed by a corrigendum filed on 13 April 2004 concerning the communication privileges of Mr. Vojislav Seselj (the "Accused") at the United Nations Detention Unit (the "Detention Unit") and previous decisions on the matter therein referred to, wherein, for a further period of thirty (30) days therein stated, it was decided to "[p]rohibit, unless otherwise authorised by the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit, all communication between the Accused with person(s) except for his legal counsel (if applicable) and diplomatic or consular representatives and his immediate family, provided that his contact with his family shall be subject to live monitoring under conditions prescribed by the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit";

CONSIDERING the Accusedís defiant disposition vis-à-vis the Decision and previous decisions concerning his communication privileges is unchanged and remains of concern;

NOTING WITH CONCERN the letter of 15 April 2004, addressed by the Accused to Mr. Tomislav Nikolić, the Deputy President of the Accusedís political party, which was published in the press on 21 April 2004, wherein the Accused alleges serious misconduct on the part of officials of the Tribunal, including Judges, Prosecutors and staff members in the Registry, of which some are cited by name;

RECALLING that as a result of similar allegations made by the Accused on the part of Tribunal officials, Trial Chamber II, in its "Decision on Certain Allegations Made in Motion Number 23" dated 18 November 2003, cautioned the Accused and took a "very poor view of his conduct in this matter and that any future attempts to hijack public proceedings for the purpose of directing unsubstantiated accusations against staff members or other persons associated with this Tribunal is more than likely to meet with sanctions";

NOTING that the Accusedís unsubstantiated allegations, particularly where the allegations are of such a grave nature, amount to a serious abuse of the opportunity afforded in the Decision and previous decisions concerning his communication privileges to exercise his right to communicate in writing in accordance with the existing regulations and practice at the Detention Unit concerning import and export of mail;

CONSIDERING that the Accused has, in the said letter, strongly encouraged that the letter be distributed to the media and supporters of his political party, in contradiction of the Rules Governing the Detention of Persons Awaiting Trial or Appeal before the Tribunal or otherwise Detained on the Authority of the Tribunal ("Rules of Detention") and that the publication of the letter has resulted in a widespread media attention and coverage of the fact that an indictee for crimes against humanity and war-crimes such as the Accused is in a position to facilitate, with ease, the ongoing Serbian presidential elections campaign;

CONSIDERING that the balance between the rights and entitlements to communication or visits of the Accused with that of the Tribunal to effectively perform its mandate and functions, must be assessed in view of the 13 June 2004 Serbian presidential elections and the disposition of the Accused as noted above;

CONSIDERING THEREFORE that the particular circumstances in this case continue to necessitate the imposition of measures to avoid potentially deleterious media coverage resulting from unrestricted communication entitlements and visits;

DECIDES pursuant to Rules 60 and 63 of the Rules of Detention, for a further period, from 10 May 2004, until 13 June 2004, the day the Presidential elections will be held, which decision shall then be reviewed, to:

Prohibit, unless otherwise authorised by the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit, all communication between the Accused with person(s) except for his legal counsel (if applicable), diplomatic or consular representatives and his immediate family, provided that his contact with his family shall be subject to live monitoring under conditions prescribed by the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit;

The current practice in relation to written communications shall be maintained and the Detention Unitís regulations concerning the import and export of mail shall be adhered to.

___________
David Tolbert
Deputy Registrar

Dated this seventh day of May 2004
At The Hague
The Netherlands