Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2543

1 Monday, 31 January, 2000

2 [Judgement]

3 [Open session]

4 [Appellant entered courtroom]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Appeals Chamber is

7 now in session.

8 Mr. Registrar, will you call the case,

9 please.

10 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case

11 IT-94-1-A-R77, the Prosecutor versus Dusko Tadic in a

12 matter concerning allegations of contempt against prior

13 counsel.

14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do I take it that the

15 appearances are as before? Are there any changes?

16 MR. YAPA: No.

17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Domazet is not here

18 today but, Mr. Vujin, you are.

19 Mr. Tadic, you can hear me?


21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Appeals Chamber of

22 this International Tribunal is now sitting to deliver

23 its Judgement in an ancillary matter in this case

24 involving allegations of contempt against a prior

25 counsel of Dusko Tadic, namely, Mr. Milan Vujin of

Page 2544

1 Belgrade, both of whom are in the Chamber today. The

2 Judgement is unanimous.

3 Before giving my comments concerning the

4 case, it is necessary, however, to note for the record

5 that the Appeals Chamber is sitting today with only

6 four of its members, Judge Cassese being unavoidably

7 absent. The Vice-President of the International

8 Tribunal, Judge Mumba, acting in the absence of the

9 President, has authorised the Chamber to deliver this

10 Judgement in the absence of one of its members,

11 pursuant to Rule 15 bis (D) of the Rules of Procedure

12 and Evidence, and an Order to that effect has been

13 filed today. I note that Judge Cassese has heard all

14 of the evidence in this matter and has participated

15 fully in the deliberation and determination of the

16 allegations, including the settlement of the

17 Judgement.

18 Copies of the Judgement, which is in writing,

19 will be made available by the Registrar to the parties,

20 including the interested parties, towards the end of

21 this sitting. Following the practice of the Tribunal,

22 I shall limit myself to introductory matters and shall

23 not read out the text of the Judgement, save for the

24 operative paragraph. I make it clear that the

25 Judgement is set out in the text to be distributed.

Page 2545

1 This statement is not the Judgement of the Appeals

2 Chamber, except for the reading of the disposition of

3 the Judgement.

4 The allegations arise out of the alleged

5 conduct of Mr. Vujin while he was assigned counsel,

6 that is, paid for by the International Tribunal, in the

7 early parts of the appeal in the case; that is to say,

8 from mid 1997 until the assignment was terminated at

9 the request of Mr. Dusko Tadic in November 1998. The

10 allegations were first brought to the attention of the

11 Appeals Chamber in late 1998.

12 On 10 February 1999, the Appeals Chamber

13 issued a Scheduling Order calling upon Mr. Vujin to

14 answer allegations that he knowingly and wilfully

15 intended to interfere with the administration of

16 justice in this case. Attached to that Order were

17 copies of statements on which the allegations were

18 based. Dusko Tadic and the Office of the Prosecutor

19 were both granted leave to appear as interested parties

20 in these proceedings.

21 The Appeals Chamber has heard much oral

22 evidence in this case. Due to circumstances largely

23 beyond its control, the hearings were spread over a

24 period from March to November of last year. A total of

25 12 witnesses were summoned by the Appeals Chamber

Page 2546

1 itself to testify as to the various events alleged in

2 the statements, including Dusko Tadic and his assigned

3 counsel during the trial, Mr. Wladimiroff. Mr. Vujin

4 called a total of eight witnesses in his defence and

5 also gave evidence himself at the close of his case.

6 Pursuant to Rule 79 of the Rules, much of the

7 evidence was heard in closed session for the protection

8 of certain witnesses who were concerned as to possible

9 retaliation against them and their families. The

10 Orders granting those protective measures provided that

11 the transcripts of the closed session testimony could

12 be released after suitable redaction to protect the

13 identity of those concerned. The Judgement includes

14 Orders that such testimony and the related documentary

15 evidence may be referred to publicly to the extent

16 necessary to enable the Judgement to be comprehensible

17 as a public document.

18 During the hearings, evidence was heard that

19 did not relate directly to the allegations of contempt

20 as set out in the Scheduling Order but which reflected

21 in various ways the events set out in the statements.

22 This was done for the purpose of demonstrating a

23 particular course of conduct or to explain the events

24 that took place within the specified period. Mr. Vujin

25 was at all times made aware of the case he had to

Page 2547

1 meet.

2 The evidence admitted by the Appeals Chamber

3 relates to alleged conduct of Mr. Vujin which may be

4 grouped as follows:

5 (1) putting forward to the Appeals Chamber

6 in support of an application for the

7 admission of additional evidence on

8 appeal ("the Rule 115 application"), a

9 case which Mr. Vujin knew to be false;

10 (i) in relation to the weight to be

11 given to statements made by one

12 Mlado Radic, a person indicted by

13 the Tribunal; and

14 (ii) in relation to the

15 responsibility of another indicted

16 person, Goran Borovnica, for the

17 killing of two policemen of which

18 Dusko Tadic was convicted;

19 (2) manipulating proposed witnesses:

20 (i) by seeking to avoid any

21 identification by them of persons

22 who may have been responsible for

23 the crimes for which Dusko Tadic

24 was convicted; and

25 (ii) by persuading them to lie or

Page 2548

1 withhold the truth when making

2 statements in this connection; and

3 (iii) bribing a witness to lie or

4 withhold the truth.

5 The first allegation arose out of materials

6 submitted in support of the Rule 115 application.

7 Among those materials were two statements from Mlado

8 Radic, who was charged before the International

9 Tribunal on a different indictment. The first of these

10 asserted that it had been made shortly before Mlado

11 Radic was arrested and that it had been made directly

12 to Mr. Vujin in person; the second statement confirmed

13 the first. It was established to the satisfaction of

14 the Appeals Chamber that the first statement was made

15 by Mlado Radic after his arrest, that it was made in

16 the United Nations Detention Centre in The Hague, and

17 that Mr. Vujin was not present at the time. The

18 Appeals Chamber was also satisfied that Mr. Vujin knew

19 the true circumstances surrounding the taking of the

20 statement and that he submitted it intending it to be

21 interpreted as it purported to be.

22 The Appeals Chamber finds that Mr. Vujin did

23 put forward a case in relation to that statement that

24 he knew to be false in material respects.

25 Also in the submission put forward in support

Page 2549

1 of the Rule 115 application, Mr. Vujin emphasised the

2 importance of the fact that one of the Defence

3 witnesses at trial had testified that he had witnessed

4 the killing of the two policemen and that they had been

5 killed, not by Dusko Tadic, but by another accused,

6 Goran Borovnica, who is thought to have since died.

7 Evidence was led that demonstrated to the satisfaction

8 of the Appeals Chamber that Mr. Vujin was aware that

9 the trial witness had repudiated his story as to the

10 person responsible for these killings and that, in

11 connection with the appeal proceedings, that witness

12 now asserted that the killer was a different person.

13 The Appeals Chamber finds that Mr. Vujin did

14 put forward a case in relation to the statement of that

15 witness that he knew to be false in material respects.

16 The second allegation, concerning

17 manipulation of proposed witnesses, is based on claims

18 that certain witnesses were instructed by Mr. Vujin not

19 to name other persons who may have been implicated in

20 the events in which Dusko Tadic was convicted and that

21 certain witnesses were instructed to answer questions

22 when being interviewed by other counsel as indicated by

23 head signals given by Mr. Vujin, who was present when

24 most of the statements were taken.

25 The detailed evidence relating to these

Page 2550

1 matters is described in the Judgement and I will not

2 repeat it here. For the reasons set out in the

3 Judgement, the Appeals Chamber is satisfied that the

4 allegations as to manipulation of witnesses by seeking

5 to prevent names from being named have been made out.

6 The Appeals Chamber finds that the allegations as to

7 the instruction to witnesses to answer questions

8 according to head signals given by Mr. Vujin has not

9 been made out.

10 The third allegation is that of bribing a

11 witness to lie or to withhold information. This

12 allegation is based on the statement of Witness B that

13 he had been paid 100 Deutschemarks, the equivalent of

14 one month's wages, by Mr. Vujin after he gave a

15 statement which did not identify other possible

16 perpetrators of the crimes of which Dusko Tadic was

17 convicted, but that he was not paid any money after a

18 subsequent interview, made in the presence of

19 co-counsel, in which he named one of the other possible

20 perpetrators. Mr. Vujin did not deny giving Witness B

21 money but asserted that the money had been given to

22 help the witness because of the difficult financial and

23 emotional circumstances in which the witness found

24 himself at the time. A professional colleague of

25 Mr. Vujin also testified that a second payment had been

Page 2551

1 made to Witness B at a later time in circumstances

2 unconnected with any interview.

3 The Appeals Chamber does not make any finding

4 of contempt in relation to this allegation.

5 Certain of the allegations of contempt having

6 been thus proved, it is necessary to consider

7 punishment. The Appeals Chamber regards the contempt

8 as serious. Courts and tribunals must rely upon the

9 honesty of counsel in the conduct of cases before

10 them. Counsel are granted various privileges by the

11 law which are justified only if they can be trusted not

12 to abuse them. The conduct of Mr. Vujin in this case

13 strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice

14 system.

15 The maximum penalty prescribed by Rule 77 of

16 the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence at the

17 time of the contempt was a term of imprisonment not

18 exceeding six months, or a fine of 20,000 guilders, or

19 both. The Appeals Chamber has considered whether a

20 term of imprisonment should be imposed but has decided

21 that it would not be appropriate in this case.

22 Nevertheless, a substantial fine is necessary to

23 achieve the purposes for which punishment is imposed.

24 There are also additional consequences which

25 may flow from the finding of contempt and which the

Page 2552

1 Appeals Chamber must take into consideration.

2 Under the law of the Tribunal, the Registrar

3 of the Tribunal maintains a list of counsel willing to

4 be assigned to indigent suspects and accused.

5 Mr. Vujin is on that list. In the opinion of the

6 Appeals Chamber, the Registrar has a general power to

7 strike the name of counsel from the list for serious

8 professional misconduct and to report such conduct to

9 the relevant professional body. A direction will

10 therefore be given to the Registrar to consider

11 striking the name of Mr. Vujin from the list and

12 reporting his conduct to the appropriate professional

13 body. The Appeals Chamber has determined the

14 punishment to be imposed on the basis that the

15 Registrar will so act and takes this into account.

16 I shall now read the disposition of the

17 Judgement of the Appeals Chamber. This is as follows:

18 For the foregoing reasons, the Appeals

19 Chamber unanimously:

20 (1) finds the Respondent, Milan Vujin, in

21 contempt of the Tribunal;

22 (2) orders him to pay a fine of Dfl 15,000

23 to the Registrar of the Tribunal within 21

24 days, or within such further time as may be

25 allowed upon application by the Respondent to

Page 2553

1 the Appeals Chamber;

2 (3) directs the Registrar of the Tribunal to

3 consider striking the Respondent off the list

4 of assigned counsel kept by her pursuant to

5 Rule 45 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure

6 and Evidence and reporting his conduct as

7 found by the Appeals Chamber to the

8 professional body to which he belongs;

9 (4) orders that copies of the following

10 documents (redacted to comply with the

11 relevant witness protection orders) be made

12 public:

13 (i) the Decision on Prosecution Request

14 for Orders Regarding Defence Harassment

15 and Intimidation of Witnesses of

16 Potential Witnesses, 4 November 1998,

17 together with the respective pleadings

18 of the parties; and

19 (ii) the Scheduling Order concerning

20 allegations against prior counsel, 10

21 February 1999, but not the statements

22 attached to it; and

23 (5) orders that the material from the

24 evidence given and in the documents tendered

25 during any closed session of the hearing

Page 2554

1 which has been referred to in the Judgement

2 be made public so far as it has been so

3 referred to. Done in both English and French,

4 the English text being authoritative.

5 I will ask the Registrar now to deliver

6 copies of the Judgement to Mr. Vujin and to the

7 interested parties.

8 That concludes this sitting of the Appeals

9 Chamber. The court stands adjourned.

10 --- Whereupon the Judgement concluded at

11 10.25 a.m.