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Omarska, Keraterm & Trnopolje Camps, Prosecutor v. Kvocka et al., Decision on the Admission of the Record of the Interview of the Accused Kvocka, IT-98-30/1 (ICTY TC, Mar. 16, 2001)

IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER

Before:
Judge Almiro Rodrigues, Presiding
Judge Fouad Riad
Judge Patricia Wald

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
16 March 2001

THE PROSECUTOR

v.

MIROSLAV KVOCKA
MILOJICA KOS
MLADO RADIC
ZORAN ZIGIC
DRAGOLJUB PRCAC

_____________________________________________________

DECISION ON THE ADMISSION OF THE RECORD
OF THE INTERVIEW OF THE ACCUSED KVOCKA

_____________________________________________________

The Office of the Prosecutor:

Ms. Susan Somers
Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne
Mr. Daniel Saxon
Mr. Slobodan Stojanovic for Zoran Zigic
Mr. Jovan Simic for Dragoljub Prcac

Defence Counsel:

Mr. Krstan Simic for Miroslav Kvocka
Mr. Zarko Nikolic for Milojica Kos
Mr. Toma Fila for Mladjo Radic

 

TRIAL CHAMBER I 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 (hereinafter "the Tribunal");

NOTING the Prosecution’s oral request of 19 February 2001 for the transcript of the Prosecutor’s interview of the accused Miroslav Kvocka to be admitted into evidence (document 3/203);

NOTING the objection of the Defence at the status conference of 19 February 2001 based on the Trial Chamber’s oral decision of 4 July 2000 that, in order to meet the demand for an expeditious and fair trial, witnesses’ prior statements should not in principle be admitted into evidence;

NOTING the " Prosecution's supplemental arguments concerning the admission of the record of the interview of the accused Kvocka " of 26 February 2001 according to which the interview of the accused may not be likened to witnesses’ prior statements but that it has a specific status owing to the special protection provided during such interviews, and the arguments presented by the Prosecutor at the status conference of 19 February 2001 according to which the oral nature of the proceedings had been respected since the accused had testified and the record of his interview was cited at the hearing to a large extent;

NOTING that no response to the Prosecution’s supplemental arguments was forthcoming from the Defence;

PURSUANT to Article 21 of the Statute and Rules 42, 43, 63, 66 and 89 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (hereinafter "the Rules");

NOTING the Decision of the President of the Tribunal dated 11 November 1996 on the Prosecutor's Motion for the production of notes exchanged between Zejnil Delalic and Zdravko Mucic in case no. IT-96-21-T, The Prosecutor v. Zejnil Delalic, Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo in which the President of the Tribunal found: "There is a fundamental difference between being an accused, who might testify as a witness if he so chooses, and a witness"1;

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber’s oral decision of 4 July 2000 relates only to witnesses’ prior statements within the meaning of Rule 66 of the Rules;

CONSIDERING that the Statute of the Tribunal, the Rules and the Tribunal’s practice do not treat a witness in the same way as an accused testifying under oath; that an accused enjoys specific protection with regard to respect for the rights of the defence;

CONSIDERING, especially, that the interview of Miroslav Kvocka was conducted in accordance with Rules 63 and 42(A)(iii) of the Rules which set down certain measures protecting the rights of the accused, in particular, the respect for the voluntariness of such an interview and the accused’s understanding that "any statement SheC makes shall be recorded and may be used in evidence";

CONSIDERING that, in the case in point, the accused was clearly informed of his rights in the presence of his Counsel;

CONSIDERING that, under such circumstances, admission of the document at issue, which is evidently relevant and has probative value, cannot be considered contrary to the demands for a fair trial, and that the Judges shall assess the weight to give to this evidence at the appropriate time;

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS,

ADMITS into evidence the interview of the accused Miroslav Kvocka (document 3/203).

 

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

Done this sixteenth day of March 2001
At The Hague
The Netherlands

___________
Judge Almiro Rodrigues
Presiding Judge

[Seal of the Tribunal]


1. Case no. IT-96-21-T, Decision of the President on the Prosecutor’s Motion for the production of notes exchanged between Zejnil Delalic and Zdravko Mucic, 11 November 1996, para. 35.

   

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