Case No: IT-01-48-PT

IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER

Before:
Judge Richard May, Presiding
Judge Patrick Robinson
Judge O-Gon Kwon

Registrar:
Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
13 December 2001

PROSECUTOR

v.

SEFER HALILOVIC

_______________________________________

DECISION ON REQUEST FOR PRE-TRIAL PROVISIONAL RELEASE

_______________________________________

Office of the Prosecutor:

Ms. Jocelyne Bodson
Mr. Carl Koenig

Counsel for the Accused:

Mr. Faruk Balijagic

 

THIS TRIAL 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 ("International Tribunal"),

BEING SEISED of the "Request for Provisional Pre-Trial Release" filed on behalf of the accused Sefer Halilovic ("Accused") on 28 November 2001 ("Request") pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Tribunal ("Rules"), requesting the provisional release of the Accused from detention,

NOTING the arguments of the Accused, as set forth in the Request that

i he voluntarily surrendered to the custody of the International Tribunal on 25 September 2001,

  1. according to the European Convention on Human Rights, pre-trial detention is the most restrictive sanction a court or judicial body can impose and custodial sanctions should be held to a minimum until a verdict is passed;
  2. his trial will not start immediately;
  3. he would be able to support his ailing son emotionally;
  4. the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has offered to guarantee that the Accused return to appear before the International Tribunal at any time or place the International Tribunal or Trial Chamber may require, that the Accused not contact witnesses for the Prosecution nor attempt to influence or threaten any witness, and that the life and well-being of the Accused be safeguarded during the pre-trial and any subsequent stage of these proceedings ;
  5. the Indictment against him contains only one count on the basis of Article 7, paragraph 3, of the Statute of the International Tribunal, thus being a less complicated case compared with others in which provisional release has been granted;
  6. the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed its full and ongoing cooperation with the International Tribunal; 

NOTING that the Accused seeks a hearing on the Request, involving all parties to the present case, including the representative of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

NOTING the "Prosecution’s Response to ‘Request for Provisional Pre-Trial Release’" filed by the Office of the Prosecutor ("Prosecution") on 6 December 2001 ("Response"), in which the Prosecution raises no objection to the Request, provided that that the Accused provides certain guarantees and undertakings ("Prosecution Conditions"),

NOTING the written guarantee provided by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dated 8 October 2001, numbered 456/2001, attached to the Request, as well as a letter, dated 10 December 2001 and filed 11 December 2001, specifying guarantees that meet the Prosecution Conditions,

NOTING further the undertakings of the Accused and his counsel filed 11 December 2001,

NOTING the letter from the host country filed on 10 December 2001, as required by Rule 65 (B) of the Rules, in which it is stated that the host country does not have any objection to the Request,

CONSIDERING that a determination as to whether release is to be granted must be made in the light of the particular circumstances of each case, and may be granted only if the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the accused "will appear for trial and, if released, will not pose a danger to any victim, witness or other person",

CONSIDERING that the Accused voluntarily surrendered to the custody of the International Tribunal,

CONSIDERING that the Accused has provided, both on his own behalf, and through the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the guarantees required by the Prosecution and to the satisfaction of the Trial Chamber,

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber regards the guarantees and undertakings, as submitted in writing, to be of the same binding character as any oral statement, and, therefore, attaches the same weight to them as to any oral guarantees received in a hearing,

CONSIDERING that, therefore, there is no need for a hearing of the parties,

CONSIDERING that the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the Accused, if released, will appear for trial and further, that he will not pose a danger to any victim, witness or other person,

PURSUANT TO Rule 65 of the Rules, and with the agreement of the parties,

HEREBY GRANTS the Request AND ORDERS the provisional release of Sefer Halilovic on the following terms and conditions:

1) the Accused shall be transported to Schiphol airport in the Netherlands by the Dutch authorities;

2) at Schiphol airport, the Accused shall be provisionally released into the custody of the designated official of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Amir Ahmic (or such other designated official as the Trial Chamber may, by order, accept), who shall accompany the Accused for the remainder of his travel to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to his place of temporary residence;

3) on his return flight, the Accused shall be accompanied by the same designated official of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Amir Ahmic (or by such other designated official as the Trial Chamber may, by order, accept), who shall deliver the Accused into the custody of the Dutch authorities at Schiphol airport at a date and time to be determined by the Trial Chamber, and the Dutch authorities shall then transport the Accused back to the United Nations Detention Unit;

4) the Accused or the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall bear all expenses concerning transport of the Accused from Schiphol airport to his place of residence and back ;

5) during the period of his provisional release, the Accused shall abide by the following conditions, and the authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the local police in his place of residence, shall ensure compliance with such conditions:

(a) to remain within the confines of the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

(b) to surrender his passport to the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Sarajevo or to the Field Office of the Prosecution in Sarajevo;

(c) to report the address at which he will be staying to the local police, the IPTF and the Registrar of the International Tribunal;

(d) to report each Monday to the local police who should maintain a log of such reports;

(e) to consent to having the IPTF check with the local police about his presence and to the making of occasional, unannounced visits to the Accused by the IPTF or by a person designated by the Registrar of the International Tribunal;

(f) not to have any contact whatsoever or in any way interfere with victims or potential witnesses or otherwise interfere in any way with the proceedings or the administration of justice;

(g) not to discuss his case with anyone, including the media, other than his counsel;

(h) to continue to cooperate with the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal;

(i) to comply strictly with any requirements of the authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina necessary to enable them to comply with their obligations under this Decision and their guarantees;

(j) to return to the International Tribunal at such time and on such date as the Trial Chamber may order; and

(k) to comply strictly with any order of the Trial Chamber varying the terms of, or terminating his provisional release,

REQUIRES the Government of the the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to assume responsibility for:

(a) all expenses concerning transport of the Accused from Schiphol airport to his place of residence and back;

(b) at the request of the Trial Chamber or of the parties to the present case to facilitate all means of cooperation and communication between the parties and to ensure the confidentiality of any such communication;

(c) to submit a written report to the Trial Chamber each month as to the compliance of the Accused with the terms of this Decision; and

(d) to report immediately to the Trial Chamber any breach of the conditions set forth above,

INSTRUCTS the Registrar of the International Tribunal to consult with the Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands as to the practical arrangements for his release, and to keep the Accused in custody until relevant arrangements are made for his travel,

REQUESTS the authorities of all States through which he will travel:

(i) to hold the Accused in custody for any time he will spend in transit at the airport;

(ii) to arrest and detain the Accused pending his return to the United Nations Detention Unit, should he attempt to escape,

AND FURTHER ORDERS that the Accused shall be immediately detained should he breach any of the foregoing terms and conditions of his provisional release.

 

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

___________________________
Richard May
Presiding

Dated this thirteenth day of December 2001
At The Hague,
The Netherlands

[Seal of the Tribunal]

   

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