Celebici Trial

Tribunal Update 59: Last Week in The Hague (January 12-17, 1998)

Celebici Trial

Tribunal Update 59: Last Week in The Hague (January 12-17, 1998)

Saturday, 17 January, 1998

Last week the trial lasted only half a day instead of the proposed two and a half. Meanwhile the cross-examination of expert-witness Dr James Gow, which started last year, failed to continue when it was announced that Dr Gow could not make it to The Hague.

Time was taken up instead with legal argument between the prosecution and the defence. The prosecution had asked to be provided in advance with lists of defence witnesses, a request the defence opposed on the grounds that there is no "general reciprocal rule", arguing that such openness would effectively mean that they were "in the position of assisting the prosecution."

Sarajevo lawyer Edina Residovic, acting for Zejnil Delalic, told the judges "The accused is presumed innocent, and the prosecution is obliged to prove the case and has no right to request the defence assistance to support its case." Prosecutor Grant Niemann, however, insisted on reciprocity, asserting that his request has "nothing to do with the fairness of the trial but with having an orderly trial."

After a two-hour hearing, the Presiding Judge Adolphus Karibi-Whyte ruled that the defence should provide the prosecution with a list of the witnesses they intend to call at least seven days before those witnesses appear.

The Celebici trial will continue in the first half of February, when the prosecutor is expected to complete the presentation of evidence, then the defence will open their case.

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