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Celebici Trial: New Delay

Tribunal Update 29: Last Week in The Hague (May 19-24, 1997)

Only Judge Jan carelessly blurted out: “What does the Court have to do with something that was leaked to the press?” thus alarming his fellow players, and the prosecutor in particular. The hearing was then halted, and several hours later it was announced that the trial had been adjourned until Thursday May 22, and that “in the meantime the President of the Tribunal will consider a complaint by the Office of the Prosecutor concerning the alleged publication of confidential information pertaining to the case.”

On Thursday, the Celebici trial was once again adjourned until Wednesday May 28, “pending the submission of the report of the President of the Tribunal on the complaint lodged by the Prosecution.”

While President Cassese was conducting his investigation into what happened and who was responsible for it, journalists were able to find out from Bosnian sources what was actually going on. It has been established that an obscure Sarajevo weekly with the confusing (for a pro-Bosniak paper) title of Slobodna Herzegovina (Free Herzegovina) had on April 15 published a full list of prosecution witnesses in the Celebici trial, including the full names of protected witnesses.

The list of witnesses was published together with an interview given to the paper by the first defendant, Zejnil Delalic, through unknown channels. How Delalic was able to communicate with the media while in the detention unit and through what channels the Bosnian weekly obtained the list of witnesses, will be revealed in President Cassese's report; providing, of course, that it is published.

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