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Subpoena Tussle Continues

The prosecution seeks to reverse a decision by the Appeals Chamber to hear an appeal against the subpoena leveled at Croatia.

The prosecution reacted vehemently to the decision by the Appeal Chamber to accept the appeal by the Republic of Croatia against the subpoena decision handed down on July 18 1997, by Trial Chamber II. The subpoena drama developed after the Court issued a writ under threat of sanction against Croatian Defence Minister Gojko Susak, demanding the release of certain documents as possible evidence in the case against General Tihomir Blaskic of the Bosnian Croat Army. The Croatian Government however contested the right of the Tribunal to communicate with sovereign powers in this way (see Update 37).

The prosecution last week filed a motion to set aside the decision of the Appeals Chamber of July 29 1997 on the grounds that the chamber should not have given its decision without first providing the parties with an opportunity to be heard.

In the session of August 12 comprising Judge Antonio Cassese (Presiding), Judge Adolphos Karibi-Whyte; Judge Haopei Li; Judge Sir Ninian Stephen and Judge Lal Chand Vohrah, the Appeals Chamber rejected the prosecution motion, confirmed the suspension of the execution of the subpoena, and scheduled a hearing for September 22 and 23. On this date the Republic of Croatia, the prosecutor and the amici curiae will make submissions on both the admissibility and merits of the Croatian appeal.

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