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Tadic's Appeal

Tribunal Update 31: Last Week in The Hague (June 2-7, 1997)

Last week, they filed a specified Notice of Appeal, on the grounds of "an error of the question of law invalidating the decision, and an error of fact which has occasioned the miscarriage of justice."

According to the defence, by pronouncing Tadic guilty on 11 counts, the Trial Chamber "has made a number of errors of fact and law." The Notice of Appeal gives only a basic outline of the points on which the appellant's brief will be founded.

The defence will have to submit the brief within 90 days of the verdict's announcement. According to the notice, the Trial Chamber made the following errors:

1. The accused's right to fair trial was limited; 2. The charges were not brought with sufficient particularity; 3. The claimed statutory authority for the prosecution of the appellant was enacted after the accused's alleged criminal conduct; 4. The accused's right to examine all witnesses who testified against him was limited; 5. The accused was denied the right to a fair trial by an improper joinder of the crimes alleged; 6. The Chamber erroneously admitted evidence that was neither relevant nor probative, by admitting hearsay evidence which is inherently unreliable.

The defence, also, reserves the right to supplement or amend the instant notice, given that it had no opportunity to review the record, conduct a post-trial investigation and engage in the necessary research.

The Defence Notice concludes that the Appeal is grounded on an erroneous analysis of the evidence presented; wrongly established facts about all the counts for which Tadic was convicted; wrongly established facts regarding the situation in the former Yugoslavia; and errors of law invalidating the judgement. Because of all this, the defence proposes that the Appeals Chamber "reverse or revise the judgement rendered by the Trial Chamber."

Before the deadline for submitting the appellant's brief expires, the defence will have another ground for appeal: the length of the sentence which Trial Chamber II will pass on Tadic on July 1, 1997. Presiding Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald has ordered the defence and the prosecution to file their written submissions by Monday June 9 as to any relevant information-regarding aggravating or mitigating circumstances-that may assist the Trial Chamber in determining an appropriate sentence.

If necessary, oral submissions on sentencing and eventual witnesses will be heard in the period Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 June, 1997.

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