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Tadic's Appeal Hearings In January 1999

Tribunal Update 103 :Last Week in The Hague (23-28 November, 1998)

Dusko Tadic, the first inmate of the Detention Unit and the first indictee tried by the Tribunal was found guilty on 11 counts (persecution and beatings) on May 7 1997 and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. Tadic filed an appeal both against the guilty verdict and the sentencing judgement.

At the same time, the Prosecution filed a cross-appeal against the majority decision of the judges (2:1) in Trial Chamber II, that the conflict around Prijedor in north-western Bosnia, encompassing the prison-camps of Omarska and Keraterm where Tadic operated, was of internal rather than international character.

Since the current president of the Tribunal and its Appeals Chamber, Gabriele Kirk McDonald, was the presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber II that tried and sentenced Tadic, the appeals hearings of both the defendant and Prosecutor will be presided over by Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen, with the members of the Appeals Chamber being Judge Cassese, Judge Wang, Judge Nieto-Navia and Judge Mumba.

The Defence team has also changed. The Tribunal announced last week that "following the accused's request that his assigned lead Defence counsel, Milan Vujin, attorney from Belgrade, be withdrawn 'because he (Tadic) has lost all confidence in him', the Registrar on November 19 appointed William Clegg, a lawyer from London, as the accused's lead counsel."

This is the second time that Dusan Tadic has changed his defence team at a key moment. He first revoked his power of attorney to Michail Wladimiroff, the well-known Dutch attorney and his Dutch-British team that was widely acclaimed for their professionalism after the conclusion of the trial and just days before the judgment was passed.

Milan Vujin, his second lead Defence counsel, led his team in pre-sentencing hearings and filed an appeal against the judgment afterwards. He was nevertheless not scheduled to be present at the appeals hearing. In the meantime, for unknown reasons, Tadic "lost all confidence" in him.

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