THE HAGUE | 12.12.2005.


The accused is asking to be allowed to spend the court recess over Christmas and New Year in Moscow, getting treatment at the Bakulev Institute. The Chamber says it would not consider Milosevic's request "serious" until he files a written motion and submits relevant medical documentation

At the beginning of the hearing today, Slobodan Milosevic expressed his desire to go to Moscow during the three-week witness court recess, to the Bakulev Scientific and Medical Institute, to see Professor Bekerijev". He noted that he had so far been examined by two experts from the institute and that he had "full confidence" in them. As he said, Milosevic does "not see any obstacle" to his request being granted, as his absence from The Hague would not interfere with the work schedule and he would be back before 9 January 2006, when the trials continue.

Judge Robinson reminded the accused that the motions for provisional release must be filed in writing and advised him to ask his assigned counsel Steven Kay for assistance. Milosevic, however, considers that the things he says "orally get the same weight as written submissions because they are part of the record".

The presiding judge did not agree with that and after a brief consultation with his colleagues, judges Bonomy and Kwon he told Milosevic if he wanted the Chamber to seriously consider his request, he would have to supply medical documentation about specific aspects of his health condition requiring him to undergo treatment in Moscow and all the necessary guarantees of the governments undertaking to monitor his movements and ensure his return to The Hague for trial. Robinson concluded that the Chamber would not consider his request "serious" without all those elements.