Den Haag | 27.06.2016.

WAS DEFENSE LAWYER IN CONTEMPT OF COURT?

Goran Petronijevic, a member of Radovan Karadzic’s defense team, has been invited to clarify by 11 July 2016 the circumstances under which he had disclosed to the media the contents of a confidential submission. After that, it will be decided if there are grounds to prosecute him for contempt of court before the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

Aydin Sefa Akay, a judge of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, has ordered Belgrade lawyer Goran Petronijevic to clarify in writing by 11 July 2016 how and why he disclosed to the media the contents of a confidential brief. The prosecution and defense have also been invited to submit their opinions on the Petronijevic case by the same date. Judge Akay will then decide whether there are grounds for a contempt of court case.

According to the prosecution, Petronijevic revealed to the media information on Karadzic’s confidential brief filed in April 2016. The prosecution produced press clippings to support the allegation. In the brief, Karadzic asked leave to attend a commemoration ceremony for his recently deceased brother in Belgrade. Petronijevic also told the media that the Serbian government had given confidential guarantees that Karadzic would return to the Tribunal’s detention if granted provisional release.

Karadzic’s motion was rejected. The Appeals Chamber ruled that Petronijevic’s disclosure of confidential information could be qualified as contempt of the court, which in this case means the Mechanism for International Tribunals. The Mechanism’s President Theodor Meron appointed Turkish judge Akay to consider the case.