Joint defence

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Joinder - 25.10.2006 GOTOVINA et al.
(IT-01-45-AR73.1, IT-03-73-AR73.1, IT-03-73-AR73.2)

Čermak and Gotovina alleged that, in a joint trial, there is a potential for different defence theories between themselves resulting in different declarations regarding certain facts and thus giving rise to serious prejudice. The Appeals Chamber, however, held differently at para. 37:

The Appeals Chamber agrees with the Trial Chamber that “[a] joint trial does not require a joint defence, and necessarily envisages the case where each accused may seek to blame the other.”[1] Likewise, the Appeals Chamber agrees that “the mere possibility of mutually antagonistic defences does not in itself constitute a conflict of interests capable of causing serious prejudice. This is because trials at the Tribunal are conducted by professional judges who are capable of determining the guilt or innocence of each accused.”[2]

[1] Impugned Decision, para. 68 citing Prosecutor v. Brđanin and Talić, Case No. IT-99-36-PT, Decision on Motions by Momir Talić for a Separate Trial and for Leave to File a Reply, 9 March 2000 (“Brđanin and Talić Separate Trial Decision”), para. 29. See also Prosecutor v. Brđanin and Talić, Case No. IT-99-36-AR72.2, Decision on Request to Appeal, 16 May 2000; Prosecutor v. Popović et al., Case Nos. IT-02-57-PT, IT-02-58-PT, IT-02-63-PT, IT-02-64-PT, IT-04-80-PT, IT-05-86-PT, Decision on Motion for Joinder, 21 September 2005, para. 33; Prosecutor v. Ntahobali, Case No. ICTR-97-21-T, Joint Case No. ICTR-98-42-T, Decision on Ntahobali’s Motion for Separate Trial, 2 February 2005, paras 34-39.

[2] Prosecutor v. Milan Martić, Case No. IT-95-11-PT, Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, Case No. IT-03-69-PT, Prosecutor v. Šešelj, Case No. IT-03-67-PT, Decision on Prosecution Motion for Joinder, 10 November 2005; Brđanin and Talić Separate Trial Decision, para. 21, citing Prosecutor v. Simić et al., Case No. IT-95-9-PT, Decision on Defence Motion to Sever Defendant and Counts, 15 March 1999. 

Download full document
ICTR Rule Rule 48 ICTY Rule Rule 48