Personal interest

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Admission of Transcript - 23.11.2007 PRLIĆ et al.

24. […] Indeed, Prlić had already shown in September 2005 that a divergence on personal and political views might have ensued at the time of the questioning; the Trial Chamber concluded, however, that such a divergence did not create a legal conflict of interest.[1] Even the additional material brought at the trial stage on possible personal and political disagreements between Prlić and Salahović did not convince the Trial Chamber that a conflict of interest existed. In practice, it is unclear how the defence strategy could be influenced by the fact that Salahović was Prlić’s counsel.[2]

25. The Appeals Chamber therefore finds that it fell within the Trial Chamber’s discretion to conclude that, in light of the circumstances of the case and the acquaintance of the two individuals in question, their divergence of political and personal views in the indictment period would not adversely affect Salahović’s professional judgement and amount, as such, to the legal conflict of interest posited by Prlić at the time of the questioning. Prlić Appeal in this respect is therefore dismissed.

26. […] without linking the differing political and personal interests and activities with any actual or potential effects these differences would have on Salahović’s “duty of loyalty to … put [the interests of justice] before his own”,[3] a trier of fact could reasonably find that no conflict of interest was established. Prlić Appeal in this respect is therefore dismissed.

[1] Pre-Trial Decision on Statement, para. 17.

[2] See, in this respect, Prosecutor v. Željko Mejakić et al., Case No. IT-02-65-AR73.1, Decision on Appeal by the Prosecution to Resolve Conflict of Interest Regarding Attorney Jovan Simić, 6 October 2004, para. 15.

[3] Code of Conduct, Article 14(A).

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Other instruments Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel Appearing Before the International Tribunal
Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Conflict of Interest (Markač) - 04.05.2007 GOTOVINA et al.

24. As noted above, the Appellant has not denied personal knowledge of the relevant information which he has presented in his submissions that the Ministry of Justice was not responsible for the military courts. In these circumstances, the Appeals Chamber agrees with the Trial Chamber that his denial at this early stage of proceedings that it was the Ministry of Justice that was responsible for the military courts, thereby eliminating a defence strategy that was otherwise open to Markač, may be considered a significant indication of a conflict of interest. […]

38. In the present case, the Appellant, as counsel, has been found to have a personal interest on account of his previous position as Minister of Justice.[1] Further, because he has personal knowledge directly relevant to the crimes allegedly committed by the three accused in the Indictment, he is likely to be called as a necessary witness for one of the accused. Such a conflict affects the essential fairness of the trial to all accused persons in this case. Cumulatively, these factors make his continued representation of Markač incompatible with the best interests of justice. […]

[1] See para. 24 supra.

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Other instruments Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel Appearing Before the International Tribunal.