Serious prejudice

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Motion for Severance - 24.07.2009 BAGOSORA et al. (Military I)

29.     The Appeals Chamber considers that in light of the specific circumstances of the case, the prolongation of Ntabakuze’s appeal by approximately ten months does not amount to an undue delay capable of causing serious prejudice. The trial proceedings were highly complex, encompassing a vast amount of alleged crimes in different locations, and corresponding evidence assessed at trial. All three co-Appellants were high-ranking military staff and were convicted for a number of crimes for which they received substantial sentences. It can be expected that the Appeals Chamber will have to assess a large amount of different grounds of appeal of all co-Appellants, encompassing a variety of issues.

30.     The Appeals Chamber further considers that Ntabakuze fails to substantiate how the delay could infringe on his right to make his appeal submissions adequately. Likewise, he fails to demonstrate how the fact that the Prosecution would de facto have 11 months to respond instead of the statutory 40 days would cause him prejudice serious enough to warrant the severance of his case.

[1] See for example Rule 115(D) of the Rules which benefits co-appellants in the presentation of additional evidence.

[2] This has been previously noted for trial proceedings in a number of cases: See, e.g., Tolimir Decision, para. 8; Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brðanin and Momir 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, para. 31 (“Nothing could be more destructive of the pursuit of justice than to have inconsistent results in separate trials based upon the same facts.”); Prosecutor v. Zejnil Delalić et al., Case No. IT-96-21-T, Decision on Motions for Separate Trial Filed by the Accused Zejnil Delalić and the Accused Zdravko Mucić, 26 September 1996, para. 7.

[3] Cf. Slobodan Milošević v. Prosecutor, Case No. IT-02-54-AR73.7, Decision on Interlocutory Appeal of the Trial Chamber’s Decision on the Assignment of Defense Counsel, 1 November 2004, para. 9; Prosecutor v. Zdravko Tolimir et al., Case No. IT-04-80-AR73.1, Decision on Radivoje Miletić’s Interlocutory Appeal Against the Trial Chamber’s Decision on Joinder of Accused, 27 January 2006, para. 5 (“Tolimir Decision”). 

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