Exclusive Report from International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milsoevic (ICDSM) Attorney Tiphaine Dickson at The Hague, December 18th.

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Exclusive Report from International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM) Attorney Tiphaine Dickson at The Hague
Reposted from
[Posted 18 December 2002]


The following report is from Attorney Tiphaine Dickson, retained by the Int'l Committee to Defend Slobodan Milsoevic, and writing from The Hague. A full report on the ICDSM delegation will be forthcoming. - Jared Israel

Preliminary Legal Remarks Of ICDSM Attorney Ms. Tiphaine Dickson, Present Today At The Hague

18 December 2002, The Hague

Earlier today, Trial Chamber III allocated a few minutes of its timetable to summarize a decision with respect to Slobodan Milosevic's health, trial conditions, and to rule on requests for provisional release filed by parties.

The full ruling was unavailable to the public and the press.

On 5th and 12th of November, the ICDSM petitioned the Chamber for urgent specialized medical attention (1) and for the provisional release of Slobodan Milosevic.(2) On the basis of medical reports and international law, we argued that the current trial conditions constitute a threat to his life, that lack of adequate medical attention is tantamount to torture, and requested that he be afforded the right to urgent, specialized medical care by physicians familiar with his history. This requires provisional release to Belgrade as well as full convalescence.

The ICDSM further submitted that President Milosevic's fundamental right to represent himself, and to not have counsel imposed on him creates an obligation on the Chamber to accommodate the exercise of this right by providing conditions other than those of a grueling trial schedule with restricted access to his legal assistants in a prison. We provided the Chamber with a legal basis upon which to order Slobodan Milosevic's release for the continuation of the trial in a non-custodial setting, following full convalescence.

Chamber III has today denied provisional release, and appears, since they affirm that they will proceed according to their "timetable", to have denied requests for an adjournment so that President Milosevic may obtain specialized medical evaluation and treatment. They did not mention the ICDSM's motion or requests.

Trial Chamber III has disregarded the reasoning of their colleagues in the Talic matter who stated:

"It would be inappropriate for this Trial Chamber to wait until Talic is on the verge of death before considering favorably his application for provisional release."
[Note: "Talic" refers to the Tribunal's proceedings against Radoslav Brdanin and Momir Talic - JI]

The ICDSM considers that it would also be "inappropriate" for the Chamber to wait until these trial conditions cause severe cardiac complications, stroke, or death before "considering favorably" an application for provisional release. It is also "inappropriate" to wait until Slobodan Milosevic is on the verge of death before "favorably considering" a request for specialized medical attention.

The Chamber stated that "as previously" they would deny provisional release. Previously, that is March 6th 2002, Slobodan Milosevic's health conditions had not deteriorated as they have in the past months. Previously, the arguments of the court-appointed amici took up only four transcript pages including the following remark:

"So I'm not insisting on provisional release and equality of arms, so to speak".

The ICDSM did not consider that the matter had been previously argued in an adequate manner. It appears from the fragment of the decision to which the public was made privy [today] that the Chamber has equated previous requests with current ones. Such an interpretation would constitute a gross misapprehension of the facts and the law.

The Chamber did however refuse to impose counsel on President Milosevic. The ICDSM is relieved that Slobodan Milosevic's arguments supporting his right to represent himself and not to have counsel imposed on him have prevailed.

Another statement will follow the disclosure of the full decision.

Tiphaine Dickson
Attorney ICDSM

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1) See "Specialists Must Examine Slobodan Milosevic Now!" at http://emperor.vwh.net/icdsm/more/specialists.htm

2) See "Full text of ICDSM Motion Requesting Amicus Curiae Status," at

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