2010-04-20, The Hague, The Netherlands. The Appeals Chamber, by majority, made a decision to hear a testimony of Miodrag Panic. The Defence argues that his testimony will invalidate Sljivancanin’s conviction for aiding and abetting murder as a war crime. The issue of whether the evidentiary hearing itself is justified (on the ground that the testimony is a ‘new fact’) will be dealt with at the same hearing.
Judge Pocar, in his dissent, objected to the Chamber’s decision on several grounds:
- the existence of a new fact which, if proved, could justify a review of the judgement must be established prior to an evidentiary hearing; and even if a hearing is necessary to decide this very issue, it should be strictly limited to a discussion between the parties as to the existence of a new fact. The majority’s procedure is problematic because the existence of a new fact is distinct from the content and relevance of such a fact;
- the principle of finality of judgments prohibits reconsideration of judgments;
- there is also a ’flood-gate’ concern because other convicted defendants may also start filing similar motions.