On the day when Mario Cerkez left the UN Detention Unit, the prosecution’s motion for the “immediate stay” of the order for his “immediate release” was made public. The prosecution will seek to adduce additional evidence in support the first-instance judgment in the Cerkez case

Mario Cerkez in the courtroomMario Cerkez in the courtroom

As soon as the prosecution learned yesterday of the urgent order issued by the Appeals Chamber for the “immediate release” of the accused Mario Cerkez, it applied for an “immediate stay” of the order. Cerkez, however walked out of the Detention Unit this morning and flew back to Croatia.

The prosecution considers that an accused awaiting the appeal judgment can be released only once the judgment has been delivered. In the order issued yesterday, the judges did not specify what the judgment and the sentence imposed on Mr. Cerkez would be. This will be made public on 17 December. However, the prosecution considers that “the first-instance judgment remains valid” until the delivery of the final judgment.

As the second grounds for the stay of the judges’ order, the prosecution states that it will be filing a motion to be allowed to adduce additional evidence in the case against Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez. The evidence, in the opinion of the prosecution, tend to support the first-instance judgment, sentencing Cerkez to 15 years in prison for the attacks on Bosniaks in Vitez and its environs. “If the Appeals Chamber allows new evidence to be presented, it might affect the judgment and sentence,” it is stated in the motion by which the prosecution tried in vain to prevent the release of Mario Cerkez.