Prosecutor v Todorovic: illegal capture as an obstacle to the exercise of international criminal jurisdiction
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
For years the majority of those individuals publicly indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) remained at large due to a lack of co-operation from states whose assistance was required to effect their arrest. In order to assist in this regard, various operations have been undertaken since 1997 by which UN and regional missions have taken steps to assist the ICTY in the difficult task of bringing accused before the Tribunal in The Hague. Such steps were taken in the case of Stevan Todorovic, who was captured and transferred to The Hague by means of an operation shrouded in secrecy and alleged to have involved illegal behaviour on the part of the NATO-led Stabilization Force. The following article discusses the nature of Todorovic's arrest (based on the limited facts available) and his various attempts to have his indictment dismissed due to the nature of his arrest. In so doing, it considers the state of the law regarding the appropriateness of an international judicial body proceeding with the trial of an individual brought before it by potentially illegal means. Although a plea agreement was reached in the case, with the result that the judicial consideration of the issues is limited, important issues are nevertheless raised in the arguments of the Office of the Prosecution and the defence counsel which are likely to recur in similar cases in the future.