Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 7 October 2002
CC / P.I.S / 700-e
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA REQUESTED TO DEFER FIVE CASES TO THE COMPETENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL
On Friday 4 October 2002, Trial Chamber I, consisting of Judge Liu (Presiding), Judge El Mahdi and Judge Orie, rendered its Decision on the ICTY Prosecutor’s Request for a Deferral Order to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
This request was filed on 5 September and discussed at a hearing on 25 September, in which FYROM’s Public Prosecutor participated.
The ICTY Prosecutor requested that a Chamber issue a formal request to the FYROM to defer five specific investigations and prosecutions of alleged crimes committed by the National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian forces in FYROM in 2001 to the International Tribunal:
the "NLA Leadership" case
the "Mavrovo Road Worker" case
the "Lipkovo Water Reserve" case
the "Ljuboten" investigation
the "Neprošteno" investigation.
The Trial Chamber granted the request.
The ICTY Prosecutor also requested that the Chamber issue an Order to the competent authorities of FYROM to defer "all current and future investigations and prosecutions" of alleged crimes committed by NLA members during 2001 and of allegations concerning the activities of the Macedonian forces against Macedonian Albanian civilians during the same year to the competence of the Tribunal.
The Trial Chamber denied this part of the ICTY Prosecutor’s Request.
It considered the principle of concurrent jurisdiction between the ICTY and national courts, and the fact that "the Tribunal, for the remaining time of its mission, should concentrate on high-level perpetrators only", and concluded that "it appears inappropriate (…) to request the deferral of all current and future investigations and prosecutions, notwithstanding their potential seriousness (…) or the status of alleged perpetrators, to the competence of the Tribunal".
A copy of the Decisions mentioned above can be obtained from the Public Information Services of the ICTY. The Decisions are also being released on the Tribunal’s internet site: www.un.org/icty