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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 14th Jul 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 14 July 1999

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 14 July 1999

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Today, Jim Landale, Spokesman for Registry and Chambers, made the following

On 12 July, Trial
Chamber II designated Judge David Anthony Hunt as the pre-trial judge in the
Brdjanin case, pursuant to Rule 65 ter of the Rules of Procedure and

On 13 July, Trial
Chamber II issued a Corrigendum Order stipulating that Radoslav Brdjanin’s
first name should be spelt with an ‘o’ rather than an ‘i’.

Also, I would
like to remind you that the Judgement in the Tadic appeal will be delivered
tomorrow at 9 a. m.



The Deputy Prosecutor, Graham Blewitt, had no announcements to make.



Asked to confirm
whether or not there was a valid international arrest warrant issued for
Arkan, Blewitt answered that there was not. He confirmed that he was aware
of the MSNBC reports of Arkan seeking to surrender himself, but said that
neither Arkan nor lawyer had been in direct contact with the Tribunal on
this matter. Since his indictment, Arkan’s lawyer, Giovani di Stefano,
who worked for the Dusan Lekovic Law Firm, had corresponded frequently with
the Tribunal, but on no occasion had there been any talk of surrender, he
said. Blewitt added that the Office of the Prosecutor would be in a position
to accommodate his surrender if and when that happened.

Blewitt said that the Arkan indictment had been issued in 1997 and that
since that time attempts had been made to arrest him. There were a number
of arrest warrants, the primary one to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(FRY). The indictment was sealed and so his lawyer would not have seen a
copy of it, he said, adding that he would most likely have seen a copy of
the arrest warrant as this was a public document. Blewitt rejected allegations
in the media that Tribunal was not ready for Arkan and said that his office
was ready to go to trial. He added that there had been a great deal of speculation
in the article.

Asked whether
there had ever been any previous attempts to make a deal with the Tribunal,
Blewitt said that there had not and that the only similar situation he could
think of was with Drazen Erdemovic, who indicated his willingness to plead
guilty. Once indicted, however, the Prosecutor had no power to make deals
with the accused, apart from indicating to the Trial Chamber that the accused
had indeed pleaded guilty and suggesting a more lenient sentence.

Asked whether
a more substantive incentive could be given to an indictee by the Prosecution
to surrender, Blewitt replied that the legal obligation lay with the state
to act on an arrest warrant. In the absence of state cooperation in Bosnia,
SFOR had taken over. This had sometimes led to the accused or SFOR members
being injured and so surrendering ensured no violence need occur, he said.
No other incentives existed, he added.

Asked about
the Prosecutor’s visit to Kosovo, Blewitt confirmed that the Prosecutor
was in the early stages of her visit and had yesterday visited officials
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the morning and
in the afternoon had met with the KFOR Commander, General Jackson, and other
UN officials. She would be visiting some of the sites being investigated
by her office today, he said.

Asked for
the number of people working in Kosovo for the OTP at the moment, Blewitt
said that the figures changed daily, with some teams doing short-term stays
to be taken over by other teams. He estimated that currently there were
around 50 people working in five teams for the OTP in Kosovo.

Blewitt said that KFOR were providing the security necessary for the teams
to perform their jobs. He noted that the investigation teams would soon
be allowing TV documentary crews on to the sites to film. This had been
delayed in order to establish good liaison in the field with KFOR and to
allow the teams to be established. One media team per site would be allowed,
he added.

Asked whether
the latest discoveries in Kosovo would indeed lead to the OTP extending
the Milosevic indictment to include genocide, Blewitt said that it could
be extended, however it was premature to say. To prove genocide, it was
necessary to establish that the intent was there to destroy in whole or
in part an ethnic group. This evidence would come from sources other than
the forensic pathology investigations, he added.

Asked why
no international arrest warrant had been issued in Arkan’s case, Blewitt
answered that, prior to March 1999, the indictment had been under seal.
If an international arrest warrant had been issued, the indictment would
no longer have been secret. Prior to the release of the arrest warrant,
Arkan’s travel movements had been monitored in order to enable his
arrest and an arrest warrant had been issued to Belgrade, as well as a number
of other countries where arrests could be made. The OTP cooperated with
Interpol, with all open indictments being automatically given to Interpol.
Interpol then issued a ‘red notice’, which was then distributed
around the world. Interpol had the authority to apprehend and detain an
indictee until an arrest warrant was issued, he added.

Asked about
the difference between an international arrest warrant and an Interpol ‘red
notice’, Blewitt said that an international arrest warrant was an order
direct from the Tribunal to each state, imposing on them an additional legal
obligation. Each country was obliged under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to
act if they were in a position to do so. The existence of a ‘red notice’
merely provided an alert if a particular person entered a state’s territory.
Blewitt added that not all countries were members of Interpol and those
that were, were not always willing to act on a ‘red notice’. There
were therefore some differences between the two. However, if the Tribunal
knew a person was in an Interpol member-state, they did not require an international
arrest warrant for an arrest to take place. If the ‘red notice’
was the only thing that existed, it was often sufficient for an arrest,
he said.

Asked whether
or not there was evidence of Arkan and his forces having been in Kosovo,
Blewitt said that he was aware of the allegations in the media to that effect,
but had no comment to make.

Asked if he
could put a figure on the number of victims in Kosovo, Blewitt answered that
it was too early to give figures. There was also a difference between those
killed during the fighting between the Serb forces and the KLA, and innocent
civilians being killed.