ICTY Weekly Press Briefing
Registry and Chambers:
Let me first highlight key upcoming events.
The UN Security Council Working Group on Ad Hoc Tribunals is paying a two-day working visit to the ICTY. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the residual and legacy issues pertaining to the Tribunal with its principals and other key staff.
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Fausto Pocar will be in London next week, 6 and 7 October, where he will take part in a Council of Europe conference on International Courts and Tribunals. President Pocar will be a discussant in the session dedicated to the role of international judges as key players of international justice.
As for the key decisions, on Monday, the Registrar of the Tribunal Hans Holthuis advised Vojislav Šešelj that due to his abuse of privileged communications facilities, communications with his team of legal advisors will be subject to the standard system of monitoring at the Detention Unit for a period of 30 days. Šešelj is able to appeal the decision to the Tribunal’s President.
Turning to the court schedule:
The start of trial in the case of Momčilo Perišić scheduled to begin today has been delayed until issues relating to the appointment of judges for the trial are resolved. A Scheduling Order providing the revised start time for the trial will be issued in due course.
Next week, the Appeals Chamber will render its judgement in the case against Milan Martić, one of the most senior persons tried by the Tribunal, on Wednesday, 8 October at 2:00 pm in courtroom I. In June 2007 Martić, a former war-time political leader of Croatian Serbs, was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment for persecutions, murder, torture, deportation and other crimes against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war committed during the early nineties against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia. Both parties appealed the first-instance judgement. The Defence requested a finding of not guilty or a re-trial on the basis of several alleged errors of law and fact. The Prosecution presented one ground of appeal, asking for a revision of the sentence due to an alleged error of law. An appeals hearing was held on 25 and 26 June 2008.
The trials for Popović and others, Prlić and others, Lukić and Lukić, Gotovina and others and Šešelj will continue this week and the next. Please see the courtroom schedule on the Tribunal’s website for details.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.
A journalist asked why the trial for Momčilo Perišić scheduled to begin today was delayed until further notice. Jelačić said that the Tribunal was awaiting the formal approval from the United Nations for the assignment of judges to this trial. Jelačić added that in his last report to the Security Counsel in NY on 5 June, the President of the Tribunal asked for the United Nations support on this matter.
Asked about details of appointment of ad-litem judges, Jelačić said that they are elected by the General Assembly and appointed by the Secretary General on the recommendation of the President.
Asked if the duration of the appointment of the ad-litem judges would be until December 2009 or earlier and what would happen if the trial lasted longer, Jelačić stated she would not be able to speculate about any dates or decision that may be made in the future.