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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 9th Dec 1998

ICTY Press Briefing - 9 December 1998

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 9 December 1998

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Jim Landale, the ICTY Spokesman, began today’s briefing with following

This afternoon
at 5 o’clock there will be a deferral hearing in the case of Mile Mrksic,
Veselin Slijvancanin and Miroslav Radic before Trial Chamber I in courtroom
one. This hearing will be held without the presence of the accused or the defence
counsel, but may be attended by a representative from the F.R.Y. appearing as
an amicus curiae. You should have received a fully detailed press release with
all the background to this on Monday. Copies are still available.

President McDonald’s
speech to the Security Council yesterday are also available.

The judgement
in the Furundzija case will be delivered at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon
by Trial Chamber III in courtrooom 3. We have a fact sheet available now and
will have a press release summarizing the judgement available after the hearing

Thursday December
10th is also the further initial appearance before Trial Chamber III of messrs
Radic, Kvocka, Zigic and Kos in the Omarska and Keraterm case. That will take
place at 10 o’clock.

On the initial
appearance of General Krstic I would just note the following: the defence has
30 days in which to submit translated copies of all the supporting material
to the indictment, and then the Defence has 30 days to file its preliminary

Finally, a copy
of the Secretary-General’s message to mark the 50th Anniversary
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also available.



Asked what
the procedure was for the deferral hearing. Mr Blewitt first described the
background to the hearing. On November 20th an invitation was received
from a Belgrade Military Court to attend a hearing on the 17 December that
was investigating the massacre at Vukovar Hospital. As this case was the subject
of an indictment it was already within the competence of the Tribunal and
an application was filed in order to transfer proceedings to The Hague from
the FRY. He further explained that a Prosecutor (Mr Grant Niemann) would be
at the hearing to set out grounds for the issuance of the order and then the
Trial Chamber would decide whether the order should be issued. Mr Blewitt
added that he would be attending the hearing in Belgrade should it go ahead.

Asked how many
people from the Tribunal would attend the hearing, Mr Blewitt replied that
four people from The Hague would attend if visas were issued, but that no
visa’s had been issued for anyone as yet. He added that some Belgrade
office staff might also attend.

Asked who the
staff were, Mr Blewitt stated that they were senior staff and staff involved
in that particular investigation. The visa’s had been applied for, he
said, adding that they had taken the unusual step of stating why the visa’s
were required.

Asked whether
the JNA officers were appearing as witnesses and whether the hearing in Belgrade
constituted an investigation or a trial, Mr Blewitt said he believed it to
be an investigation and that the three were witnesses.

Asked whether
he had any comment on the Security Council not issuing a statement, Mr Blewitt
said he had not been aware of the situation but believed that more discussion
over a draft resolution was taking place.

Asked whether
the deferral hearing would reach a ruling today, Mr Blewitt answered that
he hoped so.

Asked if President
McDonald had gone to the Security Council to address them on this specific
issue, Landale said that she had not, but had been invited by the Security
Council to report to them. Mr Blewitt further confirmed that she had planned
to speak to the Security Council before they had received the invitation to
the hearing in Belgrade.

Asked whether
other deferrals had been made in the past, Mr Blewitt confirmed that they
had in the Tadic case and the Lasva River Valley investigation, among others
(see press release 370-E).