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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 24th Mar 2004

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 24 March 2004

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

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 24.03.2004

Time: 12:00


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

Good afternoon,

Tomorrow, Thursday 25 March, the President of the Tribunal, Judge
Theodor Meron, will preside over a hearing in the Milosevic case
in order to ascertain whether Mr. Milosevic gives his consent for
his trial to continue with a replacement Judge pursuant to Rule
15 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The session
will commence at 10 a.m. in Courtroom I.

In the case The Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdjanin, this afternoon
starting at 2.15 p.m. in Courtroom I, Trial Chamber II will hold
a hearing to inform the Accused about the locations that the Trial
Chamber visited in the presence of the Prosecution and Defence during
its on-site visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina between 14 and 18 March

Judge Agius, Judge Janu and Judge Taya, who are sitting on the
trial of Radislav Brdanin, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina to familiarise
themselves with various locations contained in the Indictment where
it is alleged crimes were committed.

The pronouncement of the Judgement in The Prosecutor v. Miroslav
will be held on Tuesday, 30 March 2004 starting at
12 p.m. in Courtroom III.

The pronouncement of the Sentencing Judgement in The Prosecutor
v. Darko Mrdja
will be held on Wednesday, 31 March 2004 starting
at 3 p.m. in Courtroom I.

With regard to the rest of the court schedule and in addition
to the ongoing trials:

There will be a status conference in The Prosecutor v. Tihomir
before the Pre-Appeal Judge, Judge Pocar, on 29 March
starting at 4 p.m. in Courtroom III.

There will be a status conference in The Prosecutor v. Naletilic
and Martinovic
before the Pre-Appeal Judge, Judge Pocar, on
30 March starting at 3 p.m.

There will be a status conference in The Prosecutor v.Stanislav
before the Pre-Appeal Judge, Judge Mumba, on 31 March
starting at 10 a.m.

There will be a status conference in The Prosecutor v. Milomir
before the Pre-Appeal Judge, Judge Meron, on 5 April
starting at 9.30 a.m. in Courtroom II.

In The Prosecutor v. Limaj, Bala and Musliu, the Defendants
have been ordered by the Pre-Trial Judge to file their pre-trial
briefs on 10 May 2004.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Florence Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor,
made no statement.


Asked whether, in the Milosevic case, the Prosecution had filed
their response to the amici curiaeMotion for Judgement
of Acquittal Pursuant to Rule 98 bis’,
Landale replied that
they had filed it confidentially.

Asked whether the recent events in Kosovo fell under the jurisdiction
of the ICTY, Hartmann replied that, for all crimes except genocide,
the Statute of the ICTY required an armed conflict to have occurred.
The ICTY Prosecution therefore had no jurisdiction regarding the
recent events in Kosovo, however, they were of course aware of the
unfolding situation. The Prosecutor, Hartmann went on to say, was
very vigilant in paying attention to those events. It was a pity
that justice did not deter crimes from being committed, she concluded.

Landale added that it was worth pointing out that the ICTY
had concurrent jurisdiction with the authorities and courts in the
former Yugoslavia and that both UNMIK and the authorities in Belgrade
could and should investigate possible crimes committed within their

Hartmann added that the Prosecutor could only act according
the Statute and that it was not a matter of choice. The Statute
required an armed conflict to have occurred. In this case, the OTP
did not have jurisdiction, but this did not mean that these events
should not be seen as crimes.

A journalist remarked on the fact that an international body
was present in Kosovo in the form of UNMIK, people had been killed
and what had taken place between UNMIK and the demonstrators should
be seen as a form of armed conflict. Asked what the definition of
armed conflict was, Hartmann replied that the definition of armed
conflict was difficult to specify. On a number of occasions discussions
were held within the OTP as to whether an indictment could contain
events relating to a period before ‘very obvious’ armed conflict
had begun. The first weeks or months of events that would later
be seen as obvious armed conflicts were challenged, it was not easy.
It was a pity for the victims involved that such discussions had
to take place, but a framework was in place which had to be respected,
she concluded.

The journalist stated that the framework was set by the ICTY
Judges. Hartmann replied that the ICTY held the precondition of
armed conflict for everything except genocide. This was not, she
added, the case for the ICTR or the ICC, but was specific to this
Tribunal, which was established in 1993 when there was no question
of the fact that the situation within the former Yugoslavia involved
armed conflict.

At the time it was not foreseen that in certain cases the
situation might not be quite so clear. For example, she went on
to say, the question of whether, following the Kumanovo peace agreement,
crimes committed after NATO was deployed in Kosovo, fell within
the jurisdiction of the ICTY as having occurred during armed conflict.
A similar situation occurred at the beginning of the events in Macedonia.
But as soon as she could, the Prosecutor said that an armed conflict
had occurred and that the ICTY had jurisdiction.

Hartmann recalled that Ms. Del Ponte had already addressed the
issue on 24 November 2000, when she had asked the U.N. Security
Council, which has the sole authority to amend the Statute of the
ICTY, to modify Article 5 of the Tribunal’s Statute in order that
the reference and requirement for an ‘armed conflict’ should be
withdrawn. At that time, Ms. Del Ponte was already saying that the
"requirement that crimes are linked to an armed conflict effectively
precludes her Office from dealing with on-going crimes committed
in Kosovo after the deployment of KFOR" (since June 1999)

(Press Release No. 542, page 3).


The Prosecutor v. Miroslav Kvocka, Mlado Radic, Zoran Ziric
and Dragoljub Prcac

22 March 2004 "Decision."

The Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdajnin (concerning allegations
against Milka Maglov)

19 March 2004 "Decision on Motion for Acquittal Pursuant to
Rule 98bis."

19 March 2004 "Decision on Interlocutory Appeal."

The Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaskic

19 March 2004 "Appellant’s Supplemental Brief on Appeal."

The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic

18 March 2004 "Order Concerning Authentication of Intercepted

21 March 2004 "Amici Curiae Observations Pursuant to Rule
15bis(C) for Hearing on 25 March 2004."

22 March 2004 "Order Extending Page Limit for Prosecution
Response to the Rule 98bis Motion."

The Prosecutor v. Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic

12 March 2004 "Prosecution’s Redacted Consolidated Response
to Vidoje Vidoje Blagojevic’s and Dragan Jokic’s Motions for Acquittal
Pursuant to Rule 98bis."

The Prosecutor v. Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura

19 March 2004 "Submission of the Amended Report of the Prosecution’s
Military Expert."

The Prosecutor v. Milan Babic

22 March 2004 "Prosecution’s Sentencing Brief."

22 March 2004 "Milan Babic’s Sentencing Brief."

The Prosecutor v. Pavle Strugar

23 March 2004 "Decision on Defence Motion Requesting Access
to Miodrag Jokic’s Plea Agreement and Related Documents."

The Prosecutor v. Miodrag Jokic

23 March 2004 "Decision on Pavle Strugar’s Request for Variation
of Protective Measures."