note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
Jim Landale, Spokesman
for Registry and Chambers, made the following opening statement:
First, I would like to announce
that, pursuant to a Scheduling Order filed yesterday, the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik
will begin next Monday 12 May at 9 a.m. in Courtroom I. You are all of course
welcome to attend.
You all would have seen
that on 1 May 2003, Judge Agius confirmed an Indictment against Jovica Stanisic
and Franko Simatovic for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws
or customs of war. The Tribunal now expects the authorities in Belgrade to transfer
both individuals in due course, once they have been processed through the necessary
legal procedures in Serbia.
In addition, you all should
have seen from our press advisory yesterday that the start of the Blagojevic
et al trial has been postponed until Wednesday 14 May, at 9 a.m. in Courtroom
III. Furthermore, you should have seen copies of the "Joint Motion for
Consideration of Plea Agreement Between Momir Nikolic and the Office of the
Prosecutor", which was filed yesterday, 6 May, and on which there was
a hearing yesterday afternoon.
I have just been informed
that there will be a further hearing on this matter today at 3 p.m. in Courtroom
I (please note that after the Briefing, the Press Office was informed that the
hearing was moved to 4.30 p.m.
With regard to other
developments related to on-going proceedings:
Next week, following a Scheduling
Order from the Appeals Chamber, the hearing on Appeals will begin in the Prosecutor
v. Milorad Krnojelac on Wednesday 14 May 2003 at 2.15 p.m. in Courtroom
I. It is scheduled for two days.
Among the court documents
we have received since the last briefing, the following are brought to your
On 17 April, in The Prosecutor
v. Zeljko Meakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar, Predrag Banovic and Dusko Knezevic
we received the Defence Pre-Trial Brief for Momcilo Gruban.
In the same case on 21 April
we received Dusan Fustar’s Pre-Trial Brief.
On 29 April in the Prosecutor
v. Mladen Naletilic "Tuta" and Vinko Martinovic "Stela"
we received notices of appeal from both accused. On 1 May we received the Prosecutor’s
Notice of Appeal.
On 28 April, in The Prosecutor
v. Stanislav Galic we received the Prosecution’s Final Trial Brief. This
is an extremely lengthy document and so will only be available on request.
On 24 April, in the The
Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdjanin, we received from the President of the Trial
Chamber, Judge Meron, an "Order Determining Competent Trial Chamber
in the Case of Contempt", which confirmed that "the Trial Chamber,
as composed for the case The Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdjanin is competent under
Rule 77(D)(ii) of the Rules to adjudicate the alleged contempt against Milka
On 16 April, in The Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic Trial Chamber III (Judge May, presiding, Judge Robinson
and Judge Kwon) issued its "Decision on Prosecution Motion for the Admission
of Evidence-In-Chief of Its Witnesses in Writing", which by a majority
and with Judge Kwon dissenting, denied the application.
On 17 April, in The Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic we received the "Prosecution’s Motion Under
Rule 73 bis to Vary the Trial Chamber’s Decision as to Which Witnesses are To
Be Called and Request for Additional Time to Present Evidence".
On 25 April in the Milosevic
case, we received the "Prosecution Submission of Expert Statement of
Dr. Ivan Kristan Pursuant to Rule 94bis" entitled "Expert Witness
Report on Constitutional and Legal Issues in the Case Against Slobodan Milosevic".
In the same case on 6 May
we received the Trial Chamber’s "Decision on Two Prosecution Requests
For Certification on Appeal Against Decisions of the Trial Chamber",
in which the Trial Chamber granted two requests from the Prosecution for Certification
to appeal two Decisions denying motions from the Prosecution, namely the Trial
Chamber’s "Decision on Prosecution Motion for Judicial Notice of Adjudicated
Facts" issued on 10 April 2003, and the Trial Chamber’s "Decision
on Prosecution Motion for the Admission of Evidence-in-Chief of its Witnesses
in Writing" issued on 16 April 2003.
Again in the Milosevic case
and on the same day, the "Submission of Serbia and Montenegro Pursuant
to the Chamber Order Issued at the Oral Hearing of 10 March 2003 Concerning
the ‘Prosecution’s Application For an Order Pursuant to Rule 54 bis Directing
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Comply with Outstanding Requests For Assistance’"
On 6 May in the Prosecutor
v. Milan Milutinovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic and Nikola Sainovic, Trial Chamber III
(Judge May, presiding, Judge Robinson and Judge Kwon) rendered its "Decision
on Motion Challenging Jurisdiction", in which the Trial Chamber denied
the motion. Judge Robinson appended a separate opinion.
Copies of all the documents
I have mentioned are available to you on request.
Finally, we are currently
updating our contact lists. Could you please check the numbers we have for you
on the lists we will provide to you at the end of this briefing and make any
changes or amendments you feel are necessary. Thank you.
Florence Hartmann, Spokeswomen
for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:
I wish to inform you of
two working visits the Chief Prosecutor will be making over the next weeks.
Next week she will go to Washington and New York. The Chief Prosecutor will
meet the US Administration in Washington and in New York she will meet UN officials.
The following week she will be in Sarajevo on 19 May and in Belgrade on 20 May.
All these are working visits concerning the work of the OTP. I have no further
details to provide to you at the moment.
In answer to
the question whether the Tribunal had received a request from the authorities
of Serbia and Montenegro to interview Milosevic in relation to the murder of
Stambolic, Landale answered in the negative. He added that there had been no
request to interview Seselj either (with regard to the charges against him in
Belgrade related to the murder of Djindjic).
A journalist wondered
whether the Tribunal had taken any action to interview Momcilo Mandic who had
recently been arrested and who might be able to answer questions on the whereabouts
of Radovan Karadzic. In answer, Hartmann replied that the Prosecution did not
give any details of contacts it may or may not have.
The next question referred
to a high level official in Belgrade, Dragoljub Micunovic, and his suggestion
that Stanisic and Simatovic should be investigated and stand trial in Serbia
for the murder of Djindjic before being transferred to the ICTY. The journalist
wondered whether the Tribunal had any comment on this. In response, Hartmann
stated that the OTP expected Stanisic and Simatovic to be transferred to The
Hague in the near future. She noted that the OTP was aware of the proceedings
against the two in Serbia relating to non-Tribunal matters although she did
not know the details. She added that the OTP had not been informed of any obstacles
to their transfer.
She further pointed
out that any proceedings at the ICTY would not impede on proceedings before
the local judiciary in Serbia.
Landale added that the
Tribunal welcomed the fact that Stanisic and Simatovic were already in custody
and hoped that this fact would make it easier for them to be transferred in
good time to the Tribunal. This was expected to happen once all the legal procedures
had been worked through. He did not expect any particular delay, he added.
In answer to a question
as to which country Biljana Plavsic would be transferred to serve her sentence,
Landale pointed out that Tribunal policy was that no announcement was made on
where an individual would serve their sentence until the transfer had taken
The journalist asked whether
this meant that Plavsic had not yet arrived in the country in which she would
serve her sentence. Landale responded that Plavsic had not yet been transferred.
A journalist asked which
days Carla del Ponte would be in Washington. In response, Hartmann said she
would be there from Monday to Thursday next week.
The final question posed
was whether there were any changes with the Tribunal’s agreement with Sweden
in regard to accepting prisoners – the journalist understood Sweden only accepted
Swedish nationals or those with strong ties to Sweden. Landale answered that
he was not aware of any changes but would check.