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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 1st Nov 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 1 November 2000

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 1 November 2000

Time: 11:30 a.m.



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

30 October, Judge Richard May ordered that the names of the co-indictees on
the Vasiljevic indictment of 26 October 1998, Milan Lukic and his cousin Sredoje
Lukic, which were previously under seal, be made public, "so that all
possibilities to secure their arrest may be employed"
. This follows
a motion filed by the Prosecutor on 30 October 2000, in which it was submitted
that, to date, all efforts to secure the arrest of the two individuals had been
unsuccessful. We will have copies of the indictment in English and French later
on today.

Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic, have been charged with crimes against
humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war for their alleged participation
in the mass murder, torture and other cruel treatment of the Bosnian Muslim
population, including women, children and the elderly, in and around the eastern
Bosnian town of Visegrad, between May 1992 and October 1994.

to the indictment, in at least two incidents in June 1992, Mitar Vasiljevic,
Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic, committed, planned, instigated, ordered, or otherwise,
aide and abetted the mass murder of approximately 135 Bosnian Muslim civilians
by locking those persons inside two houses and setting the houses on fire. In
one of the incidents, 46 members of one family were killed. We will have copies
of that indictment for you shortly.

on, you will have seen from our press release that Dusko Tadic was transferred
to Germany yesterday to serve his sentence. There are additional copies of that
press release available after this.

addition, on 27 October 2000, a Bench of the Appeals Chamber, comprising Judges
Jorda (presiding), Bennouna and Pocar, granted Mr. Milan Vujin’s request, filed
confidentially on 7 February 2000, for leave to appeal the Appeals Chamber Judgement
of 31 January 2000, finding him guilty of contempt of the Tribunal.

of you will be aware of the background, but I’ll just go over it again for those
who are not. The allegations of contempt arose from Vujin’s conduct between
September 1997 and April 1998, when he was acting as lead counsel on behalf
of Dusko Tadic in connection with the appeals against the Judgement of 7 May
1997 and the Sentencing Judgement of 14 July 1997.

its Judgement of 31 January 2000, the Appeals Chamber found unanimously that:

"that the Respondent put forward to it in support of the Rule 115 application
a case which was known to him to be false in relation to the weight to be given
to statements made by Mlado Radic and in relation to the responsibility of Goran
Borovnica for the killing of the two Muslim policemen, and

(2) that the Respondent manipulated Witnesses A and B by seeking to avoid any
identification by them in statements of their evidence of persons who may have
been responsible for the crimes for which Tadic had been convicted,"

a result, the Appeals Chamber:

Vujin to pay a fine of 15,000 Dutch guilders to the Registry of the Tribunal
within 21 days,

the Registrar "to consider striking" Mr. Vujin off the
list of assigned counsel and "reporting" his conduct to
the professional body to which he belongs,

that various documents pertaining to the case be made public where possible.

have copies of the decision in English and French and the relevant press release
from January this year for your background after this.

the Todorovic case, you should have seen the appeal filed by the Prosecutor
on 25 October 2000 against the Trial Chamber’s decision on the motion for Judicial
Assistance to be provided by SFOR and others, dated 18 October 2000.

that, we have now just received two documents from the Defence. The first is
a motion to dismiss the Prosecutor’s appeal filed on 31 October. We will have
copies of this ready for you after the briefing. Both parties have appealed
to the chambers to hold an oral hearing on the matter, with the Defence suggesting,
in a motion, that such a hearing could be held as early as next week.

appears that the Krstic cross-examination will last until tomorrow, Thursday,
and then re-direct will take place on Friday.

Naletilic and Matinovic pre-trial conference that was originally scheduled for
last Friday has been moved to 7 December 2000.

scheduling order for Foca trial has changed once again. Medical experts have
been scheduled to present their evidence on 10 November at 0930 hrs.

arguments will be heard from 20 to 22 November -- Prosecution on 20 and Defence
on 21 and 22.

also have copies for you of the amended indictment in the Kvocka and others
case, which was filed on 26 October 2000. This is a consolidation of the two
indictments for this case.



Florence Hartmann, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) made
no statement.



Asked for more
information on any possible unsuccessful attempts to arrest Milan Lukic and
Sredoje Lukic, Landale replied that he could not add anything to what was
included in the order from Judge May, ordering the release of the names of
these two individuals. This order was available, he said.

Hartmann added
that the OTP had nothing to say on this issue.

Asked why,
when it could be argued that arrests had been facilitated by keeping indictments
sealed, were their names being made public, Landale replied that on behalf
of the Tribunal the accepted rational behind the sealed indictment was that
it had aided in the detention of individuals who had not been apprehended
by the authorities on the ground.

It was obviously
the primary responsibility of the authorities on the ground, once they were
made aware of an indictment against an individual, to as soon as possible,
detain that individual and transfer them to the custody of the Tribunal.

In the early
days of the Tribunal, this was failing to happen, so the then-Prosecutor
Louise Arbour, decided to pursue a policy of asking for the non-disclosure
of certain indictments.

There had
been a big surge in the number of detentions by NATO forces on the ground
in Bosnia from the summer of 1997 following this new policy. The reason
for that was that individuals did not have prior knowledge that they were
indicted, could not try to hide or could not try to defend themselves against
the possibility of arrest.

In this case
it must have been felt that these individuals had not been apprehended and
that it would be a better policy to make their names public in the hope
that this would possibly help towards their apprehension, he concluded.

Asked that,
if the Lukic’s were in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, what expectations
the Tribunal had of the new authorities in Belgrade, Landale replied that
if this was the case, the expectations were very clear. The FRY and all states
had a binding legal obligation to detain any individual, not just these two
individuals, indicted by the Tribunal, who happened to be on their territory.

Asked for the
OTP’s reaction to a statement by President Kostunica that the OTP field office
could open in Belgrade as soon as the new Government was formed, Hartmann
replied that the OTP was encouraged by this kind of declaration. The OTP was
looking forward to this happening, but there was still no reply to the request
for a meeting with President Kostunica made by the Prosecutor. She added that
the opening of the offices was very important for many reasons, one of them
being gaining access to the witnesses and victims from Croatia, Bosnia and
Kosovo. Investigations could not be completed because of the problem of access
to the victims who were in Yugoslavia.

The opening
of the office and the cooperation between Belgrade and the ICTY would be the
same as with other countries for example Croatia and Bosnia. The office would
not only open to investigate war crimes where Serbs were victims, but also
to deal with the apprehension of fugitives, among other issues.

Asked if there
was any news when the expanded indictment of Milosevic would be issued, Hartmann
replied that, as the Prosecutor had previously stated, there was no date set,
it could perhaps be at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor was still in Arusha, Hartmann replied that she was.