note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
Date: 21 October 1998
Time: 11.30 a.m.
The ICTY Spokesman,
Jim Landale, began todays ICTY briefing by introducing Mr. Gavin Ruxton,
Senior Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor. On behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor,
Mr. Ruxton made the following statement:
OFFICE OF THE
Justice Louise Arbour, is in New York presenting the Office of the Prosecutor
budget for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to the ACABQ (Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions). The ICTY budget was presented
last week. The ACABQ is not the end of the process since the budget must be
approved by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, but the ACABQ is an
important step in the process. At this stage it is not appropriate to give any
details of the figures.
Last week, the
Prosecutor announced her intention to lead an investigation team into Kosovo
(press release 353). The Prosecutor is planning to travel to the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia on 5 November 1998. At this stage, no further details of that
investigative mission will be given, although it is likely that the Prosecutor
will make a press announcement at the end of her mission to the FRY.
In relation to
that same mission, the Prosecutor has sought an assurance from President Milosevic
that visas will be forthcoming to allow that visit to take place. At the moment
visa applications have been submitted to the FRY Embassy in The Hague and we
are waiting to hear that they have been issued.
The 1998 Exhumation
Programme in Bosnia should be concluded this week. Bad weather has delayed the
closure of the final mass grave. This years exhumations have all related
to the Srebrenica investigation. Although work at this last exhumation site
will be finished, the forensic examinations of the bodies will continue for
several weeks in the mortuary facility. The Prosecutor is not prepared to make
any announcement at this stage regarding the specific results of this years
work, but I can tell you that it has been a successful programme and that we
have achieved what we set out to do. The work now has to stop over the winter
months, but we intend that the forensic mass grave exhumation programme will
start again in 1999. Exhumation work is not something funded in our regular
UN budget and for next years programme the Prosecutor has recently made
an appeal to member states of the UN for contributions to the Tribunals
Trust Fund to allow that work to continue.
The ICTY Spokesman, Jim Landale, made the following announcements:
The further initial
appearance by Stevan Todorovic will take place next week.
He has been examined
by a doctor. The doctors finding and the report are confidential but the
further initial appearance can now continue.
A second amended
indictment against Goran Jelisic and Ranko Cesic was confirmed by Trial Chamber
I on Monday 19 October 1998. Copies of the amended indictment will be available
On 15 October
the Appeals Chamber dismissed a motion from the Defence in the Tadic case to
admit further evidence. Copies of that ruling are available on request.
case will resume 30 November at 9.30 a.m in Courtroom III, when the Defence
will start presenting their case.
In the Aleksovski
case, the hearing of rejoinder witnesses finished yesterday. Both parties now
have to give their submissions for closing arguments before 9 November. Closing
arguments will be heard from 17 to 20 November.
In the Kordic
and Cerkez case, an open session motion hearing is scheduled for Wednesday 28
October in Courtroom I, once the closed status conference has finished.
reminded the press of the election last week of the three new Judges (Press
Release No. 354).
Jelesic must enter a plea to the charges brought in the amended indictment,
Landale answered that he did, but added that no new date for this further
initial appearance had been set.
a date had been set for hearings in the Tadic case before the Appeals Chamber,
Landale replied that a new date was not yet known.
SFOR could prevent the Trial Chamber carrying out its plans, especially since
the Ahmici visit was in the interest of justice, Landale replied that once
SFOR had received a detailed itinerary of the visit and understood that the
Trial Chamber intended to explore much of the village on foot, they had advised
that the mine risk was high. This was the reason that the Judges had called
off the visit, he added.
Asked if the
mine threat had been the only reason for the cancellation of the trip, Landale
replied that, to his knowledge, the assessment had provided the main basis
for the decision.