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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 24th Nov 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 24 November 1999

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 24 November 1999

Time: 13:30 p.m.



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

Firstly, I’d
like to announce that President Claude Jorda was sworn in as a member of the
Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today.
President Jorda made his solemn declaration pursuant to Rule 14 of the Rules
of Procedure and Evidence for the ICTR.

This is standard
practice for all the judges who serve on the Appeals Chamber and who deal with
cases from the ICTR. However, since, to date, President Jorda has not yet sat
on an appeal from the ICTR and because of the burgeoning caseload, the ceremony
took place here, rather than in Arusha. The other judges on the Appeals Chamber
who work on cases from the ICTR took their solemn oaths while in Tanzania visiting
the Tribunal.

Next, a reminder
that Radislav Krstic will be appearing at his ‘further initial appearance’ tomorrow,
Thursday, at 9.30 a.m. in courtroom II. You are all welcome to attend.

Krstic will be
asked by the Trial Chamber to enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty to an amended
indictment dated 27 October 1999, which generally adds two charges of crimes
against humanity, namely deportation, or alternatively, inhumane acts, on the
basis of both his individual criminal responsibility, pursuant to Article 7(1)
of the Tribunal’s Statute, and superior criminal responsibility, Article 7(3)
of the Statute.

As most of you
will be aware, Krstic has been indicted for crimes allegedly committed after
the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Also, following
Stevan Todorovic’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus that was filed
with Trial Chamber III on 12 November, the Prosecution, on 19 November filed
their response. Subsequent to this, Todorovic filed, on 20 November, a ‘reply
to the Prosecutor’s response and in further support of the petition for a writ
of habeas corpus’

We have copies
of all these documents for you at the end of this briefing.

Finally, I’d like
to announce that the Italian Prime Minister, Massimo D’Alema, will visit the
Tribunal next Monday, 29 November at 3 o’clock. He is scheduled to meet with
President Jorda and the Registrar to discuss Italy’s ongoing cooperation with
the court. A press opportunity has been tentatively scheduled between 3.50 p.m.
and 4.10 p.m. in the lobby and I understand that interpretation will be provided.

Also, the Israeli
Justice Minister is due to visit on the morning of 1 December. He is scheduled
to meet President Jorda and the Deputy Prosecutor.



Paul Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) made the following

Firstly, Prosecutor
Carla Del Ponte is in Arusha today where she met this morning with Judge Pillay,
the President of the ICTR, the Registrar and several judges.

The Prosecutor
continued to wait for a resolution of the matter concerning the Government of
Rwanda and remained hopeful that she would be able to visit her office in Kigali
before the end of this trip, he said.

Finally, last
Friday the OTP filed a notice of intent to request a review of the appeal decision
regarding Barayagwiza. The notice was filed on Friday with the Registry in Arusha
and announced in Arusha on Monday. The request will be provided in time.



Asked to
confirm that this was the first time review proceedings had been initiated
in the Tribunal and to confirm what requirements were necessary to make such
a request, Risley replied that the press reports from Arusha were substantially
correct in that an intent to request a review depended upon new and or additional
facts presented to the case.

added that the request would first go to the Registry in Arusha. It would
then be processed and sent to the Appeals Chamber in The Hague. Once that
was done, copies would be distributed when available.

Asked how
long the Prosecutor was prepared to wait in Arusha to see if she could gain
access to Rwanda, Risley replied that her original intent with this trip was
to travel to Arusha and Kigali over approximately two weeks. He believed that
she would make a determination by the end of this week as to whether she would
continue to seek a positive resolution of this situation during this trip.

Asked whether
the OTP accepted that it had made a grave error in the Barayagwiza case, Risley
replied that the Prosecutor respected the decision by the appellant court
on this matter. He added that the statement by the Prosecutor spoke for itself
and certainly indicated the seriousness in which the Prosecutor accepted the
nature of the factual elements of the decision. He added that the OTP could
maintain that position and at the same time request review of the decision.

Asked when
the amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence that were passed at
the Plenary would be available, Landale replied that it would be soon, possibly
the end of this week or beginning of next week. As soon as they were received,
a press release would be issued.

Asked for
a rough idea of the number of changes that had been made, Landale replied
it was fair to say that a substantial number of amendments had been made and
that a detailed press release would be issued in due course, listing them

whether the OTP was aware of reports that Sljivancanin was in hiding in Montenegro
and that the OTP had complained that the Montenegrin Authorities were failing
to assist in his capture, Risley replied that he had no information on this