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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 7th Mar 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 7 March 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 7 March 2001

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

I have copies for you of the speech given yesterday by Mr. Hans Holthuis, the
Registrar of the Tribunal, to the Plenary of the Preparatory Commission of the
International Criminal Court (ICC) during its seventh session in New York.

23 March, there will be a diplomatic information seminar here at the Tribunal
at the working level focusing on the issue of ad litem judges, and specifically
their importance to the mission, their conditions and terms of service, and
their actual employment. The seminar will not be open to the public.

Excellency Mohamed El Habib Fassi Fihri from Morocco has arrived in The Netherlands
to replace Judge Mohamed Bennouna. Mr. El Habib Fassi Fihri is expected to be
sworn in as a Judge of the International Tribunal on 14 March.

morning we received notices of appeal from Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac
and Zoran Vukovic against their convictions handed down by Trial Chamber II
on 22 February 2001. All three defendants cite "an error of the question
of law invalidating the decision
" and "error of fact which
has occasioned the miscarriage of justice
". The deadline for filing
notices of appeal is this Friday. Copies of these will be available after the

1 March 2001, we received the Prosecutions Submission of New Public Schedules
in the Kvocka and others case. Again copies will be made available on request.

I would like to mention a symposium focussing on the work of the Tribunal held
last week in Prishtina. The event, attended by around 200 participants, was
organised by the Prishtina-based Council for the Defence of Human Rights and
Freedoms (CDHRF) and was funded by the Danish Foreign Affairs Ministry. Several
ICTY representatives took part in the symposium, which was most positive with
plenty of interesting discussion.



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



Asked whether
the Prosecutor had any views on the events in Kosovo and Macedonia, Hartmann
replied that the OTP was following the events there very closely and that
it appeared that there were organised parties in both conflicts. Therefore,
on the basis of the Tribunal’s mandate, it triggered our jurisdiction. She
emphasised that the ICTY’s jurisdiction was over crimes against humanity,
war crimes and genocide, in an armed conflict. So far there was no evidence
that there were such crimes being committed, but there was an armed conflict
and the OTP had jurisdiction and were closely looking at developments, she

Asked if there
was any knowledge of the Prosecutor’s request to the Security Council to exclude
armed conflict from the Tribunal’s mandate, Hartmann replied that there was
no information on that, but it would be discussed during the visit of the
Prosecutor to the Security Council in May. She added that this would be one
of the issues discussed, the other issue would be the question of the cooperation
of Yugoslavia with the Tribunal and of ex-Yugoslav states with the Tribunal.

Landale added
that it was important for any commander on the ground or person in a superior
command responsibility position to think very long and hard before they undertook
any action that could possibly put them under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

Asked whether
there were any signs of Belgrade’s cooperation with the Tribunal, Hartmann
replied that for the moment there were no clear signs, however she added that
the Prosecutor had asked for clear signs before the end of the month.

Asked about
the announcements in the Belgrade media that government representatives would
meet with President Jorda, Landale replied that he was aware of the reports
in the media, however the Tribunal was not aware of an actual approach made
to the Office of the President. He added that, if there was an intention to
visit and discuss various issues on cooperation between the Tribunal and authorities
in Belgrade, the President would be willing to accommodate such a visit. However,
nothing formal has been heard from Belgrade’s side, he added.