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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 7th Sep 2003


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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 09.07.2003

Time: 12:15

and Chambers:

Christian Chartier,
Chief Public Information, made the following opening statement:

I am joined today
by Jean-Daniel Ruch who has succeeded Jean-Jacques Joris as Adviser to the Prosecutor
and who will also stand-in for Florence Hartmann, whenever she is away, to brief
you on OTP-related matters. Welcome!

I would like
to open today’s briefing with a couple of important announcements:

- The President
of the Tribunal, Judge Theodor Meron, has just signed an Order granting early
release to Zdravko Mucic, with 18 July as effective date. A press release will
be issued in the coming hours but as a reminder: one of the four co-accused
in the Celebici case, Zdravko Mucic was sentenced on 16 November 1998 to seven
years imprisonment on six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war.
On 20 February 2001, the Appeals Chamber remitted the sentence to a Trial Chamber
for possible adjustment. On 9 October 2001, Trial Chamber III sentenced Mucic
to nine year’s imprisonment and on 8 April 2003, the Appeals Chamber upheld
the sentence.

- A new trial
will begin on Tuesday 29 July, at 9 a.m., in the case The Prosecutor against
Darko Mrdja.
According to the indictment, Darko Mrdja was in 1992 a member
of a special Bosnian Serb police unit and allegedly ordered the killing, on
21 August 1992, on the Vlasic Mountain, of around 200 non-Serb men who had been
detained in a camp of the Prijedor area and who were being transported away
for a so-called exchange of prisoners.

One interesting
institutional matter:

- The ICTY was
pleased to participate in a roundtable held on Saturday in Sarajevo entitled
"The Truth About Srebrenica Massacre". The event was organised by the "Mothers
of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves", with support from the ICTY Outreach office
in Sarajevo, as part of the programme to mark the 8th anniversary of the Srebrenica
massacre. The event gathered numerous representatives of victim associations
from Srebrenica, government representatives, judges, prosecutors, academics,
media representatives and others.

A Senior Trial
Attorney from the OTP, Mark Harmon, who lead the prosecution case against general
Radislav Krstic, presented an overview of the facts about the massacres of more
than 7.000 Bosniak men and boys following the fall of Srebrenica to the Bosnian
Serb forces in July 1995.

The roundtable
discussed the responsibility of opinion makers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely
politicians and media, in relaying these facts to the general public. In addition,
victim representatives spoke on the importance of the establishment of truth
and recognition of it in the society for the satisfaction of victims.

With regard
to the court schedule
, and while the on-going trials continue in the cases
Milosevic, Blagojevic and Jokic, and Brdjanin:

- the pre-trial
conference in the case The Prosecutor against Sefer Halilovic will be
on Tuesday 15 July at 3 p.m.

- Also, further
down in time but you may wish to take note already, a Status conference has
been scheduled in the Milosevic case. It will take place on Tuesday 2 September
2003 and as the Order says this hearing will be "to consider the presentation
of the Defence case".

With regard
to the most recent developments related to on-going proceedings:

Besides six
Decisions issued on 7 and 8 July by Trial Chamber III in the case The Prosecutor
against Slobodan Milosevic
related to protective measures requested by the
Prosecution, I would like to draw your attention to the following :

- On Tuesday
8 July, Trial Chamber III denied a Motion by the Defence of Dragoljub Ojdanic
seeking an order directing the Registrar to allocate additional funds. The Trial
Chamber considered that additional funds may be granted when exceptional circumstances
are shown or when circumstances beyond the control of the Defence justify such
an allocation. In the instant case, the Trial Chamber decided that no such circumstances
had been demonstrated.

- In the case
The Prosecutor against Radoslav Brdjanin, the TC rendered on 7 July two
Decisions admitting parts of the statements under Rule 92 bis listed in two
motions by the Prosecution with regard to the destruction of religious sites
and to the Kotor Varos Municipality.

Turning to
recent filings by Parties, I would like to mention the following:

7 July, Haradin Bala filed a Motion for provisional release. In the same case,
but with regard to accused Fatmir Limaj, on 8 July the prosecution filed its
response to the accused’s application for provisional release.

Also, Dusan
Fustar filed on 3 July a Motion seeking a temporary provisional release in order
to attend the 40th day memorial of his father’s death. Considering
the urgency of the matter, the Prosecution was ordered yesterday to file its
Response, if any, by tomorrow night at the latest.

The Defence
for Vidoje Blagojevic filed on 7 July its Response to the Prosecution’s Motion
for judicial notice of adjudicated facts and documentary evidence.

Earlier this
week, the Defence for Pasko Ljubicic filed its pre-trial brief.

I am also
pleased to let you know that we have received the final briefs for defendants
Tadic, Simic and Zaric (Bosanski Samac case), as presented by the defence last
week during the final arguments of this trial, as well as the Prosecution’s
revised public final trial brief.

Finally, minutes
before coming to the briefing, we received the text of the plea agreement recently
entered between Pedrag Banovic and the OTP.

Ruch, Advisor to the Prosecutor made no Statement:


Asked regarding
the scheduling of other trials to start, a journalist asked whether it is correct
that the Prosecution stated that other trials like Kraisnjik will not start
until the completion of the Prosecution case in the Milosevic trial. Chartier
answered that the scheduling of trials is a matter for the Chambers, adding
that number of trials were scheduled to begin far before the end of the Prosecution
case in the Milosevic trial. With regard to the Krajisnik trial he said that
he was not aware of any specific scheduling order.

In response to
the question as to whether Krajisnik had appointed a new lead councel, Chartier
answered that he had not seen any order of that kind.

In reference to
the status conference in the Milosevic case to prepare the defence a question
was asked whether Milosevic had filed a pre-trial brief yet as was required
by the Rules of Procedure and evidence and if the Tribunal would to do something
about this. Chartier replied that during the scheduled status conference this
kind of matters will be discussed as well practicalities with regard to the
witnesses and other logistical matters that might arise in the course of presenting
the case by the accused. The scheduled status conference was evidence that,
as the journalist put it, the Chamber was "doing something about it".

A journalist asked
whether the Registrar is looking into the matter which came up during the cross
examination of Croatian President’s Security Advisor Imre Agotic in the Milosevic
case which clearly showed that General Blaskic’s defence supplied top officials
of the Croatian Government with statements of protective witnesses even before
the start of the Blaskic Trial. Chartier replied that the Registrar was looking
into the matter.

In reference to
the testimony of Mr. Lilic in the Milosevic case today transcripts had been
discussed in which it was mentioned that in December 1995, during the crisis
with the French Pilots in the Republika Srpksa, President Milosevic and President
Chirac gave a guarantee to General Ratko Mladic that he would not be delivered
to this Tribunal in exchange for those two pilots a journalist asked whether
we could comment. Ruch said that the international community, including France,
had expressed in various instances its commitment to arrest the fugitives, including
Ratko Mladic. Chartier added that any such deal or agreement or whatsoever had
absolutely no binding effect on the ICTY.