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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 13th Jun 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 13 June 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 13 June 2001

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

I’m pleased to
announce that the election for the ad litem judges was completed yesterday
at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. As you know, the General Assembly
had to elect a pool of 27 ad litem judges and at its 102nd
Plenary meeting the General Assembly elected the following as ad litem judges
for a term of office of four years, commencing on 12 June 2001 and expiring
on 11 June 2005:

Ms. Carmen Maria
ARGIBAY (Argentina)

Mr. Hans Henrik BRYDENSHOLT (Denmark)

Mr. Guibril CAMARA (Senegal)

Mr. Joaquin Martin CANIVELL (Spain)

Mr. Romeo T. CAPULONG (Philippines)

Mr. Arhtur CHASKALSON (South Africa)

Ms. Maureen Harding CLARK (Ireland)

Ms. Fatoumata DIARRA (Mali)

Mr. Albin ESER (Germany)

Mr. Mohamed El Habib FASSI FIHRI (Morocco)

Mr. Claude HANOTEAU (France)

Mr. Hassan Bubacarr JALLOW (Gambia)

Ms. Ivana JANU (Czech Republic)

Mr. Per-Johan LINDHOLM (Finland)

Mr. Rafael NIETO-NAVIA (Colombia)

Mr. Mauro POLITI (Italy)

Ms. Vonimbolana RASOAZANANY (Madagascar)

Mr. Ralph RIACHY (Lebanon)

Mr. Amarjeet SINGH (Singapore)

Mr. Albertus Henricus Joannes SWART (the Netherlands)

Mr. Gyorgy SZENASI (Hungary)

Ms. Chikako TAYA (Japan)

Mr. Krister THELIN (Sweden)

Ms. Christine VAN DEN WYNGAERT (Belgium)

Mr. Volodymyr VASSYLENKO (Ukraine)

Mr. Lal Chand VOHRAH (Malaysia)

Ms. Sharon A. WILLIAMS (Canada)

We will be
issuing a press release on this in the course of the day.

On 8 June 2001,
the Registrar of the Tribunal, Hans Holthuis, ordered that the name of Mr. Milan
Vujin be withdrawn from the list of assigned counsel. The Registrar took this
decision "in order to safeguard the administration of justice before
the Tribunal

In a Judgement
on 31 January 2000, the Appeals Chamber sitting in first instance found that
Mr. Vujin had "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 the statements made by Mlado Radic and in relation to the responsibility
of Goran Borovnica for the killing of the two Muslim policemen; and that the
Respondent manipulated Witness 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.

As a result, Mr.
Vujin was found to be in contempt of court and this decision was upheld by the
final decision of the Appeals Chamber on 27 February 2001.

Just to inform
you that there will be a number of status conferences in the coming days:

-in The Prosecutor
v. Galic
before Judge Rodrigues this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Courtroom III

-in The Prosecutor v. Blaskic before Judge Pocar on Monday 18 June 2001
at 4.30p.m. in Courtroom I

-in The Prosecutor v. Jelisic also before Judge Pocar on Monday 18 June
at 3.45p.m. in Courtroom I

-in The Prosecutor v. Kordic and Cerkez before Judge Hunt on Friday 22
June at 10.00 a.m. in Courtroom II



Florence Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) made no



journalist stated that November this year would be the second time that the
terms of the Tribunal’s permanent Judges would expire while the cases that
they were trying were still ongoing. Asked whether any provisions had been
taken for the cases which had Judges who had not been re-elected and whether
as happened previously, the mandates of these Judges would be temporarily
prolonged until the end of the trials if they were not concluded by November,
Landale replied that no provisions had been made yet, however, it was certainly
envisaged that if any of the Judges who were leaving were on trials that were
still ongoing, the same scenario would occur as happened with the Celebici
case, they would most likely be able to stay on. There was an ongoing detailed
planning process concerning the structure of the Trial Chambers and the assignment
of cases to those Trial Chambers for the end of this year, beginning and into
the middle of next year as well. Once those decisions had been made by the
President and once assignment of cases had taken place, the media would be
informed, but at the moment it was at the planning stage.

Asked who
would pick the six Judges due to commence at the Tribunal in November and
whether they could come from the same countries as the permanent Judges, Landale
replied that the six Judges would be appointed by the Secretary-General following
recommendations made by the President of the Tribunal. He added that there
could be no Judges from the same country on the same Trial Chamber.

Asked what
would happen if, despite Mr. Vujin being taken off the Tribunal list of lawyers
who could be assigned by the Registrar to indigent suspects, an accused decided
to pay for their own defence and chose Mr. Vujin to defend them. Would it
still be possible for Mr. Vujin to be a defence lawyer at the Tribunal, Landale
replied that this was a good question. He added however, that he doubted this,
and that he felt that Mr. Vujin's days of practicing at the Tribunal were
over. He did not see a situation where this could happen, he concluded.

Asked for
an update of the Prosecutor’s Schedule, Hartmann replied that the Prosecutor
would be back in The Hague on Monday. She was planning to go to Berlin and
to Belgrade next week. The Prosecutor would go at the beginning of the summer
to New York, but she did not have the exact dates, she concluded.

Asked what
the OTP’s participation was in the investigation/exhumations in Serbia, Hartmann
replied that when the OTP was informed that the Yugoslav authorities were
planning to start exhumations of the site in Serbia linked with "the
fridge lorry" the OTP had asked the authorities there to allow them to
be present. The OTP was monitoring the situation and had a team present on
the site. This was important because through these exhumations the OTP could
gain information as to whether it was or was not linked to war crimes. After
the conclusion of the exhumation and the answer to this question, the OTP
would decide what action to take, she concluded.

Asked whether,
if these investigations came across evidence of war crimes, they could be
used for future ICTY cases, Hartmann replied that the OTP was very interested
in the case and it could be used as the OTP was already investigating cases
in Serbia. She added that investigating was not the correct word as the Tribunal
was not allowed to investigate in the territory of Serbia. The OTP was informed
about the case of a cover up and destruction of evidence and bodies. The Tribunal
had information of that but no physical evidence and that was one element
that could be included in an indictment. The media would be informed of the
plans of the OTP on the basis of the results received, she concluded.

Asked whether
Vujin was the first defence lawyer, who had been taken of the list of assigned
counsel, Landale replied that it was the first time as far as he knew that
someone had been struck off the list of assigned counsel.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor had warned all sides in the Macedonian conflict about the Tribunal’s
jurisdiction in Macedonia as she had done in Kosovo, Hartmann replied that
the OTP had already warned all sides in Macedonia, saying since winter that
the Tribunal had jurisdiction in Macedonia because it was part of the territory
of the former Yugoslavia and that the situation was an armed conflict. She
added that the Prosecutor had said that all individuals responsible for crimes
under the Tribunal’s competency would have to respond according to the International
Tribunal and could be punished for their acts.

The OTP’s
position was still the same as before. The Tribunal was closely monitoring
the situation in Macedonia and had people in the field collecting information.
On the basis of that information the OTP would see if it could use its jurisdiction.

For any individual
who committed crimes from whichever side, (as the OTP was monitoring all
sides), if there were enough elements of any alleged crimes committed under
the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, the OTP would formally open an investigation.
The fact that the Tribunal had jurisdiction was a warning to all parties
in the conflict. The OTP called upon people to give information and to contact
any ICTY structure in the former Yugoslavia or in The Hague, or to any other
organisation collecting testimony, she concluded.

Asked for
the dates and programme for the Prosecutor’s visit to Berlin, Hartmann said
that she would in let them know next week.