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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 18th Apr 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 18 April 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 18
April 2001

Time: 11:30


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

you should have all received the press release that we sent out yesterday evening
detailing the results of last week’s extraordinary plenary. I’m joined today
by Stephane Bourgon, the President’s Chef de Cabinet, who will be pleased to
answer any questions you have concerning the plenary.

on, I’m pleased to announce some very good news. The deadline for states to
nominate candidates for the elections for the ad litem judges passed
on Monday 16 April and more than the 54 nominations required for the elections
to proceed were received. This means that the election will take place as planned
in late May or early June and the first ad litem judges should arrive
at the Tribunal in July.

President of the Tribunal, Judge Claude Jorda, is of the view that this represents
further recognition by the international community of the legitimacy of the

in terms of court documents, we received on 12 April a scheduling order in the
‘Kupreskic and others’ appeals case setting the date of 17 and 18 May for an
evidentiary hearing. Copies of that order will be available after this.

we received on 17 April the Prosecution’s brief on sentencing in the Todorovic
case, in which the Prosecution requests that the Trial Chamber impose a sentence
on Todorovic of 12 years’ imprisonment. Obviously, I should stress that it is
up to the Trial Chamber to determine the length of sentence. Again copies of
that document will be available after this.

a reminder that Dragan Obrenovic’s initial appearance will be held this afternoon
at 3 p.m. in courtroom III. You are all of course invited to attend.



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



Asked how many
nominations for the election of ad litem judges there had been, Landale
replied that he could not say that at this stage. He added that this had to
be reported first to the headquarters in New York. Once this was done more
details could be provided. At this point the Tribunal was very pleased that
the response from the international community had been extremely positive,
the Tribunal had received over the 54 nominations required and that meant
that the process would go forward smoothly, he said.

Asked from
how many countries the nominations had come, Landale that it was over 30 countries.

Asked for
information concerning the Prosecutor’s proposed visit in May to Belgrade,
Hartmann replied that the Prosecutor was still planning to go to Belgrade
in the next months. She added that she could not confirm whether the visit
would take place in May, however, it would be before the end of June to be
sure. The Prosecutor would return to The Hague on Monday and she was planning
to be in Washington between 7 and 9 May.

Asked whether
there was any indication as to when the two further indictments on Milosevic
would be issued, Hartmann replied that she could not give any dates. She added
that she could confirm that the investigations against Milosevic concerning
Bosnia and Croatia were still ongoing and the OTP was expecting to issue an
indictment at the end of those investigations.

Asked whether
there was any news from Belgrade concerning the serving of the arrest warrant
on Mr. Milosevic, Landale replied this was something the Tribunal was looking
into. The Tribunal was keen to find out whether it had actually been served
on Mr. Milosevic. He added that once he had news he would inform the media.

Asked whether
there was any difficulty in receiving this information, Landale replied that
he did not think so, but repeated that the Tribunal was looking into it.

Asked what
issues the Registrar discussed with the Judges during the plenary concerning
relations with the host nation, Bourgon replied that the Registrar reported
to the Judges concerning the state of play between the host country and the
Tribunal. The issues discussed had to do mainly with the headquarters agreement,
relating to the immunities and privileges afforded to all staff of the Tribunal.
These were ongoing issues between the Tribunal and the Government of the Netherlands.

Asked whether
there were any problems with the implementation of the headquarters agreement
and whether he expected any changes, Bourgon replied that ongoing discussions
between the Tribunal and the Government of the Netherlands concerned differences
in the treatment of various international organisations in The Hague. The
Tribunal was not trying to change the agreement, but was keen to ensure that
the same treatment was afforded to all international organisations.

Asked if
this meant that the Tribunal felt that it was at a disadvantage in relation
to other international organisations in The Hague, Bourgon replied that he
could not say that the Tribunal was at a disadvantage. When the Registrar
reported to the judges, they had some concerns with specific issues that they
brought to his attention and the Registrar reported back to them on the same.
This was more of an issue for the Registrar to comment upon. What he could
say was that there were ongoing discussions between the Tribunal and the Government
of the Netherlands, he concluded.

Landale added
that he would not characterise this as a problem. It was part of ongoing negotiations
and discussions with the host nation in order to smooth and regulate this
type of agreement. The Tribunal did not see this as a major obstacle or problem,
he added.

Asked whether
there was a timetable given for the handing over of the warrant of arrest
to Milosevic, considering that it had been two weeks since the Registrar handed
over the arrest warrant to Belgrade officials, Landale agreed that the Registrar
did serve the arrest warrant on Minister Grubac, the Federal Minister of Justice,
and that Mr. Grubac had given a commitment that it would be served on Milosevic
promptly. The Tribunal certainly expected and hoped that to be the case. The
Tribunal was now checking to make sure that it had happened, he concluded.

Asked whether
Minister Grubac was expected as part of his commitment, to inform the Tribunal
when the warrant was served on Mr. Milosevic, Landale replied that he was
not aware that Minister Grubac was formally obliged to notify the Tribunal
as soon as the warrant was served on the accused, however, it was of course
something the Tribunal would like to clarify and that was what the Tribunal
was trying to do.

Asked for
comments on the draft law for cooperation from Belgrade and also the draft
law from the Republika Srpska, Hartmann replied that both the Republika Srpska
and Yugoslavia had given draft laws for cooperation with the ICTY, to the
OTP. The OTP had already sent their comments to Banja Luka. The draft was
served to the Prosecutor during her visit to Banja Luka. The OTP would not
however, comment on the issue. The OTP would send comments and answers to
Belgrade during the following days.

added that the judges and the Registrar had also seen the draft law from Belgrade
and had also made some comments, but as he had already said last week, the
opinions on the draft law were not something that the Tribunal would make
public. It was something that would be passed back to the authorities, he

Asked whether
there were any changes in the strategy of the OTP that the Deputy Prosecutor
had spoken to the judges about during the plenary, Hartmann replied that there
were not. She added that the OTP gave a programme last year of its predictions
on its future, as to how many cases or investigations would take place every
year and how many trials could start every year.

She added that
she believed that the Deputy Prosecutor updated the judges as to whether the
programme was being followed or not and whether the OTP had succeeded in its
aims for the current year and whether there were any modifications for the
next years. The strategy remained the same.

Asked which
five trials would take place simultaneously in September, Bourgon replied
that the objective of the Tribunal, as stated by the President with the concurrence
of the Prosecutor, was that following the election of ad litem judges,
which were likely to take place in late May or early June as planned, the
first six judges would arrive in July, undergo some training and with the
help of the additional resources approved for this purpose would allow for
the running of five simultaneous trials as of September. It was too early
to tell however, what trials these would be.

Asked how
the Tribunal could conduct two trials in two of the courtrooms, Bourgon replied
that the long-term plan of the Tribunal was to run as of 2002 six trials simultaneously,
which implied the conduct of two trials per day per courtroom. That was the
theory. In practice, plans were being drafted at the moment. The situation
was being assessed by members of the administration, by members of trial support
and by members of Chambers to see what could and could not be done with the
resources at the Tribunal’s disposal. It was announced some weeks ago that
an additional budget was approved by the UN in New York for additional positions
for the Tribunal to be able to carry out additional trials, two more this
year for a total of five and a sixth trial starting in January 2002. Right
now the Tribunal was assessing the feasibility of doing that and a number
of options were being looked at, he said.

Asked whether
that included an additional courtroom, Bourgon replied that it did not include
adding another courtroom. That was not an option. The idea behind all of the
reforms presented by the President was that the Tribunal needed to be able
to double its judgement capacity without adding a new courtroom.

Asked for
the figures of the additional budget, Bourgon replied that the number of additional
posts approved was 54.

Asked whether
these 54 posts included the ad litem judges, Bourgon replied that they
did not. 54 referred to the additional posts approved to support six additional
judges for six months in 2001. From 1 July to 30 December 2001 an additional
amount of money was also approved in addition to the posts necessary for the
immediate support of the ad litem judges, (legal officers and secretaries)
and also for the posts required to support the trials from a logistical point
of view.

Asked how many
ad litem Judges would be elected, and whether there would be a difference
between the number of ad litem judges who were being elected and the
number of judges for whom a budget would be available for, in order for them
to actually come to the Hague, Bourgon replied that there would be a major
difference because 27 judges would be elected. They would form a pool. These
judges would be available on an "as required" basis. In terms of
the budget for 2001, an additional budget was approved to use six of those
judges for six months, to begin implementing the reforms involving ad litem
judges in 2001. In accordance with the changes made to the statute of the
Tribunal, the Tribunal could not use more than nine ad litem judges
at a time and that was starting in January 2002.

Asked whether
there would be any differences in the duties of the ad litem judges
from permanent judges and whether they would for example, take part in plenary
sessions, Bourgon replied that it was very important to note that there were
no differences between the ad litem judges and the permanent judges
in terms of powers, privileges and in terms of what they could and could not

"A judge
was a judge was a judge". There were not two types of judge, they were
all on equal footing. However, the idea behind this reform was for ad litem
judges to be used only when there was a need for them to be used and when
a trial was ready. The major difference was that ad litem judges would
not participate in pre-trial activities because they would only be called
upon to come to the Tribunal when a trial was ready to begin.

Once a trial
was ready to begin, this was when the President would look at the list of
27 names and ask the Secretary-General to send in specific judges. When they
arrived they would do the trial, write the judgement and either begin a new
trial or leave.

Asked to confirm
that the ad litem judges would not confirm indictments as they would
not be around at that time, Bourgon replied that their official duties would
be limited to the conduct of trials in the first instance. They would not
do any appeals work. They would participate and attend the plenaries. They
would also be able to submit comments with respect to modifications to the
Rules of Procedure and Evidence, but their main function would be to do trial

Asked whether
they would be able to confirm indictments, Bourgon replied that this was not
something they would do.