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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 24th Jan 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 24 January 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 24 January 2001

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Chartier, Chief of the Public Information Services, made the following statement:

morning to you all,

you know Florence Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor, and
other senior aides to the Prosecutor, Ms. Del Ponte, are in Belgrade. Hence
my appearance alone in front of you, for an update on the developments taking
place in The Hague.

would like to welcome some of your colleagues from Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and
Kosovo who are with us today. They have been visiting the Tribunal since Monday
and they have had a number of meetings and discussions, at the initiative of
both the Institute of War and Peace Reporting and the Outreach Programme.

court proceedings,
the first news I am pleased to share with you is that
the Appeals Chamber will issue its Judgement in the Celebici case on Tuesday
20 February at 3.30 p.m.

the case The Prosecutor against Stanislav Galic, a status conference
(initially scheduled last Tuesday) will be held on Tuesday 30 January at 4 p.m.
In view of this conference, Trial Chamber I, presided over by Judge Rodrigues,
has issued an Order in which it expresses concern "at the fact that
the accused has been in detention since 21 December 1999 while the pre-trial
preparation of the case is only at a very preliminary stage".
the Parties "to prepare the case for trial with the utmost priority
and professionalism",
the Judges informed the Parties that the pre-trial
stage of the case should be completed by July 2001. The Parties have been ordered
to meet prior to the status conference in order to discuss a number of practical
and legal issues and to continue negotiating a draft protocol for the Trial
Chamber to travel to Sarajevo. This travel was proposed by the Prosecution.

the case The prosecutor against Momir Talic and Radoslav Brdjanin, pre-trial
Judge, Judge Hunt has scheduled a hearing on Friday 2 February at 10.30 a.m.
in order to discuss the motion for provisional release filed by Momir Talic
on 8 December 2000.

are no changes in the schedule for the coming days: status conference on Thursday
25 January at 10 a.m. in the case The prosecutor against Momcilo Krajisnik;
trial sessions in the case The Prosecutor against Dragoljub Krnojelac
as well as in the case The prosecutor against Kvocka and others.

a follow-up with regard to the case The Prosecutor against Radislav Krstic.
On 17 January, Trial Chamber I, presided over by Judge Rodrigues, issued
an Order for a medical examination of the accused. The Chamber considered that
the report by the physicians suggested by the Defence, although it concluded
that the accused could not attend his trial, was not specific enough about the
medical problems experienced by the accused nor about the means to remedy these
problems. The Chamber ordered a detailed evaluation of the physical and psychological
conditions of the accused. This evaluation will be conducted by a team of international
experts appointed by the Registry. The joint report of experts must be filed
by 15 February at the latest, with an interim report to be prepared by a Dutch
expert and filed by the end of this week. This interim report will indicate
the compatibility of the health condition of the accused with detention and
the degree of urgency of a specific treatment; it will also specify whether,
before beginning treatment, the accused may continue to attend for a brief period
of several days the final stage of his trial and, where appropriate, under which
conditions: special medication, shorter hearings, additional breaks, and/or
availability of a nurse.

to legal filings, and apart from the re-issue to the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia of the warrants for the freezing of assets, and arrest, of the
five accused in the case Milosevic and others (see press Release 557),
I would like to point out the following:

On 19 January,
Judge Hunt ordered that the indictment of Zeljko Raznjatovic, also known
as Arkan, be made public. This indictment was confirmed on 30 September
1997 but was kept under seal. On 31 March 1999, Prosecutor Arbour publicly
disclosed that this accused was indicted but the contents of the indictment
remained sealed. This indictment is now public, following a Prosecution
Motion filed on 19 January and the finding by Judge Hunt that "the
interests of justice now weigh in favour of disclosure of the indictment
to the public".
Hard copies of the indictment in English are available
to you. This indictment will also be released on the ICTY’s Internet site
as soon as possible.

Also available
to you are copies of the brief filed on 19 January by the lawyers for General
Blaskic. This brief is in support of the appellant’s motion to admit additional
evidence on appeal. It is a lengthy submission consisting of "documentary
evidence… that has only become available to the Tribunal and to Appellant
following the change in leadership in the Republic of Croatia, and the ensuing
transformation in Croatia’s attitude with respect to cooperating with Tribunal
In this submission, the Appellant reviews documents
which "bear on the four primary criminal actions upon which the
Trial Chamber convicted Appellant, based on the Trial Chamber’s conclusion
that Appellant had effective control over, and/or failed to prevent or punish
the criminal actors in question. These four primary criminal actions are
the Ahmici massacre, the crimes committed by the Vitzovi Special Purposes
Unit from April to July 1993, the crimes committed in the Busovaca municipalty
in April 1993 and the crimes that took place in various villages in the
Kiseljak municipality in April and June 1993."
The documents reviewed
in the brief "at minimum render unsafe the Trial Chamber’s findings
as to each of these four criminal actions"
and to the "Appellant’s
effective control".

Also on 18
January, Trial Chamber II ordered the release of the transcript of the testimony
given in closed session on 16 July 1998 by Ed Vulliamy in the trial of Milan
Kovacevic. This testimony will be available to you as soon as practically

And finally,
and immediately available to you, are the English translation of the President’s
Order on the defence request to modify the conditions of detention of Biljana
Plavsic, and of course the usual weekly status of all on-going cases prepared
and updated for you by the Legal Unit within the Public Information Services.

would like to conclude on an institutional note: the Security Council
has extended the deadline until 31 January 2001 for nominations by UN Member
States of candidates for election as permanent Judges serving at the ICTY for
the period 2001-2005.



what the result would be in the Galic case if no trial date was set before
July 2001, Christian Chartier replied that the pre-trial proceedings had
to be completed by July 2001. He added that he had quoted intensively from
this order in order to make it’s sense very clear: parties were urged to
speed up.

Asked whether,
according to the Rules, there was any limit on the time an accused could
remain in detention, Christian Chartier replied that formally speaking there
was not. He added, however, that a number of decisions with regard to the
time of detention on remand had been issued by the Judges. The Judges had
on numerous previous occasions made it clear that they were concerned about
the length of pre-trial detention and had expressed their wish to have this
time in detention reduced as much as possible. In the Galic order the Judges
were urging the parties to speed up and were insisting that the pre trial
proceeding be completed before the summer.

added that the same desire to ensure fair and expeditious trial proceedings
could be seen in the order issued in the Krstic case. The accused had medical
problems, but the Judges wished to gain a full independent appreciation of
the scope of these problems in order to see whether there was a possibility
to resume the trial for a number of days. This case was in the final stage
with only three weeks of scheduled hearings before the presentation of closing
arguments. Obviously the Chamber wanted these closing arguments heard as soon
as possible, he concluded.

Asked whether
Biljana Plavsic would appear with Momicilo Krajisnik tomorrow, Christian
Chartier replied that he was not aware of any order for joinder and therefore
suspected that Krajisnik would appear alone.

Asked which
Judges would not be standing for re-election, Christian Chartier replied
that he could not indicate the names or the number of Judges who would not
be standing for re-election. He confirmed, however, that the President would
be proposed for re-election as a Judge. As long as the short list was not
prepared by the Security Council no comment or details could be given as
to the identity of the candidates of permanent Judges, he concluded.

Asked why
the contents of the ‘Arkan’ indictment had only now been revealed after
a long delay, Christian Chartier replied that the word delay was inappropriate.
There was originally an order for non-disclosure prepared and issued at
the Prosecutor’s request. He explained that the philosophy behind the issuing
of a sealed indictment was to facilitate the arrest of the accused. Notwithstanding
this, Louise Arbour decided to make public the fact that this accused was
under indictment. Any association with him was an association with a person
indicted by the Tribunal. In the meantime the accused was killed last year
and last week Prosecutor Del Ponte filed a motion for the order of non-disclosure
to be lifted, he concluded.

Asked whether
it was just a coincidence that this coincided with the Prosecutor’s visit
to Belgrade, Christian Chartier replied that he failed to see any link,
but as it was a Prosecution matter to be discussed with Florence Hartmann.

Asked whether
any Member States of the Security Council had shown any concern over the
surrender of Biljana Plavsic, Christian Chartier replied that they had not.

Asked whether
Biljana Plavsic was now satisfied with her conditions of detention, Christian
Chartier replied that the President’s order was based on the fact the accused
withdrew her initial application. The slight modifications of detention
ordered by the President were ordered with the full agreement of all the
parties, including the accused.

Asked whether
the Arkan Indictment released yesterday was the original one or a modified
version, Christian Chartier replied that it was the original document.