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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 3rd Oct 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 3 October 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 3 October 2001

Time: 11:00 a.m.


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

First of all I
would like to announce that the Sentencing Judgement in the Celebici case will
be handed down on Tuesday 9 October 2001 at 4.30 p.m.

The sentencing
hearing in the Sikirica and others case will now take place on 8, 9, 10 and
11 October 2001.

In that case,
we have now received the Prosecution’s Sentencing Brief. Copies will be available
after the briefing.

Yesterday, 2 October
2001 a motion by Dragan Obrenovic was filed opposing the Prosecutions’ motion
for joinder with Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic. Copies will be made available
after this briefing.

In addition, a
motion was filed on 27 September 2001 by Vidoje Blagojevic requesting an extension
of time to reply to the Prosecution’s motion for joinder, or in the alternative
requesting that the Prosecution’s motion be denied.

In the Kunarac
and others case, the parties have been ordered to file a redacted public version
of the Appellant’s brief, the Prosecution’s Response to the Appellant’s Brief,
and the Prosecution’s Consolidated Brief within seven days of the order being
filed. The order was filed yesterday, 2 October 2001.

A reminder that
Judge Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana, who was assigned to the Appeals Chamber of
the Tribunal by the President of the ICTR on 1 June 2001, will take his solemn
oath tomorrow, Thursday 4 October at 5.00 p.m.

Finally, a reminder
that there will be a status conference in the Krajisnik and Plavsic case this
afternoon at 4. 30 p.m. Krajisnik is required to attend.



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


Asked whether
there was any news on Krajisnik’s request for provisional release, Landale
replied that there was not.

Asked whether
the Yugoslav authorities had told the Prosecutor that they could not hand
over the officers from the Dubrovnik case because of Yugoslavia’s domestic
law, Hartmann replied that during her visit to Belgrade one month ago, the
Prosecutor had a meeting with the Yugoslav Minister of Justice, Mr. Markovic.
She added that during the meeting, Mr. Markovic made it clear that Yugoslavia
was not in a position to cooperate with the Tribunal until a law on cooperation
was passed.

The OTP was
informed during the meeting that the Yugoslav authorities would work on a
law to be discussed in the Parliament. The OTP insisted again, however, that
the Yugoslav authorities did not need any specific law on the domestic level
and that they were obliged as a UN Member State to cooperate with the ICTY.
She concluded that there was also a Security Council resolution dated November
1998, which insisted on the obligation of Yugoslavia towards the Tribunal.

Asked whether
the Tribunal had any information concerning the whereabouts of these accused
and whether any of them were in Montenegro, Hartmann replied that she could
not answer this question. She added only that the accused were supposed to
be in a territory of which the authorities had been served with warrants for
their arrests.

Asked for
a comment (in the light of the Republika Srpska passing a law on cooperation)
on the fact that the FRY was now the only country in the region not to have
signed such a law, Landale reiterated the point that the Tribunal had always
maintained, that a specific law on cooperation was not needed for the authorities
in the Republika Srpska to cooperate with the Tribunal. He added, however,
that now they had passed this law, the Tribunal expected to see immediate,
firm and concrete results, which meant quite clearly the apprehension and
transfer of all individuals indicted by the Tribunal who were in the Republika

added that the OTP held the same position and expected concrete cooperation
from the Republika Srpska as it always had. She added, however, that for the
moment the OTP did not have what it called cooperation, which would include
non-selective access to witnesses, archives and documents and the arrest of

Asked to
clarify what she meant by non-selective access, Hartmann replied that it meant
that a country should answer the full requests of the Tribunal, for access
to individuals for interviews and concerning arrest warrants. Cooperation
was not sending documents on specific investigation topics with a political
aim, she concluded.

Asked whether
the Tribunal had any contacts with the Croatian authorities concerning Gotovina,
Hartmann replied that there was no news on Gotovina. She added that in the
same way the OTP insisted yesterday on the arrest of the officers from the
former Yugoslavia who were supposed to be in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
who were still at large, the OTP insisted that Croatia comply with it’s obligations
and hand over Gotovina as soon as possible. Croatia had the obligation to
do it immediately.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor had been in touch at all with officials in Republika Srpska
and did the OTP have any indication of receiving anything, Hartmann replied
that the Prosecutor had not been in touch with the authorities there which
she had met at the beginning of July. The OTP would not react on the law but
if the statement given in the last days or weeks saying that the cooperation
would start very soon was true, the OTP was happy and would wait for concrete

Asked on
what grounds the OTP was so confident when the existence of the Dubrovnik
indictment was announced early this year that it would actually be executed,
Hartmann replied that the OTP received assurances from the authorities and
contacts in Montenegro that they would arrest any of the indictees if they
appeared to be in Montenegro. Due to the fact that among the four accused
in the Dubrovnik indictment some of them were believed to be living in Montenegro
at that time, the OTP hoped that if they were still there they would be arrested
in the following days.

Asked whether
there were any explanations given by Montenegro as to why they were not arrested,
Hartmann replied that there were. She added that the explanation was that
they could not be found in the territory of Montenegro.

Asked whether
this answer had been prompt, as it should be according to the Tribunal’s Rules
of Procedure and Evidence, Hartmann replied that the OTP was in contact with
them about the search. She added that the OTP was finally informed that they
could not find them at their usual addresses.

Asked what
message she would send to the authorities of Montenegro concerning media reports
that Strugar was at the moment in Montenegro, Hartmann replied that she would
send the same message as was sent yesterday in the Press Release.