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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 10th Nov 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 10 November 1999

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 10 November 1999

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

First, a reminder
that tomorrow the sentencing judgement will be handed down for the additional
counts of which Tadic was found guilty of by the Appeals Chamber. This will
take place at 9 o’clock in Courtroom III.

And, also a reminder
that the Judges will meet in plenary next week for three days beginning on Monday.
As you know, the new President of the Tribunal will be elected sometime during
those three days. We will of course keep you posted on developments.

Finally, the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, will pay a short courtesy
call to the Tribunal early this afternoon. No press opportunities are scheduled.



Paul Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following

The Prosecutor
Madame Carla Del Ponte is in New York today accompanied by the Deputy Prosecutor,
Graham Blewitt.

She is in New
York to present our budget to the United Nation’s budget committee, the
ACABQ. She has also been asked to address the Security Council on the range
of issues before the OTP in both the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals.

Regarding the
Yugoslavia Tribunal specifically, Madame Del Ponte will release to the Security
Council preliminary facts and figures regarding our Kosovo Forensic Investigation.

She is expected
to report to the Security Council at 11a.m. New York time. We will have copies
of the text of her remarks available at 5 p.m. here.

The Prosecutor
has just returned from her first trip to the region of the former Yugoslavia,
visiting Skopje, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Zagreb.

Yesterday the
Prosecutor issued a press release regarding the case within the Rwanda Tribunal
of Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. The Prosecutor noted her commitment to the highest
standards of conduct and fairness before each of the Tribunals for which she
is Prosecutor. She intends to visit Rwanda and the Rwanda Tribunal courts in
Arusha Tanzania in the near future.

President Mary
Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will meet with
senior officers of the OTP this afternoon, who will provide her with an update
of our ongoing investigations in the former Yugoslavia.



Asked whether
he also spoke for the Rwanda Tribunal in his role as the Spokesman for the
OTP, Risley replied that he spoke for the Prosecutor on any and all matters.

Asked whether
any attempts were made by the OTP to set a trial date in the Barayagwiza case,
Risley replied that, as was written in the Prosecutor’s Press Release,
the OTP both here and in Kigali had carefully looked at the time line of this
case, where specific motions were filed where it was felt that certain negligence
had occurred, not only on the part of the OTP but also on the part of the
Registry involved in this case. He added that it was an issue that the OTP
took very seriously and the question was raised repeatedly as to whether there
were problems. He concluded that he would give further details if requested.

Asked whether
the OTP was afraid that this case damaged the credibility of the OTP, Risley
replied that the issue was taken very seriously and certainly from that point
the OTP was very concerned. He reconfirmed the fact that the OTP had owned
up to the facts that were presented by the judges in their Appeal decision.

Asked for a
reaction concerning a letter sent to the Prosecutor by the Croatian Justice
Minister which mentioned a proposal on the issue of jurisdiction of Operations
‘Flash and Storm’ and whether the OTP planned to implement this
joint proposal, Risley replied that the Prosecutor had received the communication
from Separovic but had no reaction to it at this time. It had been sent to
New York, he added.

Landale added
that proposals from a lawyer representing Croatia suggesting changes to the
Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence had been received and, as
the President had noted in her speech to the General Assembly, they would
be considered in due time.

Asked about
a statement from the Croatian Justice Minister in which he said that President
McDonald had accepted a Croatian proposal to grant provisional release to
detainees who surrendered to the Tribunal and also that she had accepted a
Croatian proposal to discuss the issue of jurisdiction, Landale replied that
the issue of provisional release had been discussed for some time in the Registry
and Chambers. He added that specific recommendations on this issue were contained
in the report soon to be published by the Expert Group. It was these recommendations
that President McDonald believed warranted serious consideration as she had
said in her address to the General Assembly, he concluded.

Asked whether
the Prosecution had asked for any specific sentence in the Tadic case, Risley
replied that they had in the first hearing.

Landale added
that a Prosecution brief had been submitted on that issue and was available
to those interested.

Asked for information
in advance on the Prosecutor’s speech today, Risley replied that he would
forward the text of the Prosecutor’s remarks to the media.