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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 14th Apr 2004

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 7 April 2004

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

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 14.04.2004

Time: 12:00


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

Good afternoon,

First, I am very pleased to be able to confirm
the Secretary-General’s appointment of Lord Bonomy to the ICTY to
replace Judge May, who is resigning for health reasons. Lord Bonomy,
who is a Judge of the Scottish Court of Session, will officially
take up his duties on 1 June, 2004

I would also like to remind you that the Appeals
Judgement in The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic will be rendered
next Monday, 19 April, at 11 a.m. in Courtroom I. You are all invited
to attend.

The closing arguments in The Prosecutor v. Radoslav
will be held from Monday 19 April to Friday 23 April
in Courtroom III.

Finally, I’m sad to announce that this will be
Joanne’s last briefing here at the Tribunal before she leaves us.
I’m sure you will join me in thanking her for all her hard work
and patience over the years, and in wishing her all the very best
for the future.


Asked whether a new Judge had been assigned to
the Milosevic trial, Landale confirmed that upon effective entry
into service, Lord Bonomy would be assigned by President Meron to
Trial Chamber III.

Asked to confirm that the new Judge would officially
take up office on 1 June 2004, Landale replied that this was correct.

Asked if he would have access to trial materials
before 1 June in order to prepare, Landale replied that he understood
that he would.

Asked, now that Lord Bonomy had been confirmed
as the new Judge, when he was expected to arrive in The Hague, Landale
replied that he was already here.

Asked to confirm that, between now and June 1,
Lord Bonomy would read through the trial papers, Landale said he
believed this would be the case. He added that according to the
Rules, Lord Bonomy would have to certify that he had familiarized
himself with the record of the proceedings, before he could join
the bench of judges, according to Rule 15 bis.

Asked what function Lord Bonomy would hold and
whether his assignment to Trial Chamber III meant that the Trial
Chamber had to again decide who would be the presiding Judge, Landale
replied that it was a matter for the Trial Chamber to decide. He
added that at the moment Judge Robinson was the presiding Judge
of Trial Chamber III.

According to a journalist, the BBC had reported
that Milosevic had filed his list of witnesses. Asked if he could
confirm this, Landale replied that he could confirm that Milosevic
had filed his list of witnesses and exhibit list pursuant to Rule
65 ter (G). Those lists were now before the Judges for review,
he added.

Asked for an indication as to how long that process
would take, Landale replied that he did not have any firm indication.

Asked to confirm that the list included 1,631 witness
names, Landale replied that he could confirm that fact.

Asked whether the witness list was confidential
at the request of the Defence, Landale replied that it was confidential
because it was under review by the Judges.

A journalist stated that there had been instances
in the past where witness lists had been made public, for example
in the Blagojevic case when the Prosecution published the summaries
that accompanied the witness list and the complete witness list
before the Prosecution case began. Asked whether it would not be
true to say that witness lists in general were always confidential,
Landale replied that in this case the list was being reviewed by
the Trial Chamber and was therefore confidential.

Asked whether he could confirm that the names of
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were on the witness list, Landale replied
that he had no comment regarding this question.

Asked to confirm that the trial was going to continue
on 8 June as previously scheduled, Landale replied that nothing
had changed and that 8 June was the scheduled date for the start
of the Defence case.

Asked why they believed the amendments to the Rules
of Procedure and Evidence were adopted last week and how those amendments
related to the Tribunal’s completion strategy, Landale replied that
it was pursuant the latest Security Council resolution which called
for indictments to be filed against only the most senior people
most responsible for crimes that fell under the jurisdiction and
Statute of the ICTY. He added that in order to align that with the
ICTY Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Judges had met in a plenary
session last week and adopted the amendment to Rule 28. It was consistent
with the Security Council resolution, he concluded.

Asked how the amendment would affect the work of
the OTP, Hartmann replied that it depended. She added that the Prosecutor
was planning to ask the President for some clarification on the
issue, for example with regards to the criteria to be used. The
Decision was taken by the Judges and the Prosecution was not informed.

Asked to confirm that the Prosecution was not informed
in advance about the amendment to this Rule, Hartmann replied that
they were not.

A journalist stated that the amendment meant that
the Judges had the final word regarding who would be indicted, not
on the basis of the evidence that was in the indictment, but if
they decided that this person was senior or not. Landale said that
it was his understanding that it was part of the whole confirmation
process, so based on whether or not there was a prima facie
case and also taking into consideration whether this person held
a most senior position. That would be for the Judges to decide,
he said.

The journalist went on to say that she did not
understand why that was the case because the Prosecutor had already
said that she was concentrating on the more senior individuals responsible.
Asked why the Judges needed to add the resolution and a new set
of Rules, unless they wanted to have more control over what the
Prosecution was doing, Landale replied that the Judges felt that
the Rules needed to reflect the direction in which the Security
Council wanted this institution to focus its energies, so they had
accordingly adopted the relevant Rule in the Tribunal’s Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.

A journalist read out the following paragraph from
a letter from the French President of the Security Council "la
France souhaite préciser que le nécessaire respect
des dates d’achèvement des travaux du Tribunal Pénal
International pour l’ex-Yugoslavie et du Tribunal Pénal International
pour le Rwanda, dûment rappelé par la résolution
1534, ne saurait être interprété comme portant
atteinte au principe d’indépendance des deux tribunaux et
à la séparation des fonctions en leur sein conformément
aux dispositions pertinentes de leur Statut et de leur Règlement
de Preuve et de Procédure respectifs

The journalist stated that he understood that this
letter from the President of the Security Council said that the
new resolution should not be interpreted as a call to change the
Rules or the Statute of the Tribunal. Asked if she felt this change
was initiated by the Security Council, as the letter appeared to
be a clear statement that it must be done within the existing Statute
and the Rules, Hartmann reiterated that the Prosecutor would ask
for some clarifications regarding criteria. She said that Security
Council resolution 1503 of August 28 called on the Tribunal’s separate
bodies to make sure that they indicted and tried the most senior
people. The OTP believed it had said in its completion strategy
(which was initiated by the Prosecutor before it was mentioned and
the date settled in the UN Security Council resolution of 8 August)
that it would focus on the most senior perpetrators. The most senior
people did not necessarily mean that they should be Heads of State.
It was something that had to be discussed, which was why the Prosecutor
would ask for some clarification as to what they felt the most senior
was according to their criteria, she concluded.

Asked, following what was just read out, whether
it was in accordance with the letter and also whether the letter
was in the spirit of the resolution to actually have consulted with
the OTP before having introduced these changes, Hartmann replied
that the OTP was not consulted.

Asked why this was a total surprise for the OTP,
Landale replied that he was not aware whether it was or was not
a surprise to the OTP. He added that he could only discuss what
he was aware of.

Asked for confirmation of reports last week that
the OTP was issuing more Indictments against high ranking Bosnian
officials, Hartmann replied that she would not comment on allegations.