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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 14th Mar 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 14 March 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 14 March 2001

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

elections for the permanent Judges of the ICTY by the General Assembly will
take place later on today at the United Nations in New York. We would expect
to issue a press release tomorrow with all the results.

regard to the President’s activities:

Claude Jorda is due to be in Brussels tomorrow to participate in an international
criminal law moot court organized by the Belgian Red Cross.

on Friday, President Jorda will travel to Geneva to attend a symposium organized
by the University of Geneva.

Excellency Mohamed El Habib Fassi Fihri from Morocco will be sworn in as a Judge
of the International Tribunal later on this afternoon. He will replace Judge
Mohamed Bennouna.

regard to court documents:

have now received notices of appeal from Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez and the
Prosecution against the Judgement that was handed down by Trial Chamber III
on 26 February 2001. Copies of those will be available after this.

the Krstic case, we have received an order from Trial Chamber I for the appearance
of General Halilovic and General Hadzihasanovic on 5 April and 6 April respectively.
They were previously ordered to appear in February, however due to the ill-health
of the accused, their appearance was postponed. In the original December order
to the two Generals, the Trial Chamber considered that "in order to
establish the truth about the crimes ascribed to the accused, it is imperative
to summon a witness able to provide the Trial Chamber with more specific information
as to the presence and role of the 28th Division of the Army of the
Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina just before, during and just after the attack
upon it by the Serbian forces in July 1995 and as to the column of persons seeking
to leave the Srebrenica enclave at the time of the attack".

a reminder that the ‘Sikirica and others’ trial is due to begin on Monday 19
March. We will be putting out a detailed press release on that later today.
In addition, the Krstic trial is also due to resume on Monday 19 March.

several documents have been produced by the ICTY’s Outreach Programme in Bosnian,
Serbian and Croatian, or "BCS" as we abbreviate it. They include the
Statute, including the Security Council resolution of 30 November last year,
and also the OTP-produced Srebrenica report.



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


Asked for a
reaction to the statement that the Belgrade authorities intended to visit
the Tribunal and whether they had made any contact yet with the Tribunal and
if so who would come, Landale replied that there were reports over a week
ago concerning this, made by Minister Batic. He added that he was still unaware
of any official approach being made to the office of the President. He would
keep the media informed of any developments, he added.

Asked whether
there was a date set yet for the initial appearance of Blagoje Simic, Landale
replied that there was not.

Asked whether
there was any comment on the statement made by the Chief of Police in Belgrade
that there were 15 wanted suspects in Yugoslavia, Hartmann replied that for
months the OTP had said that it believed there to be around 15 suspects living
in the territory of FRY and specifically in Serbia. There were no more details
to give on this issue. The numbers were not very precise firstly because there
were also suspects on sealed indictments and secondly because some of them
were coming and going through the territory of Serbia, according to the information
the OTP had, she concluded.

Landale reiterated
for the record that the authorities in Belgrade were under a legal obligation
to apprehend and transfer all people indicted by the Tribunal, and the Tribunal
expected them to do so.

Asked to clarify
whether it was the OTP or the President’s office who Belgrade were in touch
with about a possible visit, Hartmann replied that it was quite a complicated
issue and it was not very clear what kind of visit the Serbian Minister was
referring to. From the Prosecutor’s point of view she was willing to support
a visit of officials specifically at the Federal level to discuss the mechanism
for cooperation with the Tribunal.

From the point
of view of the OTP, Yugoslavia did not need specific legislation for cooperation
with the Tribunal. Yugoslavia was under an international legal obligation
to cooperate with the Tribunal. Yugoslavia had put the condition on cooperation
of a new law. The OTP could understand this if they passed the law quickly
but this was not the case. The OTP was willing to discuss the mechanism as
part of the dialogue started during the visit to Belgrade in January.

Asked whether
there was a reason for a delay in the initial appearance of Simic, Landale
replied that there was no specific reason. He added that he hoped to get some
indication later today. He would let the media know as soon as he did, he

Asked from
which side the initiative for a visit from Belgrade came, Hartmann said she
could not comment further on this issue. She did not know about what initiatives
some people were speaking about. She would just confirm that the OTP was in
contact with officials from the Federal government about a visit to confirm,
explain or discuss cooperation and the mechanism of this cooperation.

Asked whether
Graham Blewitt would have any official meetings while in Belgrade, Hartmann
replied that he would not. She added that the visit was organised by the Outreach
Programme. The conference was the same as others held in parts of the former
Yugoslavia and it was a long time since one was held in Belgrade, especially
at this level. It was for this conference that Graham Blewitt was going to
Belgrade, it was not an official visit, she concluded.

Landale added
that the conference was organised by the Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade.
It was being supported by the Outreach programme. It was financed by the Danish
Foreign Ministry and it was the sixth and last symposium in a series of symposiums
in different cities around the former Yugoslavia.