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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 14th May 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 14 May 2000

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 14 May 1999

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

In the Simic and
Others case:

On 7 May 1999,
the President of the Tribunal ordered the assignment of Judge Cassese to the
Appeals Chamber in the light of the withdrawal of Judge Riad pursuant to Sub-rule
15(D)(i) of the Rules. The Chamber is currently considering an interlocutory
appeal by Stevan Todorovic regarding the Trial Chamber’s decision not to
hear an evidentiary hearing. The Appeals Chamber is now comprised as follows:
President Kirk McDonald, Vice-President Shahabuddeen, Judge Cassese, Judge Tieya
and Judge Nieto-Navia.

In the same case,
on 10 May 1999, Trial Chamber III (Judges Robinson (Presiding), Hunt and Bennouna)
issued a Scheduling Order for the trial. In reference to the Prosecutor’s
Motion for Judicial Notice of common knowledge and adjudicated facts, filed
on 10 February 1999, the Trial Chamber ordered that: "(1) the
Prosecution shall by Friday 14 May 1999, and in consultation with the Defence,
file a list of agreed facts for consideration by the Trial Chamber in connection
with the motion
Sand alsoC (2) (…) file any admissions and a statement
of other matters which are not in dispute pursuant to Rule 73 bis B (ii); (3)
the Defence shall file their pre-trial briefs by Monday 31 May 1999; (4) the
Prosecution shall file its list of the order of witnesses by Tuesday 1 June
1999; and (5) subject to further order, the trial in this matter shall commence
on Tuesday 22 June 1999".

Lastly in the
Simic and Others case, on 10 May 1999, Trial Chamber III issued an order for
Milan Simic to ‘attend the trial proceedings on a daily basis as from
Tuesday 22 June 1999 and to surrender himself to the United Nations Detention
Unit (…) not less than 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the trial.’

This follows Milan Simic’s provisional release for reasons of ill health
on 26 March 1998.

In the Furundzija
case: On 7 May 1999, Counsel for Anto Furundzija filed a motion for extension
of time in which to file the Defendant’s appellate brief pursuant to Sub-rule
127. According to the Defence, the Prosecution has "no serious objection"
to the Motion. The appellate brief is currently due on 21 May 1999.

In the Krstic
case, on 6 May 1999, Trial Chamber I (Judges Jorda (Presiding), Riad and Rodrigues)
granted in part a Defence preliminary Motion on the form of the indictment dated
1 March 1999 in which the Defence argued that the indictment was too vague.

The Trial Chamber
ordered the Prosecutor "to specify or clarify the indictment in respect
of the points relating to the responsibility of the accused without, however,
disclosing the names of the accused".
However, the Trial Chamber
decided that the nature and scope of the crimes as well as the type of responsibility
charged in this instance cannot be precisely indicated, therefore "the
Prosecutor cannot be blamed".

Finally in the
Blaskic case, on 12 May 1999, further to its Orders of 25 March 1999, Trial
Chamber I (Judges Jorda (Presiding), Shahabuddeen and Rodrigues) ordered that
General Philippe Morillon, the former UNPROFOR Commander, and Mr. Jean-Pierre
Thebault, former Chief of the European Community Monitoring Mission, appear
before it on 16 June 1999.

The Trial Chamber
specified the issues to be addressed in the testimony and outlined the procedure
for the deposition which will be closed to the public. The Trial Chamber further
specified that representatives of the French Government and, in the case of
General Morillon, of the UN Secretary-General may be present during the testimony
and may address the Trial Chamber to present reasoned motions aimed at preserving
any higher interest which they have been assigned to protect.

Copies of the
President’s speech that she gave to the Council for Foreign Relations in
New York on 12 May and the Prosecutor’s speech she gave yesterday at the
launch of the ICC Coalition’s Global Ratification Campaign are available.
We also have an updated fact sheet.



Paul Risley, Spokesman
for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), announced that the Chief Prosecutor
and Deputy Prosecutor had just returned from the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia (FYROM) where they met the Justice, Interior and Deputy Foreign Ministers.
They discussed the Tribunal’s presence in the country (investigators are
in Albania and FYROM) and thanked them for their cooperation. The meetings were
cordial and productive. They also met the Commander of the NATO Rapid Reaction
Corps, General Michael Jackson. They discussed operational aspects and also
future entry to Kosovo, emphasising again how important it was that the Tribunal
gained entry to Kosovo quickly. They also met other organisations and relief
agencies. Lastly he announced that the Prosecutor intended to go to Albania
in the next few weeks.



Asked about
a wire report based on statements made by a minister of the Republika Sprska
that the Prosecutor said she would give them some names on sealed indictments
on condition that they kept those names secret, Risley replied that he was
not familiar with the report nor of any comment having been made by the Prosecutors
office and this was something that was unlikely in any case to be announced
by the OTP.

Asked whether
there was any further information on the witnesses in the Blaskic case and
whether the remaining four were going to appear and when, Landale replied
that he expected further orders concerning for the four to be issued, as had
happened with General Morillon and Mr Thebault.

Asked about
an article in Le Monde that said that Milosovic would agree to NATO terms
on condition that he be granted immunity, Risley replied that the Prosecutor
had been asked a similar question and had replied that the Tribunal got its
authority from the Security Council and did not take instructions from individuals
or states.

Asked whether
the Security Council could then instruct the Tribunal to grant immunity, Risley
answered that the Security Council had already given authority to the Tribunal
and could not then change it without revoking the Tribunal’s charter.

Asked whether
Risley could give an assessment on how investigations were progressing, he
replied that there were currently teams in Tirana and Skopje. He said that
the current situation represented the largest challenge to investigators in
terms of having people on the ground. The investigators were working round
the clock and the OTP were hoping to bring in different shifts of investigators,
he said. The investigators were receiving many reports and were working in
agreement with other organisations to aid screening and directing people to
investigators. This represented the beginning of a lengthy process, he said.
It was also critical that investigators got to the actual crime sites themselves.
Crime sites would need securing, witnesses would need to be found and forensic
evidence gathered. Investigators were investigating very recent crimes which
meant new challenges for investigators, he added.

Asked whether
the investigators had found a willingness by the refugees to appear in court
cases, Risley replied that they had found them willing and the Tribunal was
working together with other organisations to keep track of those who had given

Asked who the
Prosecutor had talked to regarding access to Kosovo and what the reaction
had been, Risley answered that the Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor had visited
Brussels and met NATO commanders and had been to New York previously meet
the Head of Peacekeeping at the UN. Any initial force on the ground would
probably have elements of UN or NATO and the Prosecutor discussed Tribunal
access with them. The Prosecutor had received a positive reaction from General
Michael Jackson, he added.

Asked was this
not a political question and had the Prosecutor received any reaction, Risley
agreed that it was a political question and said that the US Secretary of
State had said publicly that the Tribunal would be able to investigate, but
otherwise it was too early to be able to tell political reaction.

Asked whether
confirmation had been received that General Morillon would attend and had
the French Government accepted the conditions, Landale replied that it was
his understanding that the General was coming and he had neither seen nor
heard anything from the French Government to indicate otherwise.

Asked whether
a picture was beginning to emerge from Kosovo, Risley answered not yet, there
was still much that was unknown. The level of atrocities was still difficult
to guage, he added.

Asked whether
the Prosecution intended to appeal in the Alexsovski case, Risley answered
that the Prosecution did intend to appeal, although on what grounds would
not be known until the written judgement was released.