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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 1st Jan 0001

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 5 November 2003

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 05.11.2003

Time: 12:20


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

Good afternoon,

The President
of the Tribunal, Judge Theodor Meron has been invited by the British Government
to meet with the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, and other senior officials in
London this Monday, 10 November. President Meron and Foreign Secretary Straw
will discuss current issues of mutual interest and concern relating to the work
of the ICTY.

As you should
have seen from the advisory, Milan Simic was released from the Tribunal’s custody
yesterday following President Meron’s Order for his release dated 27 October

In terms of other
court documents:

On 30 October,
in The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, we received the "Amicus
Curiae Submissions on Self-Defence Arising in the Kosovo Part of the Case as
Stipulated in Part (A) of the Order of the Chamber to the Amicus of 11 December

The following
day on 31 October Judge Shahabuddeen filed a Separate Opinion "Appended
to the Appeals Chamber’s Decision Dated 30 September 2003 on Admissibility of
Evidence-in-Chief in the Form of Written Statements
", and a Separate
Opinion "Appended to the Appeals Chamber’s Decision Dated 28 October
2003 on the Prosecution’s Interlocutory Appeal Against the Trial Chamber’s 10
April 2003 Decision on Prosecution Motion for Judicial Notice of Adjudicated

On 3 November
in the Milosevic case, the amicus curiae filed their "Request
for Separation of and Extension of Time for the Filing of Written Submissions

The following
day on 4 November in the Milosevic case we received the Trial Chamber’s "Order
to the Prosecution to Finalise its List of Exhibits
", in which the
Trial Chamber ordered the following:

"The Prosecution
shall produce, within 21 days, a definitive exhibit list, setting out the
documents it intends to introduce into evidence for the remainder of the Prosecution

The list may
include confidential and/or ex parte schedules in order to protect witnesses;

Any exhibit
not listed in a definitive or unqualified manner will be excluded by the Chamber,
unless it could not have been discovered in the exercise of due diligence
by the Prosecution."

On 28 October
in The Prosecutor v. Dragan Obrenovic, we received "Dragan Obrenovic’s
Exibit List for the Sentencing Hearing

On 31 October
in The Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaskic, we received from the Appeals Chamber
(Judges Pocar, presiding, Mumba, Schomburg, Guney and Weinberg De Roca) a "Decision
on Evidence
", in which the Appeals Chamber granted the defendant’s
motions to admit additional evidence in part. This is a detailed Decision and
I refer you to copies that will be available after the briefing.

On 31 October
in The Prosecutor v. Hadzihasanovic and Kubura, we received from Trial
Chamber II the "Decision on Joint Defence Motion for Extension of Provisional
Release and Scheduling Order
", in which the Trial Chamber granted the
Motion and ordered "that both Accused shall surrender to the custody
of the Tribunal on Thursday 27 November 2003, in the conditions set out in the
" and rescheduled the Pre-Trial Conference to Friday 28 November
2003 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom III.

In the same case
on 3 November, we received the pre-trial briefs from both Enver Hadzihasanovic
and Amir Kubura.

On 31 October
the Deputy Registrar, David Tolbert, issued a Decision in the Brdjanin case
assigning Ms. Brenda Hollis as amicus curiae "for the purpose of prosecuting
Ms. Milka Maglov for:

the alleged
intimidation of the Witness; and
the alleged
disclosure of the identity of the Witness to a member of the public, in violation
of an order of the Chamber".

On 31 October
in The Prosecutor v. Limaj, Bala and Musliu, we received Decisions denying
all three Accused’s Requests for Provisional Release.

On 3 November
in The Prosecutor v. Sefer Halilovic, the Deputy Registrar, David Tolbert,
issued a Decision withdrawing Mr. Ahmet Hodzic from the case and assigning Mr.
Stefan Kirsch as lead counsel.

In the same case
again on 3 November, we received the "Prosecution’s Response to Defence
Motion Regarding Order in Which Prosecution Witnesses Will be Called at Trial

On 31 October
in The Prosecutor v. Mrksic, Radic and Sljivancanin, we received the
"Defendant Veselin Sljivancanin’s Preliminary Motion".

With regard
to the court schedule and in addition to the ongoing trials:

On 23 October
in The Prosecutor v. Hadzihasanovic and Kubura, Trial Chamber II ordered
inter alia, that the trial will commence on 2 December 2003. The Pre-Trial
conference in this case will be held on 28 November.

In The Prosecutor
v. Tihomir Blaskic
, on 31 October we received from the Appeals Chamber a
Scheduling Order which inter alia ordered that the appeal hearing in
this case commence on 8 December 2003 and that the parties file "if
they so wish, a supplementary brief in the light of the admitted additional
evidence and rebuttal material, by 1 December 2003

In The Prosecutor
v. Dragan Nikolic
, Trial Chamber II has ordered that the Sentencing Judgement
in this case will be rendered on 18 December at 2 p.m.

A reminder that
in The Prosecutor v. Mitar Vasiljevic, the Appeal Hearing in this case
will be held on Tuesday, 18 November 2003.

The Appeal Hearing
in The Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic will be held on 24 November.

The Sentencing
Hearing in The Prosecutor v. Ranko Cesic will be held on 27 and 28 November.

The Pre-trial
conference in The Prosecutor v. Radovan Stankovic will be held on 24

There will be
a status conference in The Prosecutor v. Naser Oric on Tuesday 25 November
2003 commencing at 3 p.m.

All the documents
I’ve mentioned are available from us on request.

Office of the

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


Bourgon, President of the Association of Defence Counsel for the ICTY, made
the following statement:

On behalf of the
Association of Defence Council, I do not have any specific statement to make.
However, I am pleased to announce that tomorrow I will be meeting with the Registrar,
Mr. Hans Holthuis, and that the first meeting of the Registry Working Group
on the Pre-Trial Legal Aid Policy will take place.


Asked if Milan
Simic’s early release was final and for how long he had actually been detained
for the crime he pleaded guilty to, Landale stated that he could give an exact
figure of the number of days Simic had been detained after the briefing, but
that as of Monday, 3 November 2003, he had served two thirds of his sentence.
Landale explained that when sentences were rendered by the Trial Chamber the
number of days spent in detention at the detention unit were taken into consideration.
Therefore, following an application to the President of the Tribunal for early
release, President Meron granted Milan Simic that early release, he said.

Asked for more
information on an article which appeared yesterday in Dnevni Avaz that reported
an alleged bout between Carla del Ponte and the President of the Association
of the Women of Srebrenica, Hartmann replied she was not aware of the article.

The journalist
replied that he could get a copy of the article, and Hartmann agreed to take
a look at it at a later time.

Another journalist
added that an English translation of the article described a screaming match
between the Prosecutor and the President of the organisation, Hajra Catic. He
added that in the alleged article, Catic accused the Prosecutor of screaming
at her. Hartmann stated that there was no such incident and reiterated that
she would like to first take a look at the original article.

The journalist
quoted from an English translation of the article in Dnevni Avaz, stating that
"Del Ponte reacted hysterically and started shouting when she complained
about the Prosecution’s defence deals at The Hague. Catic says Del Ponte started
shouting and saying that they have no right to ask such questions and what concerns
is it to them if someone gets a smaller or larger sentence? Del Ponte continued
shouting and told Catic that she should be satisfied with the fact that the
dead members of the families had been found".

The journalist
further quoted that "Catic says she has to get medical help after the meeting
and says her trust in The Hague as an institution is non-existent." Hartmann
responded again by saying that she would look at the original article adding
that this did not reflect at all what happened during the meeting and that their
discussion had been interesting.

Asked if Del Ponte
raised her voice at all during this discussion, Hartmann said that they were
speaking normally to each other and she believed that the person who took part
in the discussion would not say these things to a journalist. Hartmann added
that she believed there was no dispute and that it was just a strange article.

Asked if there
would be no more investigations in Kosovo against Serbian military for crimes
committed against Albanians, Hartmann confirmed that no more investigations
would be made by the ICTY. Hartmann added that the ICTY was under a completion
strategy where it was clearly limited and its mandate was very clear at a high
level. Hartmann encouraged the journalist to look at resolution 1503 of 28 August

Hartmann added
that in respect to the guidelines, given by the UN Security Council, the ICTY
was not conducting any more investigations relating to Serbian police or military.
This did not mean that there were no other individuals bearing responsibility
for crimes committed in Kosovo against Albanians, but that the ICTY had finished
its part of the job.

Hartmann stated
further that the OTP expected a bond with the new special prosecutor and the
new court in Serbia that would deal with war crimes and would continue the work
that was started by the ICTY. She added that no criminal investigations would
open related to the mass graves discovered in Serbia, where a total of 900 bodies
were found in 2001 and the exhumation conducted in the course of 2002. It was
expected that this case and others would be conducted before the local judiciary.

Asked to comment
on the scathing articles in reaction to the Pedrag Banovic sentence, Landale
replied that he had seen such articles as well as others that stated the opposite
point of view.

The journalist
commented that these articles came from victim associations. Landale said he
was aware of them and had no particular comment except to recommend that people
should carefully read the Judgement and the statement made by Pedrag Banovic
himself. He concluded that then they were of course free to make up their own

Asked by a journalist
if the Prosecutor was saying that proceedings would not be completed by 2010,
and whether if she had said this she had checked with the President and the
Security Council, Hartmann replied that the Prosecutor did say that and that
as usual things were taken out of context.

Hartmann said
that the Prosecutor had said if people were not arrested. She added that they
were speaking about the fact that everyone was forgetting the UN Security Council
resolution 1503 in which there were guidelines and a timetable for the Tribunal
and all its sections. There were also clear reminders to the states that they
had to fully cooperate. The Prosecutor, together with the President and Registry
could work on the completion strategy. But there were elements which were not
under control of the Tribunal. For instance the cooperation and prompt arrest
of fugitives. If we did not have Karadzic, Mladic, Gotovina, the five who were
indicted for Srebrenica, and other people who were under the control of the
police in the countries where "they are hiding", then the Tribunal
would have problems with the deadlines.

For instance,
the Krajisnik trial was scheduled for some time next year, and if he could be
tried with Karadzic there would not be a repetition of the trial. With around
two year’s time for each trial tried separately, the Trial Chamber would be
trapped for four years. Then it was true that it would have problem with the
deadline. The cooperation and the prompt arrest according to the law of the
fugitives was a way for the ICTY to fight impunity, and it would insist on it
and not give up.

Asked if the ICTY
was aware of the concern in foreign capitals that this deadline seemed to be
under pressure, Landale replied that the Tribunal was concentrating all its
efforts internally to try and meet the 2010 deadline, but as Florence had pointed
out, there were external considerations and factors that were out of the Tribunal’s
control. Certain things needed to take place for the Tribunal to complete its
mandate and that involved full and complete cooperation from all people involved,
especially the governments and authorities in the former Yugoslavia who were
still not completely living up to their obligations under international law
to cooperate with the Tribunal, most notably in the transfer of people indicted
by the Tribunal, but also in other areas. The Tribunal had to see an improvement
in all areas in order for it to complete its work.

Asked if the Prosecution
was having problems bringing in 20 key witnesses in the last 30 days of the
Prosecution’s case against Milosevic and if these witnesses were from countries
other than the former Yugoslavia, Hartmann replied that she believed that this
question referred to a comment made by the Prosecutor in Vienna yesterday. Hartmann
said that the prosecution had up to 34 days to finish their presentation of
evidence. The problem the Prosecutor had mentioned was not about witnesses,
but the fact that crucial documents in the Milosevic case were not given to
the OTP after being requested from Belgrade. Access to military and state archives
in Belgrade was needed to establish the facts of the responsibility of Milosevic.
The OTP would do its best to bring live witnesses, but the testimony would have
a stronger sense if supported by state documents. If documents were missing,
then there was a problem related to the trial. The OTP was hopeful that the
documents asked for two years ago would reach the Tribunal before it was too

Asked whether
the Tribunal had any indication as to when the ‘Srebrenica Quintet’, the five
officers indicted for their alleged involvement in crimes committed in Srebrenica
would be brought to the ICTY, Landale replied that in responding to questions
about various developments, for instance the unsealing of the Indictment against
the four generals, the Tribunal was specific in talking about them in its insistence
that they would be apprehended and transferred, but at the same time, he added
that he hoped that the Tribunal had also been clear that others indicted by
the Tribunal, who were currently fugitives also had to be apprehended and transferred
if they did not surrender voluntarily to the Tribunal.

Hartmann added
that the OTP desperately mentioned all those names and tried not to reduce the
request to Karadzic, Mladic and Gotovina. She added that at the beginning of
the year she took time during a press briefing to list all of the names of accused
who were very important and could not be tried locally, who had to come to The
Hague. She added that if they had already come, they would have been tried together
with the two now on trial. It was again obstruction, not only that they did
not come in time, but that it was making a mess of the programme of the Tribunal.
The Tribunal had deadlines now, it was always known that the Tribunal would
not last 20 or 50 years which was the problem as it was obstruction not only
by not sending somebody but it had an impact on all of the work of criminal
justice and the fight against impunity. The Tribunal did not have its own police
and could only hope that people would comply.

Asked to specify
which documents were still needed from Belgrade, Hartmann replied that she could
not specify because some of the documents on which the Tribunal was working
and which were very important were discussed in closed session. What she suggested
was that the media refer to the sentence in the Prosecutor’s report before the
Security Council on October 9 in which she was very clear in explaining that
there was obstruction from the Belgrade authorities related to documents dated
prior to 1996. This meant clearly documents related to the war in Bosnia and
Croatia. Obviously this related to the fact that the authorities of Serbia and
Montenegro were not willing to give access to documents that could be used in
one way or another by Bosnia and Croatia in their case against Serbia and Montenegro
before the International Court of Justice.

A journalist stated
that Krajisnik had been in detention at the UN detention unit for four years
now. Asked whether it was possible that if Karadzic was caught right now or
in one months’ time Krajisnik would have to wait another two years before coming
to trial, Landale replied that this would be a determination of the Judges.

Hartmann added
that as far as Krajisnik was concerned, the prosecution was ready and that the
trial had been postponed at the request of the defence.

In relation to
allegations that Mrs. Maglov had apparently been involved in a staged trial
of Muslims in Banja Luka during the war, a journalist asked whether the ADC-ICTY
would be in contact with the Registrar when it came to the selection process
of lawyers who were to defend accused at the Tribunal and whether the ADC-ICTY
had any way of checking the background of the people and whether it did so.
Bourgon replied that ever since the ADC-ICTY was created the intent of the Registrar
was to work with the ADC-ICTY with respect to the selection of defence counsel.
He added that in the beginning when the ADC-ICTY was created certain criteria
were included into its constitution in terms of who could be a defence counsel
before the ICTY.

There were differences
between these criteria and those that existed in the directive on assignment
of defence counsel. At the present time the ADC-ICTY was working to have the
same criteria. The Judges had been working now for some time on a new qualification,
new specific requirements for any one to be a defence counsel before the Tribunal.
This working group would come up with some new criteria, he would imagine, before
they sat at their next plenary in December. The ADC-ICTY would adopt the same
criteria for its constitution and would work with the Registrar in order that
the first step in the screening process for any defence counsel should begin
with the ADC-ICTY. There was more to be done he added and in the statement he
made last week he had said that the ADC-ICTY wanted to get involved with the
Registrar in terms of identifying the criteria which would now become the norm,
he concluded.

A journalist stated
that the fact that it was made public the day after his funeral that Izetbegovic
was under investigation by the Tribunal had caused a huge and continuing storm
in Bosnia. Asked why the OTP felt it should name him and why the OTP refused
to give any details as to what the investigation concerned in the light of the
fact that most prosecutors around the world would not say someone was being
investigated if they were dead because it left people in a ‘shadow’. Hartmann
replied that the Prosecutor was asked why she had not indicted Izetbegovic and
she was transparent as she usually was and answered the question. Hartmann added
that in Sarajevo Del Ponte said two things: certain war crimes were committed
by certain elements of the BH army and that it was under the mandate of the
OTP to investigate the chain of command related to those crimes. This investigation
was related to war crimes and not crimes against humanity. There were enough
elements here to understand why she would not give anymore details, she stated.

The journalist
said that this response was not clear, and asked why the Prosecutor made this
public and whether it was for a political reason. Hartmann replied that there
was not a political reason, it was a question of transparency. The Prosecutor
was very precisely asked why Izetbegovic was not indicted and she said that
he was under investigation and that he was not yet indicted because the investigation
was not finished. The OTP had not collected enough evidence to bring an indictment.
It was as simple as that, she concluded.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor regretted saying this, Hartmann replied that they could not regret
answering questions wherever possible. She added that she regretted that she
had been obliged to repeat the answer, which she had given two days before in
London, in The Hague on the day of the funeral.

A journalist
stated that a war crime could be murdering 1,000 people or it could be using
an enemy flag by mistake. There was a huge difference between one crime and
another and obviously people were now expecting the worst, that Izetbegovic
was involved in some dark terrible series of crimes as that was a possibility.
Asked whether the world would ever hear what he was being investigated for,
Hartmann replied that if the media read carefully what the Prosecution had said
in Sarajevo they would know why she could say no more.

The journalist
said that he was asking what the position was now, not about what was said in
Sarajevo. Hartmann replied that she had said again and again that if the media
carefully read what the Prosecutor had said in Sarajevo they would understand
the reason why she was not giving more details.

Asked how long
the OTP would need to be ready for trial if Karadzic was arrested tomorrow,
Hartmann replied that the OTP could ask the Judges for a joinder with Krajisnik
and if it had the opportunity to suggest the Judges contemplate the possibility
of joining the trials. The OTP had all of the elements needed for a joinder
in the case of Krajisnik and Karadzic.

Asked whether
they were ready for trial, Hartmann replied that they were.

Landale added
that any accused who arrived here had the right to receive full disclosure of
all materials and a chance to build and investigate their case. Hartmann added
that this was the case for Kovacevic and Strugar.