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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 1st Jan 0001

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 08 January 2003

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 08.01.2003

Time: 11:30


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

Good morning and
a Happy New Year to you all. I trust you all had a refreshing break.

Next week, from
Monday 13 January until Wednesday 15 January 2003, a delegation from the Tribunal
comprising the President, the Registrar and members of the OTP, will be travelling
to Sarajevo for a working visit to meet with representatives from the Office
of the High Representative. The focus of their talks will be the creation of
a chamber within the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina that will process
war crimes cases. The participants will discuss the jurisdiction, structure
and procedure of the chamber, as well as the proposed timeframe for its creation.

I will hopefully
be able to let you know how the meeting went next week.

In terms of court

In the Prosecutor
v. Tihomir Blaskic:

On 7 January,
we received the "Prosecution’s Request for Extension of Time For Filing
its Rebuttal Evidence and Arguments in Response to Additional Evidence Admitted
on Appeal and Variation of Page Limits

In the Prosecutor
v. Simic, Tadic and Zaric:

On 20 December,
we received the "Filing of Expert Witness Report Written by Ms. Leposava
Kron, PhD Pursuant to Rule 94 bis
". This is a lengthy document and
so will only be available on request.

In the Prosecutor
v. Mitar Vasiljevic:

On 30 December,
we received from the Defence a "Notice of Appeal Against Judgement of
November 29, 2002
". This is available in both English and French.

On 3 January 2003,
we received the "Prosecution Motion Concerning Defects in the Defence
Notice of Appeal and Response to Defence Motion or Extension of Time

In the Prosecutor
v. Biljana Plavsic:

On 18 December,
we received an "Order for Continuation of Provisional Release".

Then on 20 December,
we received the "Decision Granting Prosecution’s Motion to Dismiss Counts
1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Amended Consolidated Indictment

In the Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic:

On 16 December,
we received the "Amici Curiae’s Schedule of Objections to the Amended
Expert Report of Morten Torkildsen Filed 7th June 2002 and Morten
Torkildsen’s Second Expert Report Filed 18th November 2002

Then on 19 December,
we received the "Prosecution’s Motion or Variance of Prior Orders of

Then on 20 December,
we received the "Prosecution Submission of the Expert Report of Renaud
De La Brosse
". At this point in time the report is only available in
French. It is a lengthy document and so will only be available on request.

In the Prosecutor
v. Pasko Ljubicic:

On 17 December,
we received the "Defence Motion for the Issuance of a Binding Order
to Bosnia and Herzegovina For the Production of Documents

In the Prosecutor
v. Hadzihasanovic, Alagic, Kubura:

On 7 January,
we received the "Joint Reply to Prosecution’s Response to Defence Motion
for Access to EUMM Archives

In the Prosecutor
v. Milan Martic:

On 18 December,
we received the Registrar’s Decision deciding to "withdraw the assignment
of Mr. Kastratovic and to assign Mr. Milovancevic as counsel for the accused
This decision is available in both English and French.

In the Prosecutor
v. Sainovic and Ojdanic:

On 13 December,
we received the "Prosecution’s Response to ‘General Dragoljub Ojdanic’s
Preliminary Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction: Kosovo’

On the same day,
we received the "Prosecution’s Response to ‘General Dragoljub Ojdanic’s
Preliminary Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction: Joint Criminal Enterprise’
of 29 November 2002

On 6 January,
we received the "Reply Brief: Preliminary Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Jurisdiction: Kosovo

Again on 6 January,
we received the "Reply Brief: Preliminary Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Jurisdiction: Joint Criminal Enterprise

Florence Hartmann,
Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor, also wished everybody a happy
New Year and made no statement.


A journalist
stated that the Trial Chamber in the Milosevic case had filed a court order
last year concerning the witness formally known as C61. The order requested
the prosecution to review the transcripts of closed and private sessions to
see whether or not they could be made public now that the identity of the
witness was known. Asked whether any transcripts of witness C61 had been made
public, Landale replied that it was his understanding that these transcripts
were on the ICTY Website.

Asked whether
more information could be given about the breaking news that Biljana Plavsic
had been subpoenaed to testify in the Stakic trial (the journalist who asked
the question stated that they had just seen this on Court TV five to 30 minutes
before and added that Judge Schomburg announced this suddenly after a closed
session), Landale replied that he had also just become aware of this information
and said that he wished to seek some clarity about what was said before he
could answer this question.

Asked, as it
was the beginning of the New Year, what trials could be expected to start
in 2003, Landale replied that before anything could be announced concretely
concerning what was going to take place on a certain day it was necessary
to receive a scheduling order. It was known, however, that the Tribunal was
expecting a Judgement in the Plavsic case and in the Naletilic and Martinovic
case. In terms of pending appeals, there were Kvocka and others case, Celebici,
Krstic, Kordic, Cerkez, Blaskic, Krnojelac and now of course as was just mentioned,
Vasiljevic. At the pre-trial stage there were something like 26 individuals.
It was clear that some of these people would begin their trials sometime this
year, but again he could not be very precise concerning timing. It was necessary
to wait until scheduling orders were received, he concluded.

Asked whether
it was correct that the Tribunal was to send doctors to check on the health
of General Bobetko, as according to a report in Zagreb today the doctors were
expected within two to three weeks, Landale replied that he could not confirm

Asked for an
idea of who would be testifying in the Milosevic trial and whether there was
any news on Milutinovic, Hartmann replied that regarding witnesses, as usual,
the OTP would not give any indication of names before the court did so during
the hearing. She clarified that the OTP was at a stage in the case where they
would continue to present evidence on crime-base witnesses in Dubrovnik and

As far as the
transfer of Milutinovic to the ICTY was concerned either as the result by
voluntary surrender or by an arrest, the step had to be made by Belgrade.
The OTP hoped that it would be done as soon as possible.

Asked whether
there was any indication of the authorities moving closer to arresting the
other indictees wanted by the Tribunal, Hartmann replied that the OTP would
repeat during its contacts with the authorities, not only today but also in
the future, that all fugitives had to be arrested. The transfer of Milutinovic
did not prevent them from arresting all of them. The OTP believed that more
than 12 fugitives were living in Yugoslavia and would expect them to be arrested.
Last year was not a successful year. The OTP did not see many transfers and
hoped that full cooperation would be given by all of the countries in the
former Yugoslavia. The OTP expected Belgrade, Banja Luka and also Zagreb to
solve the problems regarding these fugitives, she concluded.

Asked if any
response was received to the outstanding demands and requests made to Belgrade,
Hartmann replied that she would have to check whether anything was received
during the recess. The problem was, as the Prosecutor presented during her
press conference on 20 December 2002, that even if some issues had been solved
during the last days of the year many requests were still pending. A lot of
outstanding requests had to be complied with regarding indictees waiting in
custody in order for their trials to start. The OTP expected the authorities
to comply. The OTP could not wait for 24 months in order to receive replies.
In the meanwhile the OTP had already prepared and started the trial, but could
not accept receiving answers from the Belgrade authorities after the case
was closed. The OTP had to get it in time and to expected to receive them
accordance with the Tribunal’s Statute.

Landale added
that the beginning of this New Year marked an opportunity for a fresh start
for the authorities in Belgrade and others across the former Yugoslavia to
start cooperating fully with the Tribunal. With specific regard to Milutinovic,
the Tribunal would ask that he be transferred to the Tribunal at the earliest
opportunity. When this happened it would be welcomed but this would not mean
complete cooperation. The Tribunal fully expected all authorities to live
up to their obligations and to apprehend and transfer all individuals who
had been indicted by this Tribunal and indicted for some time now. In addition
to that, as Florence said, the Tribunal would have to have full cooperation
on the provision of documents and information requested by either or both
parties in any trial and that was something the Tribunal hoped would change
vastly this year compared to last year, he concluded.

Asked whether
the Tribunal and the Office of the High Representative had different opinions
on the role of a war crimes chamber with the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Hartmann replied that it was too early to answer this question since the working
conference would take place next week and was due to ascertain whether there
were problems and to answer all questions that could arise in order to take
away any problems.

Landale added
that it would be wrong to talk about any division or misunderstandings between
the Tribunal and OHR. This working visit was specifically to look at issues
of jurisdiction and the processes that were going to be used and the time
frame for the creation of this Chamber. The Tribunal would have to be absolutely
satisfied that this Chamber was working properly before the Tribunal could
defer some mid and low level cases to this Chamber. It was imperative that
all of the finer details be worked out between the Tribunal and OHR and between
the authorities in Sarajevo in order to lay firm foundations for this Chamber
and to make sure that it could be used in the future, and more importantly,
that the people of Bosnia could use it and could rely on it in the future.

Asked again
what the status was in the Bobetko case because the Republic of Croatia had
produced large amounts of material on his medical records months ago, Hartmann
replied that the Prosecution filed a motion suggesting that an expert group
of doctors should be send to Zagreb. The Chamber gave a confidential order
in relation to this motion, she concluded.

A journalist
stated that there had been word that General Gotovina was located in the western
part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Asked for information concerning his whereabouts,
Hartmann replied that she could not comment, but that he could be sure that
the Office of the Prosecutor was working on the Gotovina case. She added that
it was a pity that people were not mentioning every day the names of all fugitives.
There was not one case that was left apart and the OTP was working on them.
The OTP could not always disclose, as for Mladic or Karadzic, the details
of their whereabouts.