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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 23rd May 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 23 May 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 23 May 2001

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Christian Chartier, Head of Public Information Services, made the following

As usual, I would like to update you first on a number of important institutional

date has been set for the election of the 27 ad litem Judges. The
process will take place in UNHQ on 12,13 and 14 June. Following this election,
we expect that the first ad litem Judges will join the Tribunal in
late August or early September and that the first trials involving ad
Judges will commence soon after. The trial schedule is not yet
official but it is clear that after the summer recess (three weeks in August)
six trials will be conducted simultaneously on a daily basis in this Tribunal.
This is in line with the President’s long-standing wish to reduce the time
spent by the accused in detention prior to the beginning of their trial.

you know from the announcement made last week by Jim and from the press
release issued yesterday, the Registrar, Mr. Hans Holthuis, was in Belgrade
late last week in order to attend the conference "In Search of Truth
and Responsibility". Mr. Holthuis also had a number of informal discussions
from which he drew the quiet conviction that any Truth Commission in the
FRY will be set up as a complement, instead of an obstacle, to the work
of the Tribunal.

Registrar is also pleased to announce that his deputy, Mr. Bruno Cathala,
has now taken up his duties. Mr. Cathala is a French national who has been
a magistrate since 1981. He brings to the Tribunal a remarkable experience
as a sitting Judge but, foremost as a manager of judicial services, as the
holder of a high-level managerial position within the Ministry of Justice
and more recently as a member of the General Inspection of Judicial Services.

to court proceedings, the following:

Judges of the Appeals Chamber will travel later this week to Arusha, Tanzania,
in order to hand down on 1 June, two Judgements on appeal concerning three
individuals charged with, and convicted for genocide: Jean-Paul Akayesu,
Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana (the latter two being co-accused).
Additionally, the Appeals Chamber will hear the arguments on appeal in the
case of Alfred Musema. The Judges will also participate in the Plenary Session
of the ICTR during which the ICTR’s President will be elected. Also to be
expected is an official announcement of the names of the two ICTR Judges
appointed to join the Appeals Chamber for both International Tribunals,
whose composition would then consist of 7 Judges.

to home, a Status conference will take place this afternoon at 4.30 p.m.
in the Krajisnik and Plavsic case.

the Kupreskic and others case,
before the Appeals Chamber: a
hearing has been convened by Judge Wald, Presiding, in order to resume the
evidentiary hearing which began last week. This hearing will take place
on Friday 25 May at 2 p.m. in courtroom III.

the Brdjanin and Talic case,
on 16 May, Judge David Hunt, Pre
-Trial Judge, issued a Decision dismissing the Motion filed by Radoslav
Brdjanin seeking the dismissal of the indictment. A copy of this Decision,
which was summarised in last Friday’s weekly Update, is available to you
after the briefing.

terms of legal filings:

17 May, Dragan Nikolic filed a Motion based inter alia "upon
illegality of his arrest following upon the prior unlawful kidnapping and
imprisonment". Copies of this Motion have been prepared for you, with
the exception of annexes which will be made available on request.

available are copies of Biljana Plavsic’s reply to the response of the Prosecutor
to her Motion to dismiss.

am pleased to tell the French-speaking among you that we have received the
Mémoire préalable au procès déposé par
l’Accusation dans l’affaire dite Bosanski Samac, against Milan Simic, Blagoje
Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric. I would like to remind you that this
trial has been scheduled to commence on 10 September 2001.

Our comprehensive Status of Cases has once more been updated for you, and
is now available.



Florence Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made
the following statement:

Prosecutor will be in Arusha and Kigali for three weeks from this weekend to
mid June. She will not be back in The Hague before Monday 18 June.

would also like to update you on the number of indictments and to dismiss some
allegations and strange comments on our sealed indictments. We have 38 accused
at large. This is a global number which includes public and sealed indictments.
Of the 38 accused at large, around a dozen are on sealed indictments. This is
important to explain because there are comments in the former Yugoslavia specifically
in Serbia saying that most of the Serbian population is under sealed indictment.
This is not true since there are only around a dozen sealed indictments at the
moment. I will not update you every day about these figures.


Asked whether
this figure only referred to indicted persons under sealed indictments whom
the OTP has reason to assume were in the territory of the FRY or was an overall
number, Florence Hartmann replied that it was an overall number. 12 among
the 38 accused at large, were believed by the OTP to be in the FRY and the
others in the territory of Republika Srpska. This did not give any indication
of their ethnic background. Meaning that the 38 were not all Serbs, she concluded.

Asked whether,
(in light of The Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska announcing yesterday
that there were no publicly indicted persons in the Republika Srpska), the
Prosecutor still claimed that Mladic was in the Republika Srpska, Florence
Hartmann replied that on the basis of the information received by OTP, Mladic
and Karadzic were back in the Republika Srpska. The OTP had not received different
information to this and this was what the Prosecutor had said last week in
Geneva. Mr. Mladic was under the protection of the VRS escort in the Republika

Asked whether
all indicted persons on the run were either in the FRY or in Republika Srpska
and that there were no indicted persons in Croatia or in Muslim Croat Federation,
Hartmann replied that according to the information the OTP had, these people
could move around the region, therefore some of them could be elsewhere. According
to the information the OTP had, there were no fugitives in other parts of
the former Yugoslavia because the Tribunal had the cooperation from these
parts. The people under indictment in Croatia were arrested and handed over
to The Hague, she concluded.

Asked whether
this meant that there were no indicted persons in the territory of the Federation
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Florence Hartmann replied that as far as the OTP
knew there were not.

Asked whether
during the visit by the Registrar, Mr. Hans Holthuis, to Belgrade, he discussed
outstanding issues concerning the Tribunal and the FRY for example issues
relating to Mr. Milosevic, Christian Chartier replied that during the Registrar’s
visit he only had informal corridor discussions with a number of people, some
of them holding official positions. He discussed matters pertaining to the
core discussion of the conference, namely the establishment of a Truth Commission,
he concluded.

A journalist
stated that during the Registrar’s visit to Belgrade on 6 April he told
the authorities that the others on the "Kosovo indictment" should
be served with the indictment. Asked whether the Registrar had inquired
during his latest visit whether this had been done or whether this would
be done, Christian Chartier reiterated that the discussions held during
his most recent visit had been informal and focused on Truth Commission