Time: 12:30 p.m.
Registry and Chambers:
Magdalena Spalińska, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
I’ll turn directly to some developments in the Tribunal’s ongoing cases.
The Trial Chamber in the case of Vojislav Šešelj issued an order yesterday inviting the Netherlands as Host Country and the Government of Serbia to provide their comments on the possible provisional release of Vojislav Šešelj by the Chamber.
The Chamber asked the Government of Serbia to confirm whether it can ensure a series of measures linked to this possible provisional release. These measures include ensuring that Šešelj will be placed under home confinement; that he does not come into contact with victims and witnesses and does not influence them in any manner whatsoever; and ensuring the personal safety and security of the accused throughout the provisional release. Both Governments have seven days from the receipt of the notification of the Order to provide their comments.
Also yesterday, in the case of Goran Hadžić, the Chamber issued a decision allocating 140 hours to the Defence to present its case, and stipulating that the Chamber will sit four days per week for the duration of the testimony of the first witness, Accused Goran Hadžić. This change to the sitting schedule was in response to the Defence’s oral request made at the Pre-Defence Conference on 17 June.
In the trial of Ratko Mladić, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Vladimir Radojčić, a former Republika Srpska Army Commander. He is the 18th Defence witness to testify.
Finally, a reminder that the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme will be screening its latest documentary ‘Through Their Eyes: Witnesses to Justice’ tomorrow, Thursday 26 June at 16:00 here at the Tribunal. The documentary depicts the crucial role played by victims and witnesses in the prosecution of crimes committed during the 1990’s in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Journalists wishing to attend should contact the Media Office.
Office of the Prosecutor:
No representative was present from the Office of the Prosecutor.
Asked by a journalist whether the eventual provisional release of Vojislav Šešelj would have an impact on legal aspects of his case, Spalińska explained that the process at the moment is not concerned with any charges in his indictment. Spalińska underlined that the Chamber was considering the provisional release of the Accused in light of the potential delays to the trial linked to the appointment of a new Judge and the time needed for him to familiarise himself with the case.
Asked by a journalist as to whether conditions relating to a ban on media contacts would be enforced as part of any provisional release of Vojislav Šešelj, Spalińska stated that one of the related measures set out in yesterday’s order related to the home confinement of the Accused but underlined that the full conditions for any provisional release would be set out in the final decision on this issue.
Asked whether home confinement and house arrest were one and the same thing, Spalińska directed journalists to yesterday’s order pt 3 of the conditions, which set out the precise wording of this measure.
Asked whether the Accused could refuse to be provisionally released, Spalińska declined to speculate on this issue and underlined the importance of focusing on the current stage of the procedure.
Asked whether journalists will be informed if Šešelj refuses to leave the Detention Unit in the case of his eventual provisional release, Spalińska said that his whereabouts would be made clear.
Asked when a decision might be expected from the Chamber on this issue of provisional release, Spalińska underlined that no time limits were set on the Chamber in their consideration of the issue, after receiving the responses from the Governments of Serbia and the Netherlands.