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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 25th Apr 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 25 April 2001

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 25
April 2001

Time: 11:30


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

understand that many of you got a list nominations put forward by states for
the election of the ad litem judges off the internet yesterday, but I
do have official copies for those of you who have not yet got the list. As you
will see, 60 nominations were received from 33 different countries, which the
Tribunal sees as a very positive response from the international community.
It is now expected that the elections will take place either at the end of May
or at the beginning of June.

regard to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s proposed law on cooperation with
the Tribunal, I would just like to notify you that, following receipt of the
text of the draft law by the various organs of the Tribunal, and after internal
discussions, a common Tribunal position will be conveyed to the Belgrade authorities
in the coming couple of days.

would also just add that the Tribunal does not believe that a draft law is absolutely
necessary in order for the FRY to fulfil its legal obligations with regard to
the Tribunal and that the Tribunal is only interested in seeing a law that accelerates
and facilitates cooperation.

President of the Tribunal, Judge Claude Jorda, will be travelling to Sarajevo
between 11 and 13 May, to attend a conference on the proposed setting up of
a Bosnian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

appointment of Mr. Bruno Cathala as Deputy Registrar of the Tribunal has been
officially approved at the UN Headquarters in New York by the Under-Secretary-General
for Management. Mr. Cathala is coming from the French Judicial Inspection Services.

the Sikirica and others case, on 24 April 2001, Trial Chamber III (Judges May
(Presiding), Robinson and Fassi Fihri) issued an order granting a stay of the
proceedings in this case until further order. The order was issued following
an emergency motion for a stay of the trial filed on behalf of Dragan Kolundzija
on 20 April 2001 and a hearing held on the matter in closed session on 23 April

that a medical examination of Kolundzija is to be carried out to ascertain his
current fitness to stand trial, the Trial Chamber held that an expert appointed
by the Registrar shall provide an oral or written report to the Trial Chamber
by 1 May 2001.

in the Sikirica and others case, we received from the Prosecution on 23 April
a joint expert report on population changes in Prijedor from 1991 to 1997 compiled
by a demographic expert in the OTP.

24 April, we received a decision from the Appeals Chamber denying Mirjan and
Zoran Kupreskic’s confidential motion for provisional release or separation
of proceedings. The confidential motion was filed on 22 February.

I would like to notify you that the Krstic hearings scheduled between 1 and
4 May have been cancelled. If and when I receive more information on that I
will pass it on to you.

a reminder that the defence case in Krnojelac is due to start on 1 May 2001.


Jacques Joris Advisor to the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

have nothing to announce except that, this morning the Prosecutor signed a letter
to the Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), Mr.
Grubac, inquiring whether the arrest warrant and indictment had been served
on Mr. Slobodan Milosevic.



Asked what
the reasons were for the cancellation of the closing arguments in the Krstic
case, Landale replied that he had not yet been provided with the reasons.
He added that just before the briefing he had been informed that the closing
arguments had been cancelled. If and when he received more information he
would pass it on, he repeated.

Asked whether
he was now the spokesman for the Prosecutor, Joris replied that he was not.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor had an idea what she would do next if the arrest warrant and
indictment were not served on Mr. Milosevic, Joris replied that the Prosecutor
certainly had an idea, but at this stage it was not known whether the arrest
warrant and indictment had been served. The Prosecutor would see when she
had received an answer from the Belgrade authorities. Certainly, the OTP knew
where they were headed for, he concluded.

Landale added
that in his meeting with the Federal Minister of Justice, Mr. Momcilo Grubac,
the Registrar of the Tribunal had been given a commitment by the Minister
that the arrest warrant would be served on Mr. Milosevic and the Tribunal
expected that to be fulfilled.

Asked whether
the claims the Serbian Justice Minister is quoted to have made to the Belgrade
media that during their visit to The Hague the Prosecutor had given assurances
that the Tribunal would not insist on Milosevic’s transfer to The Hague for
at least one year were true, Joris replied that they were not. He added that
they were certainly not consistent with the position the Prosecutor had been
defending all along.

Asked why
it was necessary to send a letter to request confirmation that the arrest
warrant and indictment had been served on Mr. Milosevic rather than just a
phone call, Joris replied that serving the indictment and arrest warrant was
a step of legal procedure. The Tribunal wanted to have something written in
black and white as to whether this obligation had been fulfilled or not. It
was as simple as that, he concluded.

Asked to
elaborate on the composition of the main arguments of the Tribunal concerning
the draft law on cooperation, Landale replied that he could not. He added
that the Tribunal had received the draft law, various different parts of the
Tribunal had studied it and provided comments. Those comments would be conveyed
back to the Belgrade authorities. However, as he had been saying for the last
two weeks, the Tribunal would not be making public what those comments were,
he concluded.

Asked whether
the media reports were true that there were 35 sealed indictments against
Bosniaks, Joris replied that there was no such thing as 35 indictments against
Bosniak officials. He added that this was not the first time that lists of
indictees had been published in that part of the world.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor had made any promises to indict particular people, as there
appeared to be many public calls on the Prosecutor at the moment to fulfill
her reported promises to do so, Joris replied that there were not. He added
that he would not say that the Prosecutor had given any specific assurances
to anybody as to the prompt or future indictment of any specific personality.
What the Prosecutor had made clear all along in her contacts with Yugoslav
officials over the past months (when confronted with the accusations that
the Tribunal was a biased anti-Serb institution, which it obviously was not)
was that the OTP had investigations ongoing against perpetrators, which ever
side they belonged to. This may have been interpreted as the announcement
that indictments were coming up soon against high ranking officials on the
other sides. He concluded that he would certainly not say that the Prosecutor
had given any specific assurances. It was the OTP policy not to make any comments
on ongoing investigations and certainly not to announce people who the Tribunal
thought in the future could be indicted.

Asked who
the Prosecutor would meet during her visit to Washington, Joris replied that
it gave a lot of suspense to the job that programmes were usually only ready
24 hours before boarding the plane, and sometimes upon landing in the country
to be visited. He added that normally the Prosecutor would meet with all the
principals of the new administration. The Prosecutor had meetings scheduled
with the Secretary of State. The OTP was expecting confirmations from other
heads of departments and the authorities she usually met with whenever she
visited foreign countries.

Asked whether
she would meet with congressmen, the FBI and the Pentagon, Joris replied that
she would meet with people "on the Hill" who were interested and
had been following these issues concerning the Tribunal, as well as with journalists,
with NGO’s, the FBI and the usual people. At this stage the OTP did not have
confirmations. He concluded that it would be like the programme from the visit
last September.