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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 29th Mar 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 29 March 2000

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


Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 29 March 2000

Time: 11:00 a.m.


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

as most of you saw earlier this morning, the contempt of court case against
Milan Simic and his counsel Branislav Avramovic was dismissed unanimously by
Trial Chamber III, who found that the allegations against the two individuals,
namely "bribery, intimidation of witness and suborning perjury of witness"
had not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

you should have received the press release that we sent out yesterday, announcing
that Spain had become the seventh country to sign an enforcement of sentences
agreement with the United Nations.

agreement differs from other agreements signed by states with the United Nations
on the enforcement of sentences in that it provides for inspections of the conditions
of detention and treatment of the convicted persons by a Parity Commission instead
of by the ICRC. In addition, it provides that Spain will only consider the enforcement
of sentences pronounced by the International Tribunal where the duration of
the sentence imposed does not exceed the highest maximum sentence for any crime
under Spanish law (currently 30 years).

agreement will enter into force upon receipt of notification by Spain that the
necessary national legal requirements have been met.

will be a pre-trial hearing on 12 April at 4.00 p.m. for Dragoljub Prcac. It
is unclear at this stage as to whether the hearing will be open or closed.

the so-called Foca case, on 22 March 2000, the Trial Chamber II denied the joint
confidential motion filed by the defence on 14 March 2000, in which the accused
requested that the press and public be excluded from parts of the proceedings
when certain specified Prosecution witnesses testify.

Trial Chamber was of the view that it is of great importance that proceedings
before the Tribunal should be as public as possible and non-public proceedings
should be the exception. "Over and above the reasons that public proceedings
facilitate public knowledge and understanding and may have a general deterrent
effect, the public should have the opportunity to assess the fairness of the
proceedings. Justice should not only be done, it should also be seen to be done

this Friday at 11 a.m. Judge Liu Daqun from The People’s Republic of China will
be sworn in officially as a Judge of the Tribunal. We hope to release a short
biography of the new Judge on Friday.



Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following

the Foca trial, the protected witness testifying after the break will be the
daughter of the protected witness who completed her testimony yesterday. I believe
that this testimony will continue today and tomorrow.

added that the Krstic trial would not be in Courtroom II next week. However,
it would be back in Courtroom II the following week.



Asked why the
Krstic proceedings were being held in Courtroom II, Landale replied that many
journalists had expressed their unhappiness about the holding of the Krstic
trial in Courtroom II and these concerns had been passed on to the relevant
people within the Tribunal. However, he added that there were often reasons
for such a decision that were not immediately apparent to the public and which
had an effect on deciding in which courtroom a particular trial was held.

Asked whether
in the cases of protected witnesses, the accused could see the witnesses,
Landale replied that were some instances where a witness could request for
the view of the accused to be obscured. He added that this had happened in
the past, however not yet to his knowledge in the Foca trial. He concluded
that it was an issue for the Judges to decide upon if and when requested.

Asked why there
were separate indictments in the Kunarac, Kovac and Vukovic case, Risley replied
that it was due to the fact that these were all sealed indictments and the
best way to keep indictments sealed was to reveal them one at a time.

Landale added
that it was also due to timing, when these people were detained in Bosnia
and when they arrived at the Tribunal.

Asked for the
reason behind a number of visits by the Croatian Ambassador to the Tribunal,
Risley replied that his visit last week was to the OTP. He added that the
Croatian Ambassador met with the Prosecutor and with officials of the OTP.

Asked for a
comment on the significance of the visit by the Justice Minister of Republika
Srpska, Risley replied that this was a long-scheduled meeting. The Justice
Minister met with the Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor. He conclude that Mr.
Dodik and his Government had very publicly supported the work of the Tribunal
and very publicly stated their intention to bring about the surrender and/or
arrest of persons indicted for war crimes that may be in the Republika Srpska.
These questions were raised last week and discussions followed, he concluded.

Asked for the
nationality of the Prosecution co-counsel Peggy Kuo, Risley replied that she
was American.