Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Since the ICTY’s closure on 31 December 2017, the Mechanism maintains this website as part of its mission to preserve and promote the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunals.

 Visit the Mechanism's website.

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 4th Feb 2005

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 26.03.2003

Time: 11:30


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

Firstly, I would
like to announce that the Judgement in the case The Prosecutor v. Naletilic
and Martinovic
, will be rendered on 31 March at 3 p.m. in Courtroom I. This
follows the Trial Chamber’s Decision of 24 March 2003 dismissing the "Defence
Motion to Stay the Deliberations in Light of Material Newly Disclosed by the
". The Decision will be available to you after this briefing.

As you would have
seen from the advisory we put out yesterday, the Milosevic trial is set to resume
on Thursday.

Earlier this week
the Tribunal was pleased to host a visit, organised by the Outreach Programme,
of journalists, lawyers and NGO leaders from the region of the former Yugoslavia
sponsored by the Council of Europe. As part of its "Democratic Leadership Alumni
Seminar" on International Justice in south-east Europe, the visitors participated
in a two-day seminar in which they watched proceedings and listened to presentations
given by staff from Registry, Chambers and the OTP and had the opportunity to
engage in discussions with Judge Carmel Agius.

With regard to
developments related to on-going proceedings:

The trials
continue as scheduled in the Milosevic, Galic, Simic et al, and Stakic cases.

Tomorrow afternoon,
there will be a status conference in the Prosecutor v. Blagojevic et al in
Courtroom I starting at 2.15 p.m.

Among the decisions
issued by the Chambers since the last briefing, the following are brought to
your attention:

On 25 March,
in the case The Prosecutor v. Milutinovic, Sainovic and Ojdanic a bench
of the Appeals Chamber (Judge Pocar, presiding, Judge Hunt and Judge Gunawardana)
handed down its "Decision Pursuant to Rule 72(E) as to Validity of
", in which the Bench declared that "the appeal has
been validly filed insofar as it challenges the jurisdiction of the Tribunal
in relation to Ojdanic’s individual criminal responsibility for his alleged
participation in a joint criminal enterprise charged pursuant to Article (1)
of the Statute
". Again this will be available to you after the briefing.

On 19 March,
in the case The Prosecutor v. Galic, Trial Chamber I (Judge Orie, presiding,
Judge El Mahdi and Judge Nieto-Navia) handed down its "Decision on the
Defence Request to Summon Witnesses", in which it rejected the Request.

Office of the

Florence Hartmann,
Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


Asked to confirm
the statement made by Mr. Svilanovic that Belgrade expected to receive six or
seven new Indictments from the ICTY, Hartmann replied that she did not know
exactly what his statement related to, but that she believed that it was only
a reference to the fact that the OTP would conduct further investigations until
the end of 2004 and that in light of its completion strategy, it aimed to raise
a further 35 Indictments relating to all regions of the former Yugoslavia.

She added that
she could not explain why he had mentioned a specific figure. She could not
confirm that the OTP had any Indictments about to be signed and sent to Belgrade.
There was an obligation to cooperate and there would be more Indictments in
the future. The figure mentioned had no specific grounds and was to be taken
as symbolic.

Hartmann added
that the fact that there would be new Indictments was not news. She added that
the Prosecutor had on many occasions said that the OTP would continue investigating
until 2004. The OTP continued to work every day and would have more Indictments
for the former Yugoslavia. She could not guess at how many there would be for
each part of the former Yugoslavia. She had no idea of this because either it
was confidential or it was something not yet known as it depended upon the result
of ongoing investigations. It did not help to guess numbers, she concluded.

Asked for more
information about tomorrow’s visit to the Prosecutor by Bosnian Prime Minister
Adnan Terzic, Hartmann replied that Mr. Terzic was visiting the Netherlands.
He would visit the Tribunal where he would meet with the Chief Prosecutor, Carla
Del Ponte. She added that she did not know whether he had any other meetings
scheduled. She could not give any more details of the visit at the moment, she

Asked whether
the visit could be filmed, Hartmann replied that she did not think so.

Landale added
that Mr. Terzic could also be meeting with the President of the ICTY, Judge
Theodor Meron, and that if there was a filming opportunity available he would
let the media know.

Asked whether
the figure of 35 given by Florence in a previous answer related to new Indictments
not including existing sealed Indictments, Hartmann replied that a figure of
40 was mentioned at the end of last year. The figure had altered because since
then some Indictments had been issued and the accused had already been arrested,
for example the Limaj and others Indictment relating to crimes committed in

A journalist asked
for a clarification relating to sealed Indictments as he was of the understanding
that there were no longer any sealed Indictments. Hartmann replied that she
may have said at a particular time that there were no sealed Indictments. She
added that certain people when they wanted to scare the public stated either
that there were many Indictments that they did not know about or that anyone
arrested in the region was arrested because of a sealed Indictment of the Tribunal.
Sealed Indictments were still in use and would remain in use for the purpose
of arrest. When a state competent for an arrest failed to act on an arrest warrant
and Indictment the OTP would make the Indictment public. The Indictment would
be kept sealed for a very short period of time to make it easier for a particular
country to arrest an accused. If they used the sealed Indictment as a way to
avoid facing their obligation, the Indictment would be made public. The Indictment
against Limaj and others was a sealed Indictment until Nato’s KFOR troops had
located and arrested the accused. It was sealed for a very short period. There
was no secrecy involved, if an Indictment was sealed the media were soon informed,
either by an arrest or by the fact that the OTP asked for the documents to be
unsealed, she concluded.

Hartmann added
that it was just a matter of time. New Indictments could be sealed for a very
short time in order to make arrests. Maybe, she added at the time the question
was asked there were no sealed Indictments. Then in January for example, the
Limaj and others Indictment was sealed. It was unsealed due the Transfer of
the accused to The Hague, she concluded.