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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 5th Feb 2004

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: 14.05.2003

Time: 14:30


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

First, I would like
to add to the tributes that have already been paid to Elizabeth Neuffer, who
was killed in a car crash in Iraq on Friday. Through her writing and reporting
she did an enormous amount to highlight the issue of war crimes and the work
of both the ICTY and ICTR. She was a friend to many of us here in The Hague.
On behalf of the Tribunal, I would like to send our condolences to her partner,
family, friends and colleagues. She will be greatly missed.

The Registrar of the Tribunal,
Hans Holthuis, is in Kosovo this week. The three main purposes of the visit

(1) to visit the ICTY
Field Office in Kosovo, to meet with staff and discuss issues related to its

(2) to conduct inter-agency
meetings with UNMIK and other international officials on a broad range of operational
and administrative matters.

(3) to obtain at first-hand
a clear overview of the international community’s handling of war crimes cases
with relevance to the Tribunal's own completion strategy that envisages the
possible deferment of ICTY cases to the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As you all will have seen,
the Blagojevic et al trial started this morning. In addition the appeals hearing
in the Prosecutor v. Milorad Krnojelac also began this morning. It is
due to finish tomorrow at 5.30 p.m.

Among the court documents
we have received since the last briefing, the following are brought to your

On 9 May, in The Prosecutor
v. Vojislav Seselj
, Trial Chamber II (Judge Schomburg, presiding, Judge
Mumba and Judge Agius) issued its "Decision on Prosecution’s Motion for
Order Appointing Counsel to Assist Vojislav Seselj with his Defence". In
the Decision, the Trial Chamber inter alia:

decided "that standby
counsel…shall be assigned to the Accused

stated that "standby
counsel must be fluent both in B/C/S and in one of the official languages of
the Tribunal

ordered "the Registry
to assign one standby counsel from the list of counsel kept by the Registrar

rejected "the Prosecution’s
Motion in so far as the Motion seeks an order from the Trial Chamber ‘directing
the Registrar to appoint legal counsel to assist the accused Seselj with the
preparation and conduct of his defence’ without any limitation

The Trial Chamber defined
the role of the standby counsel as follows:

To assist the Accused
in the preparation of his case during the pre-trial phase whenever so requested
by the Accused;

To assist the Accused
in the preparation and presentation of his case at trial whenever so requested
by the Accused;

To receive copies of
all court documents, filings and disclosed materials that are received by
or sent to the Accused;

To be present in the
courtroom during the proceedings;

To be engaged actively
in the substantive preparation of the case and to participate in the proceedings,
in order always to be prepared to take over from the Accused at trial;

To address the Court
whenever so requested by the Accused or the Chamber;

To offer advice or make
suggestions to the Accused as counsel sees fit, in particular on evidential
and procedural issues;

As a protective measure
in the event of abusive conduct by the Accused, to put questions to witnesses,
in particular sensitive or protected witnesses, on behalf of the Accused if
so ordered by the Trial Chamber, without depriving the Accused of his right
to control the content of the examination;

In exceptional circumstances
to take over the defence from the Accused at trial should the Trial Chamber
find, following a warning, that the Accused is engaging in disruptive conduct
or conduct requiring his removal from the courtroom under Rule 80(B).

On 9 May, Trial Chamber,
I Section A (Judge Liu, presiding, Judge Vassylenko and Judge Argibay) issued
a "Separation of Proceedings and Scheduling Order" in The Prosecutor
v. Vidoje Blagojevic, Dragan Obrenovic, Dragan Jokic and Momir Nikolic.

The Trial Chamber ordered as follows:

"1. The Proceedings
against Momir Nikolic are hereby separated from those against the three co-accused
charged under the same Indictment;

2. the Prosecution and counsel
for Momir Nikolic shall, by Monday 14 July 2003, file all submissions and provide
statements of any witnesses they might call in relation to the sentencing hearing;

3. the date for the sentencing
hearing shall be fixed by further Order

On 9 May in the same case,
we received the Trial Chamber’s "Order on the Appointment of Independent
Legal Counsel
", in which the Trial Chamber requested that "the
Registrar appoint independent counsel to advise the Accused, Mr. Vidoje Blagojevic,
on his rights in relation to the assignment of counsel, and assist him in preparing
documentation, if any, that may follow from their consultations on this issue

On 12 May in the same case,
we received the Trial Chamber’s "Decision on Motion to Dismiss Charges
Against Accused Momir Nikolic
", in which the Trial Chamber granted
the Motion.

On 8 May, in the The
Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brdjanin
, the Trial Chamber II (Judge Agius, presiding,
Judge Janu and Judge Taya) issued its "Order Instigating Proceedings Against
Milka Maglov", in which it directed the Registrar to appoint an amicus
and ordered the amicus curiae to "prosecute Milka
Maglov for:

1. the alleged
intimidation of the Witness, and
the alleged disclosure of the identity of the Witness to a member of the public,
in violation of an order of the Chamber

On 6 May, in The Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic
Trial Chamber III (Judge May, presiding, Judge Robinson
and Judge Kwon) issued its "Decision on Two Prosecution Requests For
Certification of Appeal Against Decisions of the Trial Chamber
" in
which it granted both Requests relating to the Trial Chamber’s "Decision
on Prosecution Motion for Judicial Notice of Adjudicated Facts
", filed
on 10 April, and the Trial Chamber’s "Decision on Prosecution Motion
for the Admission of Evidence-in-Chief of its Witnesses in Writing
issued on 16 April 2003.

Again in the Milosevic case
and on the same day, the "Submission of Serbia and Montenegro Pursuant
to the Chamber Order Issued at the Oral Hearing of 10 March 2003 Concerning
the ‘Prosecution’s Application For an Order Pursuant to Rule 54 bis Directing
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Comply with Outstanding Requests for Assistance
was filed.

On 7 May in the Milosevic
case, we received the "Prosecution Reply to Amici Curiae Observations
on Prosecution Motion Under Rule 73 bis

In the same case on 13 May
we received the "Interlocutory Appeal of the Prosecution Against the
Decision on Prosecution Motion for the Admission of Evidence-in-Chief of its
Witnesses in Writing

On 13 May, in The Prosecutor
v. Milutinovic, Sainovic and Ojdanic
Trial Chamber III (Judge May, presiding,
Judge Robinson and Judge Kwon) received "General Ojdanic’s Appeal from
Decision on Motion Challenging Jurisdiction and Motion for Extension of Time
to File Opening Brief

On 12 May in the Prosecutor
v. Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura
, we received the "Prosecution
Response and Reply to ‘Defence Response to Amend the Amended Indictment and
Requested Stay of Proceedings’ and Reply to ‘Response to Amir Kubura to Prosecution
Motion for Leave to Amend the Amended Indictment

Copies of all the documents
I have mentioned are available to you on request.


Asked to clarify
how Kajisnik’s defence was funded and whether he paid partially for his own
defence or it was paid for 100 percent by the Tribunal, Landale replied that
broadly speaking his defence was paid for by the Tribunal. There was a complex
system in place for evaluating how payments were made to defence counsel.

He went on to say that,
unlike the old system, for the trial stage defence teams would be able to receive
a monthly stipend rather than a set number of hours per month for which they
could bill. Trials were divided into three categories depending on their length,
their complexity, the issues to be explored in the trial, the level of the accused
and the number of municipalities being looked at in the trial. All of these
things would be taken into consideration before deciding on what the monthly
amount would be that the defence team could expect to receive from the Tribunal’s
legal aid.

Asked whether or not Krajisnik’s
defence was paid for by the Tribunal, Landale replied that he believed that
Krajisnik’s defence was paid for entirely out of the Tribunal’s legal aid system.
He added that he would check this information.

Asked whether there were
any accused whose defence was not paid for by the Tribunal, Landale replied
that there were a couple of accused whose defence was not paid for by the Tribunal.
He added that he would check the information in case the situation had changed,
but he believed they were Dario Kordic, General Blaskic and possibly one other.

Asked whether the Tribunal
had set a limit as to how much a defence team could spend, Landale replied that
it had.

Asked how much the limit
was, Landale replied that it depended on the case and on the projection of how
long the case might take. He added that the projection was worked out between
the Trial Chamber and the Registrar, the Trial Chamber having received the lists
of witnesses that the trial teams intended to call, the areas on which the trial
would focus and certain other factors.

Asked how much the decision
to appoint standby counsel in the Seselj case would change the trial in comparison
to the Milosevic trial and whether it limited the right of the accused to cross
examine, Landale replied that it did not. Seselj had the right to represent
himself but the standby counsel was there to advise him. Also, in a possible
case where he was conducting his defence in an inappropriate manner, if the
Trial Chamber believed for example he was harassing witnesses or not behaving
in a way suitable to court etiquette, the standby counsel would be in a position
to take over, either cross examination or other elements of the defence. The
document, which would be available after the briefing, stated very clearly what
the expectations were, he concluded.

Asked whether he had the
right to choose from the Registry list of Defense counsel or would the standby
counsel be appointed, Landale replied that from his reading of the document
he believed that the standby counsel would be appointed.

Asked whether there was
any news on when Stanisic and Simatovic would arrive in The Hague, Landale replied
that there was nothing concrete yet. He added that he had read the comments
in the media suggesting that it would be in 10 days to two weeks once the authorities
had worked on the necessary procedures according to their law on cooperation
with the Tribunal. He concluded that, as far as the Tribunal was concerned,
the sooner their transfer took place the better. The Tribunal was confident
that it would happen in due course, he added.

Asked whether reports that
Stanisic was seriously ill could be an obstacle to his transfer to The Hague,
Landale replied that he had seen the media reports on this issue, but he did
not believe that the Registrar or the Tribunal had received anything official
along those lines. The Tribunal would have to see something along those lines
before any comment could be made.

Asked whether there would
be an investigation by the Tribunal into whether Deyan Brashich had over billed
the Tribunal, Landale replied that if there was any suggestion that this had
happened there would be an investigation, but he had not seen anything suggesting
this. He added that he would check to see whether this was something that the
Tribunal was looking into or investigating.

A journalist suggested that
this was exactly what Judge Orie had suggesting in court yesterday when he mentioned
the number of hours worked by the defence on the case. Landale replied that
he did not believe that Judge Orie was suggesting that there had been any tampering
with the figures, he was just stating what he believed the actual figures were
with regards to the number of hours that had been billed and the cost so far
of the Defence. He added that he did not believe that it was anything beyond

Asked, as Deyan Brashich
had a history of over charging, whether the Judges would look into it, Landale
replied that the Tribunal had very tight auditing controls on the way defence
counsel were paid. Those controls, he believed, would be even tighter now that
the new system was being brought into place for the trial period.

A journalist commented on
the fact that there had been no courtroom feed in their press room off the lobby
for the last three days. She added that the audio visual department technicians
had informed her that they were working on the problem, but that it would take
some time. Asked whether the Press Office could add some additional pressure
to ensure that the public could follow the court proceedings, Landale replied
that he would look into it.

A journalist mentioned the
fact that there were a number of journalists from the former Yugoslavia who
were unable to be at the Tribunal due to the fact that they had been blocked
in Belgrade since February waiting for their Dutch residency papers. He added
that this was not the first time that there had been problems faced by Serbian
and Bosnian journalists in getting visas and residency documents and that it
was his understanding that the Registrar was due to go to the Dutch Foreign
Ministry to discuss this problem. Asked whether anything constructive had come
out of that meeting, Landale replied that the Tribunal was concerned about this
situation. It had been raised with the Dutch Foreign Ministry. He could not
comment any more than that at this stage, it was something the Tribunal would
continue to raise if the problem persisted. The Tribunal hoped that there would
be a resolution, he added.

A journalist stated that
three months ago when Murtezi was released his defence had asked the Judge to
release him without prejudice of the Prosecution, but no decision was made at
that time. Asked whether any decision had been made, Landale replied that he
had not seen any decision, but he would check.