(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 20 April 2000
Statement by Claude Jorda, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Following the statement by Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with respect to the decision to grant the provisional release of Simo Zaric and Miroslav Tadic, the President, acting in accordance with his mandate, without commenting on the judicial aspects of the proceedings, would like to make the following observations:
While the Prosecutor joined the defence counsel in November 1999 in seeking an early trial date, it was not possible to proceed with this trial until the contempt proceedings initiated by the Prosecutor against Milan Simic and his counsel Branislav Avramovic had been finalized. Although the Trial Chamber hearing this matter has announced its decision, written reasons have not yet been issued (see press release 483).
Furthermore, some of the accused in this case have not yet filed their pre-trial briefs and the process of disclosure by the Prosecutor is still ongoing.
It should also be noted that the challenge by Stevan Todorovic, one of the accused in this case, to the legality of his arrest, has yet to be resolved. In addition, the Prosecutor has sought leave to appeal against an order that she discloses certain documents to Todorovic.
In this respect, the President notes that a case is ready for trial only when both parties are ready to proceed.
The President also observes that the Appeals Chamber's decision to deny the Prosecutor's application for leave to appeal the Trial Chamber's decision, sets out its reasons for doing so in saying that " the Prosecutor has failed to demonstrate such an error on the part of the Trial Chamber and that, therefore, the requirement of "good cause" within the meaning of sub-rule 65(D) [of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence] has not been met."
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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