Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
I will immediately turn to the courtroom schedule:
Closing arguments in the case of Ante Gotovina, Ivan Čermak and Mladen Markač will begin on Monday 30 August at 9:00 in Courtroom III and will last until Thursday 2 September. The Prosecution has been allotted six hours to deliver its closing arguments, and the three Defence teams will each have two and a half hours to deliver theirs. Prosecution will then have one hour for rebuttal arguments, and the Defence will have one hour for their rejoinder.
The three Croatian Generals are charged with crimes committed during the 1995 Operation Storm military offensive in Croatia. Their trial commenced on 11 March 2008 and concluded on 11 June this year. Within a total of 303 trial days, 81 OTP witnesses and 57 Defence witnesses testified (25 for Gotovina, 19 for Čermak and 13 for Markač). Seven Chamber witnesses were called.
In its final brief, a public redacted version of which can be found on the Tribunal’s website, the Prosecution recommended that the Chamber sentence Gotovina to 27 years’, Markač to 23 years’ and Čermak to 17 years’ imprisonment. The Defence has asked for all three to be acquitted.
In the trial of Radovan Karadžić, the Trial Chamber on Friday suspended the hearing of evidence in the trial of Radovan Karadžić for a period of two weeks. The trial will resume on Monday 6 September at 14:15 in Courtroom I. In the meantime, a Status Conference will be held on Friday 3 September 2010 in Courtroom I at 10:00 to discuss the progress of the trial to date.
In the case of Nikola Šainović and others, a Status Conference will be held on Tuesday 14 September at 14:15 in Courtroom III. The last Status Conference was held on 18 May 2010. The Trial Chamber Judgement in this case was rendered on 26 February 2009.
Hearings in the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, Zdravko Tolimir, Momčilo Perišić as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Special Adviser to the Prosecutor, Frederick Swinnen, made no statement.
Asked whether it was the Trial Chamber’s decision to schedule a Status Conference during the suspension of proceedings in the trial of Radovan Karadžić, Nerma Jelačić confirmed that it was. She added that the Trial Chamber wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the status and pace of the trial thus far.
Asked whether there were any developments regarding the investigations into the alleged misconduct of OTP investigators in the trial of Vojislav Šešelj, Nerma Jelačić said that no investigation can start until the Registrar appoints the amicus investigator in accordance with the Trial Chamber’s Decision. This has not been done yet but once the person has been appointed the public will be notified. Nerma Jelačić noted that inaccurate media reports continue to speculate that the decision itself concerns or is limited to the three OTP prosecutors mentioned in the title of the decision. She recalled that the decision itself does not name the individuals concerned but does specify that the allegations concern investigators.
Frederick Swinnen added that these allegations were made by the Accused, Vojislav Šešelj, nearly three years ago. Although the Court has now decided to appoint an amicus curiae to look into the matter, Swinnen said that the OTP remains convinced that the allegations are baseless. He further stated that the OTP believes its staff members have performed their duties professionally, and that the OTP will cooperate fully with the amicus curiae once he or she is appointed. Swinnen said that the OTP hopes this investigation can be concluded quickly.