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Weekly Press Briefing - 7 December 2011

Date:  7.12.2011
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Martin Petrov, Chief of the Registrar’s Office, made the following statement:

Good afternoon,

The Tribunal’s President, Judge Theodor Meron, will address the United Nations Security Council today at 15:00 local time in New York – that is 21:00 in The Hague - to provide an update on the work of the Tribunal and the progress made towards the completion of its mandate. The President’s address will be immediately followed by that of the Tribunal’s Prosecutor. Press releases and copies of the President and Prosecutor’s speeches will be issued subsequently.

A delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross completed its regular inspection of the Tribunal’s Detention Unit last week. The ICRC is internationally renowned for its independent work in monitoring detention facilities throughout the world to ensure that they meet the internationally recognised standards of detention. The ICRC has been visiting the Detention Unit on a yearly basis since 1995. During such visits, the ICRC also holds individual meetings with ICTY detainees. The Tribunal prides itself with the high standards of detention it provides, and its continued efforts in ensuring that all accused are treated in accordance with the highest international detention standards.

Last Friday, the Chamber in the case of Ratko Mladić issued a decision in which it adopted the Prosecution’s proposal to limit its presentation of evidence to a selection of 106 crimes, instead of 196 initially scheduled crimes, and to reduce the number of municipalities in the indictment from 23 to 15. The Chamber adopted the Prosecution’s proposal in the interests of a fair and expeditious trial, and ordered that the amended indictment be filed within two weeks of the date of its decision. A further initial appearance in the case will be held tomorrow at 16:00 in Courtroom I, during which the Accused will be asked to enter a plea to the third amended indictment, which added crimes committed in the village of Bišina in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in July 1995. This will be followed by a Status Conference.

In the case of Vojislav Šešelj, the Registrar informed the Tribunal’s President on Monday of his decision to continue monitoring Šešelj’s privileged communications. The Accused has requested the President to review the Registrar’s original decision to monitor all his communications with his legal associates in accordance with Rule 65(B) of the Rules of Detention.

Turning to the upcoming courtroom schedule, I would like to flag up a few important dates for next year:

The pre-defence conference in the case of Zdravko Tolimir will be held on Monday, 9 January at 14:15 in Courtroom III. The start date of the defence case has yet to be confirmed, pending the Chamber’s decision on the Accused’s request to schedule the start of the defence case for after 20 January 2012. Tolimir has announced that he will not be making any opening statements and will be calling four witnesses in his defence. This has led the Chamber to estimate that the Defence case could conclude in March 2012. All dates have yet to be confirmed.

A Status Conference in the appeals case of Nikola Šainović and others has been scheduled to be held on Thursday, 19 January, at 15:00 in Courtroom III.

In the appeals case of Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić, a Status Conference will be held on Monday, 23 January, at 14:30 in Courtroom III.

In the case of Goran Hadžić, the Chamber announced last week that the next Status Conference will be held on Friday, 17 February, at 14:30 in Courtroom I.

Turning to the schedule for the remainder of this week and next:

In the trial of Radovan Karadžić, the hearings this week were adjourned due to the ill-health of the Accused. The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 09:00 in Courtroom I with the testimony of András Riedlmayer, an expert witness who will be testifying about the destruction of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Manojlo Milovanović, former Chief of Main Staff of the VRS, who was recalled by Stanišić’s Defence in order to be further cross-examined in relation to Mladić's notes and audio tapes.

And finally in the trial Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, Župljanin’s Defence witness SZ-007 is testifying in closed session.

Office of the Prosecutor:

There were no representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor present at the Press Briefing.


A journalist pointed out that it has been almost a month since the Appeals Chamber issued an arrest warrant for Florence Hartmann, convicted for contempt of the Tribunal. Asked if the Tribunal has received any communication from either Dutch or French authorities regarding the arrest warrant, Petrov said to the best of his knowledge the Tribunal has not yet received any such communication. Petrov added that it was up to the French authorities at the moment to carry out the Appeals Chamber order.

Asked if the President of the Tribunal would report this non-compliance when he addresses the UN Security Counsel today in New York, Petrov answered that he could not speak on behalf of the President on what was essentially a judicial issue, and that he was not sure that the situation could be qualified as non-compliance at the moment. Petrov said he was simply not aware of any measures that the French or any other national authorities, for that matter, may have taken in connection with the arrest warrant. He concluded that it would be speculative to make any statements to that effect.

Asked if the date for the judgment in Pećanac contempt case was scheduled, Petrov answered he was not sure if there was yet an estimated date for the judgement but he would check and get back to the journalist.

Turning to the questions received as part of the Interactive Press Briefing, “Ask the Tribunal”, Martin Petrov responded to the following question:

Asked when proceedings in the trial of Vojislav Šešelj are expected to conclude, Petrov responded that the closing arguments in the case have been scheduled to be held during the week of 5 March 2012. The Chamber has granted 10 hours to both parties for the presentation of their respective closing arguments. Final trial briefs are to be submitted by 5 February 2012 and will be available online on Šešelj's case page.

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