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Weekly Press Briefing - 7 March 20112

Date:  7.03.2012
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

Good afternoon,

Yesterday, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan from Pakistan was sworn in as a new permanent Judge to the ICTY. She has been assigned to the Appeals Chamber. Judge Khan is the former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a position she held until 1 March 2012. Judge Khan’s full biography will shortly be available on the Tribunal’s website. Judge Khan’s appointment brings the total of number of permanent ICTY Judges to 17.

Turning to the upcoming courtroom schedule:

The Prosecution’s Closing Arguments in the trial of Vojislav Šešelj have been ongoing since Monday afternoon and will resume this afternoon at 14:15 in Courtroom III. Šešelj’s Closing Arguments are scheduled to be held from next Monday, 12 March, 14:15 through to Thursday morning, also in Courtroom III. Journalists planning to cover Šešelj’s closing arguments should contact the Media Office by Friday afternoon to confirm their attendance.

This afternoon a Status Conference will be held in the appeals case of Momčilo Perišić at 15:00 in Courtroom II. This is the first Status Conference to be held since 6 September 2011 when Perišić, the most senior officer and Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army to have been indicted by the Tribunal, was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

On Friday, a Status Conference in the second contempt of court case of Vojislav Šešelj, which is currently pending appeal, will be held at 10:00 in Courtroom I. Šešelj was convicted on 31 October 2011 to 18 months’ imprisonment for disclosing confidential information pertaining to protected witnesses in a book he authored.

Proceedings in the trials of Radovan Karadžić, Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.

In the Karadžić trial, the Trial Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Robert Đurđević who met with the Accused and other Republika Srpska political and military leaders on a number of occasions during the war.

In the Stanišić and Simatović trial, Defence witness Petar Đukić resumes his testimony from yesterday. He was an officer in the Yugoslav People’s Army in Bosanski Šamac, then Chief inspector of the Republika Srpska Krajina police.

In the Stanišić and Župljanin trial, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of the third and last Chamber witness Tomislav Kovač, former high official in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska.

Turning to the recent outreach activities:

A group of war crimes trial monitors and journalists from Croatia have been at the Tribunal since Monday on a week-long study visit. The visit is organised by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme and Croatian NGO Documenta as part of its long-term work with local communities to encourage the establishment and acceptance of facts about the war in the former Yugoslavia. The visit forms part of the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme’s efforts to increase access to its work and promote greater understanding of its achievements ahead of the completion of its mandate.

I wish to bring to your attention the new round of Kosovo high school presentations which was launched last Monday. This is the fourth round of high school presentations to take place in Kosovo in the recent years and it is part of a region-wide project, the aim of which is to support the process of reconciliation in the region by encouraging young people to take an active interest in issues of justice, transitional justice mechanisms, post-conflict social recovery and the ICTY’s mission. Similar presentations are taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will hopefully soon be held in Croatia and Serbia.

Finally, I would like to remind you of the event that will be held tomorrow at the Tribunal in celebration of International’s Women’s day, at which Kathryn Bolkovac, author of "The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice" an inspiration for the movie "The Whistleblower”, has been invited as the guest speaker. Journalists whishing to attend the event should inform the press office accordingly.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

Mr. Serge Brammertz, the Prosecutor, is in Berlin today at the invitation of the German Parliament’s European Affairs Committee.

He will brief the Committee on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor and the Tribunal, the progress in the trials and appeals and cooperation with the States of the former Yugoslavia. The Prosecutor will address in particular the prosecution of war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.

The Prosecutor will also have meetings with senior officials from the German Chancellor’s office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

No questions were asked.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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