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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 22nd Nov 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 22 November 2000

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

Weekly Press Briefing

22 November 2000

11:30 a.m.



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

Claude Jorda, the President of the Tribunal, has been at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York for the past few days. On Monday, he formally presented
the Tribunal’s Annual Report to the General Assembly and yesterday he addressed
the Security Council. You should all have received copies of President Jorda’s
speeches to the General Assembly and to the Security Council. In addition, we
have copies of the Annual Report, which will be available to you after this.

Wednesday, 29 November, a diplomatic information seminar is being held here
at the Tribunal for the diplomatic community here in The Hague and other representatives
of UN Member States. The Ambassadors will be briefed by President Jorda, the
Prosecutor and the Deputy Registrar, who will update the attendees on the challenges
facing the Tribunal and will underline the fact that cooperation and support
from all States is essential to fulfill the Tribunal’s mandate.

a three-day plenary session of the Judges of the Tribunal will begin next Wednesday
afternoon. This is one of the regular twice-yearly plenaries held at the Tribunal,
and will focus on the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

far as court documents are concerned, on 21 November 2000, we received a scheduling
order from the Appeals Chamber in the Todorovic case, granting Todorovic’s motion
for an extension of time. The Appeals Chamber ordered that the oral hearing
will now take place on 10 January 2001 at 1000 hours, instead of 28 November
as previously scheduled. Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands,
Norway, the UK, the USA, NATO, the Prosecutor and the co-accused, may be heard
at the hearing.

Appeals Chamber also directed that Todorovic, Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo
Zaric, may, by 15 December, respond to the written briefs filed by the states,
NATO and the Prosecutor last Friday, 17 November.

will be a pre-trial conference in Sikirica and others case this afternoon at
1430 hours. We have the pre-trial briefs for you on request. The Prosecutor’s
was filed on 13 October, Damir Dosen’s on 3 November and Kolundzija’s on 10
November. Sikirica’s pre-trial brief was filed confidentially. The pre-trial
conference is scheduled for 22 November.

you may have heard announced during the Kordic and Cerkez hearing on Monday,
rebuttal and rejoinder evidence are scheduled for the week ending 8 December.
Written briefs are to be submitted by the 13 December. The closing arguments
have been tentatively scheduled to take place on 14 and 15 December.

received this morning a memorandum and brief from the Prosecutor in the Kordic
and Cerkez case, in connection with the production of documentary evidence that
has been collected since April in and around Zagreb in Croatia. This, I feel,
will be of interest to you and so we have had copies made, which you can also
pick up after this.

Naletilic and Martinovic have until 27 November 2000 to file their pre-trial
briefs and the pre-trial conference is still scheduled for 7 December.

the Registrar has granted a request from Stanislav Galic to have his counsel
Mr. Nikola Kostich replaced by Ms. Mara Pilipovic, who is currently co-counsel
for Dragoljub Kunarac.


Hartmann, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following

Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutor were in Dayton last Friday and Saturday.
They met with a number of people including some ex-Yugoslav leaders.

Del Ponte yesterday addressed the Security Council. You will receive copies
of this address after the press briefing.

her address, the Prosecutor spoke about Rwanda and stressed that new indictments
would be coming out before the end of the year. She added that there was a lot
of activity there, for instance around the media, government and the military

Prosecutor gave the figures of this year’s exhumations programme in Kosovo.
These can be found in the address to be given out at the end of the briefing.
The Prosecutor also explained that it would never be possible to provide an
accurate figure of the number of people killed in Kosovo because of the deliberate
attempt to burn bodies or to conceal them in other ways.

went on to say that the task of the Tribunal was not to give a complete figure
of casualties. The Tribunal assisted in the identification process, for instance,
58% exhumed this year were identified, but the OTP’s task is first of all to
get evidence. We can say that over these two years of hard work we can now build
up an excellent figure of the extent and pattern of crimes in Kosovo in 1999.

her address the Prosecutor also stressed the lack of important cooperation from
Croatia with the Tribunal and she asked for the support of the international
community to bring Milosevic and other indictees, now living in Serbia, to The
Hague. She also asked for a change to Article Five of the Statute. This Article
links crimes against humanity with armed conflict, therefore she was asking
of an extension to her jurisdiction in Kosovo after the armed conflict.



for the exact dates of the Plenary, Landale replied that they were Wednesday
Thursday and Friday of next week, beginning in the afternoon of Wednesday
29 November.

Asked for
more information about the Prosecutor’s visit to Belgrade, Hartmann replied
that the Prosecutor had applied for her visa and was planning to go to Belgrade,
a date was not yet scheduled.

Asked whether
the exhumation programme of the OTP in Kosovo was finished, Hartmann replied
that it was. She added that after a two-year programme, the investigators
had enough evidence for their investigation. She added that the task of the
OTP was not to take a count of all of the victims. The OTP had now got enough
evidence for what the OTP was working on. Hartmann added that this meant that
part of the graves would not be exhumed by the OTP teams, however, out of
941 potential sites reported by victims in Kosovo, 876 during this two-year
programme had been found by the OTP.

Asked what
opportunities existed for visitors to see the detainees, Landale replied that
the detention unit was housed within a Dutch prison a few kilometers from
the Tribunal. There were opportunities for all those detained at the detention
unit to receive visits. He added that priority was given to visits by defence
counsel and families.

Asked whether
correspondence was also allowed, Landale replied that it was.

Asked to
comment upon publications in the Bulgarian press that stated that the detainees
were being kept in luxury conditions and that crimes were being rewarded rather
that punished, Landale replied that the detention unit was run on the basis
that it was not a prison, rather a remand centre.

The people being
detained there were either awaiting trial or were on trial, therefore they
had yet to be given a final judgement by a Trial Chamber here at the Tribunal.
This Tribunal ran on the assumption that all of our detainees were innocent
until proven guilty, he added.

If a person
was convicted of a crime and sentenced for a number of years, that person
would serve their sentence in a third country that had an agreement with the
United Nations. There were currently seven countries with such agreements
with the United Nations.

In addition
to access to visitors, primarily legal counsel, families and embassy representatives,
detainees were given ample opportunity to exercise and take various courses
including languages and arts and crafts courses, which were quite popular.
Detainees also had their own facilities to cook if they wished and received
newspapers and TV programmes in their own languages.

It could be
said that detainees were given more privileges than would be expected if they
were serving sentences, he concluded.

Asked for
a comment on reports that Serbian Interior Minister Tomovic had said that
all indictess would enjoy police protection, Hartmann replied that if they
were under police protection, maybe they would be under arrest in Serbia and
it would be easier for the OTP to ask for their transferal. It was an obligation
of Yugoslavia to cooperate with the Tribunal.

Hartmann went
on to say that the office in Belgrade would soon be reopened and one of the
tasks of the Prosecutor would be to ask the new authorities to transfer all
fugitives living in Yugoslavia to The Hague, if they were under police protection
it would be much easier for the OTP to ask the authorities to send them to
the Tribunal.

Asked whether
the OTP had nothing against this police protection, Hartmann replied that
the Prosecutor stated earlier that even if Milosevic was arrested in Serbia
on other offences than the offences in the indictment she would agree with
this because this would be a way to arrest him and to ask his transfer to
The Hague.

Landale added
that it was ridiculous for the police to protect anyone indicted by the Tribunal
when they had the clear obligation to detain them and transfer them without
delay to The Hague.

Asked whether
protecting them would prevent escape, Landale replied that if this was protection
aimed at effecting their safe and quick transfer to the Tribunal to face the
charges contained in the indictments against them, then obviously this would
be welcomed, but protection aimed at shielding them from international justice
would be condemned by the Tribunal.

Asked whether
police protection was not to protect indictees from abduction, Landale replied
that the best way to protect them from abduction was for the authorities to
detain them and transfer them, as they were obliged to.

Asked whether
the Tribunal had received any cooperation from other countries outside the
former Yugoslavia in detaining and transferring indictees, Hartmann replied
that the Prosecutor travelled to many countries around the former Yugoslavia
and asked those countries, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and others to cooperate
and arrest fugitives if they crossed their borders.

Asked whether
any specific cooperation had been given, Hartmann replied that the example
of freezing of assets of indictees in these countries could be given.

Asked what
changes were requested to Article Five, Hartmann replied that it was an extension
of the Prosecutor’s jurisdiction in Kosovo. In Article Five, crimes against
humanity were linked with armed conflict, if this was changed and jurisdiction
increased it would be possible to work on ethnic cleansing going on after
the NATO troops entered Kosovo, she concluded.

Asked whether
the changing of this Article dropped the precondition of armed conflict, Hartmann
replied that it did as with the statute of the ICTR where no specification
was in place. The Prosecutor was asking for both Statutes to be the same as
it was important for Kosovo concerning ethnic cleansing after the entry of
NATO troops.