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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 11th Nov 1998

ICTY Press Briefing - 11 November 1998

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 11 November 1998

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Christian Chartier
began by explaining that Jim Landale, the spokesman, was on a fact finding mission
to Bosnia and Croatia but would be back next week. He also extended apologies
from Mr Blewitt that he was not able to attend the press briefing this week.
Mr Chartier then went on to make the following announcements:

The President
of the ICTY, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, announced in last weeks press conference
that she would report to the Security Council the FRY’s denial of the Tribunals
authority to conduct investigations in Kosovo. This letter is now available
(see Press Release 362E).

The three newly
elected Judges to the ICTY, due to serve until November 2001, will be sworn
in next Monday, 16 November. The new Judges are Mohamed BENNOUNA from Morocco,
David HUNT from Australia and Patrick ROBINSON from Jamaica. The swearing-in
ceremony will take place at 2.00 p.m. The Public information Unit will put out
a press-release with short biographies of the new Judges and details of the
ceremony which will be open to the press.

The Celebici case
judgement will be handed down on Monday 16 November at 10.00 a.m.

Following the
pleas entered by Goran Jelisic on 29 October, Trial Chamber I will hold a closed
pre-trial conference next Wednesday (18 November). The trial proper is scheduled
to open on 30 November. It will go on for three days, adjourn and then resume
in the second part of January 1999. Jelisic will stand trial on the charge of
Genocide, the only count to which he decided to plead not-guilty.

The trial proceedings
in the Aleksovski case are likely to be completed in the course of next week.
Both parties have filed their final submissions: copies of these materials are
available. The final oral arguments will be presented next Tuesday, 17 November
at 10 a.m.

The proceedings
in the case of Furundzija re-opened last Monday and are likely to be closed
by Thursday 12th November after which the Judges will consider their
Judgment. On the day the trial reopened the Chamber received an Amicus Curiae
brief filed by 11 applicants, these being scholars of the international human
rights of women and representatives of non-governmental organisations. The purpose
of this brief was to request the Chamber to re-consider its Decision to re-open
the proceedings especially in regard to the rights of Witness A to equality,
privacy and representation. The Chamber considered that any arguments about
the re-opening of the trial were no longer relevant. However it granted leave
to file the Amicus Curiae Brief which will be duly considered for purposes of



Asked how the
Tribunal investigation team intended to continue now that visas to Kosovo
had not arrived. Chartier replied that Mr Blewitt informed him that the request
for visas for the investigation team were still at the Embassy. No official
reply has been received as yet.

Asked whether
any information had been received on when the Security Council might discuss
the situation with the FRY and the Tribunal. Chartier said no date had been
received as yet.

Asked whether
the Celebici hearing on Monday would cover both the judgement and sentencing
in one hearing. Chartier confirmed that this was the case.

Asked about
the reading of indictments. In Jelisic’s indictment there seemed to have
been a discrepancy between headlines of the indictment and the narrative below.
Chartier replied that indictments were read out in full to the defendants
and in the case of Jelisic, his indictment was amended twice and in any case
his guilty pleas were entered on the basis of a joint agreement by the Prosecutor
and the Defence on the facts admitted by the accused.