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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 11th Dec 2002

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing : 11.12.2002

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 11.12.2002

Time: 14:00


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


as you know, this afternoon at 3 p.m., the Appeals Chamber will render its Decision
relating to the ‘Motion to Appeal the Trial Chamber’s "Decision on Motion
on Behalf of Jonathan Randal to set Aside Confidential Subpoena to Give Evidence"’
filed by the defence for Jonathan Randal on 26 June 2002.

a reminder that the sentencing hearing in the Plavsic case is scheduled to take
place next week on 16, 17 and the afternoon of 18 December. I repeat again that
all interested journalists should accredit themselves in the usual way. Details
as to how to obtain accreditation were posted on our website on Monday, 9 December.

Tribunal is pleased to take part in a two-day conference that took place in
Belgrade on 6 and 7 December entitled ‘The Role of Witnesses and Victims in
War Crimes Proceedings’. The event, co-organised by the ‘Center for Antiwar
Action’, the ‘Judicial Training of Serbia’ and the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme,
brought together legal professionals and NGO’s from across the region.

In terms of court documents:

In the Prosecutor
v. Milorad Krnojelac:

On 6 December
2002, we received the "Defence Submission Pursuant to the Order of The
Appeals Chamber from 28 November 2002

In the Prosecutor
v. Slobodan Milosevic:

On 6 December
2002, we received the "Prosecution’s Response to Motion by Krajisnik
Defence for Access to Confidential Material

Also in this case:

On 10 December
2002, we received the "Prosecution’s Corrigendum of the Second Expert
Report of Morten Torkildsen

In the Prosecutor
v. Miroslav Kvocka:

On 6 December,
we received a "Request for Early Release".

In the Prosecutor
v. Blagojevic, Obrenovic, Jokic and Nikolic:

On 9 December,
we received the "Decision on Oral Motion to Replace Co-Counsel".

In the Prosecutor
v. Hadzihasanovic, Alagic and Kubura:

On 9 December
2002, we received the "Prosecution’s Response to Defence Interlocutory
Appeal on Jurisdiction

Copies of these
court documents will be made available to you after this briefing.

Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


Asked for their
opinions on behalf of the OTP and the Tribunal concerning the upcoming Plavsic
Sentencing Hearing, since Plavsic was one of the former leaders of the Bosnian
Serbs, Landale replied that as far as the Tribunal was concerned, it was a
significant and important event, important because of the fact that she was
a former, very senior leader in the Bosnian Serb political leadership who
had decided to plead guilty to one count of persecution in the Indictment.

He went on to stress
that the count of persecution was a very broad count, covering a number of extremely
serious incidents including a large number of killings, and the operation of
various camps where detainees were routinely killed, abused, beaten and kept
in atrocious conditions. The count also included plunder and destruction of
property. This event was very significant for furthering the process of reconciliation
in the region. The hearings would be of enormous interest. The witnesses who
would come to testify would also be very interesting, he added.

Hartmann replied
that she had nothing to add. This was exactly what the OTP had said at the
time Mrs. Plavsic entered her guilty plea. It was a very important event for
the Tribunal for all of the reasons given by Jim Landale.

Asked how many
witnesses would appear in the Plavsic sentencing hearing and what function
the witnesses served in the light of the fact that Plavsic had already pleaded
guilty, Landale replied that at this time he could not give the number of
witnesses who would appear, he hoped he might have an accurate figure in the
coming days. He went on to say that normally in a sentencing hearing witnesses
would be heard who would bring up any mitigating or aggravating circumstances
relating to the eventual sentence to be handed down by the Chamber. That would
probably be the case next week.

Asked who would
testify, Landale replied that the Tribunal would not be releasing the names
of witnesses due to testify.

A journalist
stated that, at the time the plea agreement was made public, it was said that
the factual basis of the plea agreement would be published shortly before
the sentencing hearing. Asked when the factual basis would be published, Landale
replied that he would find out. Hartmann added that she was sure that it would
be before the hearing.

A journalist
stated that the Russian Parliament planned to ask the Tribunal to allow a
Russian and Yugoslav team of doctors to analyse Mr. Milosevic’s health. Asked
if he was aware of this claim and if so whether the Tribunal would allow it,
Landale replied that he had not seen anything specifically filed on this subject.
He added that he had seen media reports to that effect, but was not specifically
aware of any requests from the Russians. If there was such a request it would
be something that the Registrar would look at and make a decision on. He added
that it should be borne in mind that the medical facilities here were very
good. There was a nurse and a doctor at the Detention Unit. Milosevic had
been seen by a cardiologist and could be seen by other specialists if there
was the need. He said he believed that the Registrar would decide on a case
by case basis based on any request filed.

Asked whether
the Tribunal had ever handed down a suspended sentence, Landale replied that
as far as he was aware the answer was no, there had been no suspended sentences
handed down by the Tribunal.

Asked if Plavsic
was sentenced to serve time in prison, any country had agreed to take her
into their detention facilities, Landale replied that next week was a sentencing
hearing. No sentence would be handed down then. The Judges would consider
what they had heard and would go away, deliberate and then hand down a sentence.
As far as countries were concerned this would be announced if and when the
time was right.

Asked when
the sentencing would take place, Landale replied that he did not know yet.
It would be a matter of waiting for a scheduling order to be filed.

Asked how long
it usually took, Landale replied that it depended on the case.

Asked whether
in next Wednesday’s Milosevic hearing the Trial Chamber would make a decision
concerning his health, Landale replied that he was not necessarily sure they
would discuss his health, they would discuss various technical issues. Nobody
had said that there would be a discussion concerning his health.

Asked what
would happen next Wednesday, Landale replied that the Chamber would be addressing
various technical issues and if they had to finish up with the last witness
before the break they would do so.

Asked to confirm
that it was a regular hearing day, Landale replied that as far as he knew
it was a regular hearing day. He added that there might be issues that they
wished to address and discuss before going into recess, technical issues about
the future of the trial, or what would happen after the recess, but he was
not aware of any big announcement to be expected.

A journalist
stated that the Registrar had a meeting a few days ago with the Dutch authorities
concerning the difficulties journalists from Bosnia and Yugoslavia had in
obtaining visas and residence permits. Asked if anything had come out of that
meeting, Landale reiterated what he had said in last weeks’ briefing, that
this was an issue that concerned the Tribunal, and that it had been raised
at a senior level with the Dutch authorities. He believed that there had been
developments outside of the Tribunal, in the media. The International Federation
of Journalists had been involved, they had certainly received a letter on
this subject. It was a matter of waiting to see what the developments were.
He said that he felt that the Tribunal and all others concerned would like
this issue to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Asked whether
this would be the last briefing before the court recess and when trials would
restart, Landale replied that it had not yet been decided whether this would
be the last briefing before the recess. The media would be kept informed.

Asked whether
there had been any changes in the scheduling for tomorrow or Friday in the
Stakic case, Landale replied that he had checked on the Stakic case and as
far as he knew it was going ahead as scheduled. If the situation changed he
would inform the media. In terms of the restart of trials, the press office
would put out an advisory as to when the first session of court would be in
the New Year.

Asked whether
the ruling in the Randal case would be available directly after the hearing,
Landale replied that it would be. He added that the Decision would be available
in English and French, as would the summary read out in court by President
Jorda. It would also be available in both languages on the ICTY website and
possibly in BCS on the Outreach website.

Asked whether
there was a cardiologist report of which the contents were public, Landale
replied that there was a cardiologist report, which was confidential.

Asked whether
its contents would be made public, Landale replied that he did not think so.

Asked whether
the report had some bearing on the current proceedings, Landale replied that
the Judges were in possession of submissions from the amici curiae,
from the Prosecution and they had a cardiology report. There was no psychiatric
report as Mr. Milosevic did not wish to see a psychiatrist. The Trial Chamber
had the submissions in their possession, and it was up to them to do what
they saw best, armed with that information, he concluded.

Asked whether
they were due to discuss these matters on Wednesday, Landale replied that
he believed some information had ‘snowballed’ outside of the Tribunal amongst
journalists and others that before the break there would be a dramatic announcement
about the future conduct of the Trial. He added that he would like to disarm
the media of that notion. He added that it could be discussed but he did not
expect any major decision with regards to that subject.

Asked whether
the cardiology report had up to now influenced the scheduling of the court,
Landale replied that the scheduling of the court had continued in the same
way as it had following the first cardiologist report, meaning that breaks
had been built into hearings, coming at regular intervals, meaning that roughly
every couple of weeks there would be a couple of days off in addition to the