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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 18th Sep 2002

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 18.09.2002

Time: 11:00


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

very pleased to be joined, not only by Florence, but also by John Ackerman,
the newly-elected President of the Association of Defence Counsel. When Florence
and I have finished our usual run-through, I’ll hand the floor over to him and
then we’ll take your questions.

have a few court documents to alert you to:

11 September, in the Prosecutor v. Kvocka, Radic, Zigic and Prcac, we received
an "Order of the Appeals Chamber on the Motion for Provisional Release
by Miroslav Kvocka
", denying the Motion. Copies with the detailed reasoning
behind the Decision will be available after the briefing.

12 September, in the Prosecutor v. Milomir Stakic, we received a scheduling
order setting out a revised schedule for the trial. This comes in light of the
continued illness of Judge Fassi Fihri. In the order, presiding Judge Schomburg,
states, among other things, that "the end of the Prosecution case is
moved to Friday 27 September 2002
", and "that any motion by
the Defence under Rule 98 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence is due
no later than Monday 7 October and that the Prosecution response is due no later
than Monday 14 October
". Finally, Judge Schomburg noted that "although
the Defence is requested to prepare its case within two weeks only, one additional
week is granted to the Defence for this purpose at the beginning of December
Copies of that revised schedule will be available after this briefing.

on 12 September, in the Prosecutor v. Stanislav Galic, we received a scheduling
order, setting out various requirements to be satisfied by the Defence in preparation
for their case in chief.

13 September, in the Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic, we received a scheduling
order. This followed the "Prosecution’s Application for an Order Pursuant
to Rule 54 bis Directing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Produce Documents
on 12 July 2002, a Scheduling Order issued by the Trial Chamber on 26 July 2002
fixing a hearing on the Application for Monday 16 September 2002, and finally
the "Notice Regarding Prosecution Application Pursuant to Rule 54 bis
dated 12 July 2002
", in which the Prosecution notified the Trial Chamber
that it wished to try to resolve the matter by direct negotiations with the
relevant authorities. The Trial Chamber vacated the hearing scheduled for 16
September and ordered that the Prosecution file a report with the Trial Chamber
on the status of this matter no later than Friday 11 October 2002.

13 September, in the Prosecutor v. Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric,
we received the "Defendant Blagoje Simic’s Motion for Judgement of Acquittal".

16 September in the same case, we received the "Motion Requesting Extension
of Time to Respond To Accuseds’s Motions for Acquittal Under Rule 98 bis and
to Exceed Page Limits Permitted For the Prosecution Response

16 September, a Bench of the Appeals Chamber, Judge Jorda presiding, rejected
Pasko Ljubicic’s "Application for Leave to Appeal ‘Decision on Defence
Motion for provisional release of the Accused’
", which he filed on
8 August 2002. Copies of that Decision are available in French.

17 September, we received a "Decision on Prosecution’s Motion for Joinder
of the Accused
" in the Prosecutor v. Meakic, Gruban and Knezevic, and
the Prosecutor v. Fustar, Banovic and Knezevic, joining the two indictments.

also yesterday, in the Prosecutor v. Milosevic, we received a "Scheduling
Order Concerning Amending the Croatia and Bosnia Indictments
". In the
Order, presiding Judge May orders that the Prosecution:

the Croatia and Bosnia indictments so as to clarify and bring them into line
with the stipulations made by the Prosecution with respect to the reduction
of the case against the accsused during the pre-trial stage of these proceedings;

the amended indictments by the commencement of the Croatia and Bosnia parts
of these proceedings, being 26 September 2002

of all the documents that I’ve mentioned should be available after the briefing.

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

Ackerman, President of the Association of Defence Counsel, made the following

you are seeing here today is an historical occasion in some ways. This is the
first time that there has been a representative of the defence appear at a press
briefing of the ICTY. Last Saturday, September 14, at the Bel Air hotel in The
Hague, we held the first General Assembly of the Association of Defence Counsel
practicing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ADC-ICTY). We have set up a web site, there is nothing on it yet, but it can
be found at: We have been trying to put together an association
for about five years. Until now, we have always failed, all of our efforts have
not come to fruition. Finally, at the Plenary session in July, the Judges amended
Rule 44 of the Rules of Procedure of this Tribunal, to provide for the creation
of a defence association. Once it is recognised by the Tribunal, membership
of that association is mandatory for counsel wishing to appear in cases here
at the ICTY. This is what it took to make it possible, to actually get this
organisation running.

have an executive board of five people. I am the President of the Association.
We have two Vice-Presidents, Slobodan Zecevic and Kresimir Krsnik, and a Secretary
and a Treasurer. The Secretary is Branko Lukic and the Treasurer is Stefan Kirsch
from Germany. We have already set up several committees, elected people to several
committees and will be putting together additional committees as time goes on.

of our large roles involves a disciplinary function. This is in the process
of being put together and will be taking considerable responsibility for disciplinary
matters regarding defence counsel. There is now an organisation that will allow
the defence counsel to speak with one voice about some major issues that will
be of interest to you and your readers and listeners. Please understand that
we will always try to be available to answer any questions or concerns you might
have and it will be made clear to you at some point how you can get in touch
with us, ask questions and get the defence perspective. I think this is something
that was seriously missing from how this Tribunal has operated in the past.
I am glad to be here and I will be willing to answer any questions you might


for an update on the situation with Mr. Wladimiroff and when a decision by
the Judges could be expected, Landale replied that the issue was under consideration
by the Judges. In terms of timing he added that he would expect something
relatively soon, in a week or so, but he could not be more precise than that.

why it was necessary to have an Association of Defence Counsel, Ackerman replied
that former Chief Justice Burger of the US Supreme Court once characterised
the criminal justice system as a three-legged stool. All three of those legs
needed to be attached and strong before the system could operate efficiently.
Those legs being the judiciary, the prosecutor and the defence. The third
leg had really been missing at the Tribunal as an organised entity. It was
extremely important for the Tribunal to hear not just a defence counsel in
a particular case, but defence counsel as a group. For instance, the Rules
of Procedure that were in place today would likely have been a lot different
if there had been defence input into that process from the very beginning.
The defence counsel would now have that input and would now be involved with
any amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. It was important to
maintain balance, fairness and justice, for the voice of the defence to be
heard and now it would be, he concluded.

journalist commented that an Association could have been set up a lot sooner.
Asked to confirm that the main issue in organising it was to be accepted by
the Tribunal, Ackerman replied that the reason it was organised was because
the Tribunal decided that they needed this kind of organisation. That was
why the Rule was amended to make it possible for this organisation to exist
and to be recognised by the Tribunal. It was almost a two way street. It was
very much the defence counsel who wanted this to happen, but it was more importantly
the Tribunal who wanted it to happen. The new Registrar and Judge Jorda were
very interested in having a defence voice in the Tribunal.

Asked how many
members the Association had at the moment, Ackerman replied that there were
technically none. It would be an official organisation sometime this afternoon.
At that point the Association could actually start enrolling members. The
Association would then make applications to the Registrar to be recognised
as the Rule 44 Defence Association.

should happen within a couple of weeks. In pure numbers, at the meeting on
Saturday there were about 50 lawyers in attendance. Anyone who was actively
assigned to a case here at the Tribunal was required to be a member. This
number was up in the high seventies maybe in the eighties. Another category
of membership was those persons who had previously been assigned to a case
at the Tribunal, they could also be full inactive members. There was also
a category called ‘aspirant members’ who were people anywhere in the world
who would like to have a case here and would like to be member of the Association.
There was a different structure for each of those categories. He concluded
that he did not know in total how many the Association would wind up with,
but he believed there was a potential of 400 or 500 members.

to confirm that the number on Saturday was 78 people, Ackerman confirmed that
if proxies were counted the number was around 78.

to elaborate on the importance of the disciplinary function of the Association
and what kind of problems it would have to deal with, Ackerman replied that
the question of disciplining defence counsel had never been satisfactorily
dealt with at the Tribunal. What the organisation was in the process of doing
in cooperation with the Judges and the Registrar was setting up a more traditional
disciplinary scheme where a person accused of any kind of ethical or disciplinary
violation would have the case reviewed by the disciplinary committee of the
Association and would have the opportunity of a full hearing with due process.

would be set up in a different way than it had in the past, bringing more
fairness to the process and probably making it possible to deal with disciplinary
issues more efficiently.

whether this would be for issues such as fee splitting, contempt of court
for disclosure of names of protected witness and what kinds of disciplinary
problems he anticipated, Ackerman replied that the disciplinary function of
the Association was to deal with those kinds of things. He added that nobody
anticipated that anyone would ever do anything wrong, but there were defence
lawyers from all over the world and occasionally something happened that needed
to be dealt with and the Association now had a role in that process. Eventually,
he believed that the Tribunal would like the Association to take over that
whole process and discipline its own members like any other bar association
in the world.