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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 27th Nov 2002

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing : 27.11.2002

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing




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


Tribunal was very pleased to take part in a symposium in Skopje on 22 and 23
November, which was jointly organised by the Macedonian NGO the Centre for Strategic
Research and Documentation (CSRD) and the Outreach Programme. The two-day event
was attended by over 80 legal professionals, politicians, and representatives
from the media and NGO community. This was an extremely useful opportunity to
put forward the Tribunal’s track record and it greatly enhanced contacts between
the Tribunal and the various different communities in Macedonia. The event was
co-funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the German Embassy
in Skopje and the Netherlands Embassy in Skopje.

terms of court documents:

the Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic:

25 November, we received the "Prosecution’s Submission of Corrigendum
to Expert Report of Patrick Ball

the Prosecutor v. Ranko Cesic:

26 November, we received the "Filing of Third Amended Indictment".

the Prosecutor v. Anto Furundzija:

26 November, we received a "Motion to Supplement Prosecution Response
to ‘Defendant’s Motion for Protective Measures and for Investigation of Contempt
of Tribunal’

the Prosecutor v. Momcilo Gruban:

21 November, we received a Scheduling Order, ordering that the accused "return
to the United Nations Detention Unit no later than 9 December 2002
As you know, there will be a Status Conference in his case the following day
at 1500 hours in Courtroom I at which the accused will be required to enter
a plea to the new charges contained in the Consolidated Indictment. The Trial
Chamber further ordered that "the provisional release of the accused
... will continue as soon as practicable after the status conference under the
same conditions as set out in the Trial Chamber Decision of 17 July 2002

the Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaskic:

20 November, we received from the Appeals Chamber the "Decision on Appellant
Mario Cerkez’s Request For Assistance of the Appeals Chamber in Gaining Access
to Protected Information
". The Request was denied by the Appeals Chamber.

22 November, we received a Scheduling Order, ordering "the Prosecution
to file its evidence in rebuttal no later than Monday, 6 January 2003
and allowing "the Appellant until Tuesday, 21 January 2003, to respond
to the Prosecution submission

the Prosecutor v. Milomir Stakic:

25 November, we received the "Defendant, Milomir Stakic’s Supplemental
Brief in Support of the Motion for Mistrial Filed on 13 November 2002

the Prosecutor v. Momir Talic:

25 November, we received an "Order Appointing a Pre-Trial Judge",
namely Judge Carmel A. Agius.

26 November, we received the "Decision on Motions". This concerns
three motions filed by counsel for Talic on 15 October 2002 and 22 October 2002.

the Prosecutor v. Krajisnik and Plavsic:

25 November, we received a Scheduling Order, which among other things, orders
that "the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik be severed from the sentencing
proceedings for the accused, Biljana Plavsic

the Prosecutor v. Sainovic and Ojdanic:

26 November, we received a Scheduling Order in relation to Ojdanic’s Application
for Orders to NATO and States for Production of Information, filed on 15 November

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

25 November, we received a "Motion for Disclosure of Original Portions
of Exculpatory Material

26 November, we received the "Application for Leave to Appeal the Trial
Chamber’s Decision on Dragan Obrenovic’s Application for Provisional Release
and Request for Expedited Consideration

on 26 November, we received the "Application for Leave to Appeal the
Trial Chamber’s Second Decision on Vidoje Blagojevic’s Application for Provisional
Release Due to the Trial Chamber's’Failure or Refusal to Comply with the Directions
of the Appeals Chamber, or in the Alternative, Request for Remand to the Appeals
Chamber so as to Consider Whether the Record is Complete for the Purpose of
Issuing an Order for the Provisional Release of Vidoje Blagojevic
This is a lengthy document and will only available on request.

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


A journalist
remarked that three current ICTY Judges had been nominated for election at
the International Criminal Court (ICC). Asked whether, if one of those three
Judges were elected in February and their period of office at the ICTY continued
until 2005, they would be able to be Judges at both Tribunals at the same
time, Landale replied that it was his understanding that, if elected, they
would have to leave the ICTY to take up their new positions and responsibilities
at the ICC and that a replacement would be found for them.

Asked what
the procedure would be for electing a new President, if President Jorda left
for the ICC, Landale replied that it had been announced in Paris that President
Jorda was France’s candidate for a position at the ICC. Obviously, there was
an election process to go through first, if he was then elected and left the
ICTY, a replacement would be found.

Asked to confirm
that there would then be a plenary session to hold elections, Landale replied
that firstly the Vice-President would take over the functions of the President.
Another Judge from France would take up the vacant post. Then elections would
be held at a plenary session, amongst the Judges themselves, to elect the
President and Vice-President. All this depended upon the ICC elections, he

Asked for her
comment on the dismissal and acquittals in the Lora case, Hartmann replied
that she could not directly comment on the case as the OTP had not monitored
the trial itself. This was done by different international organisations,
including Human Rights Watch and some other NGO’s. The OTP had received some
feedback on the trial but not enough detail at the moment to give a statement.

What she could
say, which was not a direct comment on the Decision, but more on the context
of it, was that the ICTY had a mandate to deal with a small number of very
high level war criminals, people who had violated international humanitarian
law. This was, however, only a small percentage of the total number of people
who had violated international humanitarian law in the region.

Therefore it
was very important that the local judiciary in the region took part in the
justice process. It was clear, however, with the different trials that had
taken place in the former Yugoslavia so far, that there were difficulties
involved. The Lora case and other war crimes trials were clear indications
that the ICTY was needed and that it was the only institution really capable
of providing fair justice for the region at this time.

She added that
this was possibly a good example to the people of the region to change their
views about the Tribunal, especially those who still rejected it. It was not
easy to carry out trials in the region because of problems concerning protection
of witnesses, the independence of Judges and other such problems which the
ICTY was capable of dealing with. The OTP hoped that this and other cases
would push the people and governments in the region to try to establish instruments
for fair justice, to reform their judiciary and to improve their systems in
relation to war crimes trials.

A journalist
remarked that, in a statement, Carla Del Ponte had said that the Lora and
Gospic cases were a test for the domestic judiciary in the region and that
if the domestic judiciary failed, The Hague Tribunal might be interested in
these particular cases. Asked whether this meant that the OTP would wait for
the Supreme Court Decision on these cases or whether someone in the OTP would
look at the Lora files and draft an Indictment, Hartmann replied that she
had clearly said at the beginning of her previous answer that the Tribunal
only dealt with a small number of the cases from the former Yugoslavia.

She added that
it was strange that in the region there were so many people, media and politicians
included, who criticized the ICTY, saying that certain high level people should
be tried in the region. Then, when cases tried in the region were tried in
an unfair manner, they said that the ICTY should have in fact tried those
cases. The position of those people was completely contradictory, she said.

She went on
to say that the Tribunal did not have the means or the mandate to try all
cases from the former Yugoslavia. People should not critisise the Tribunal
as it was dealing with some of the most difficult cases. The Lora case was
a terrible case but was low level. If it was impossible to bring justice in
this kind of case, how could high level cases be dealt with at the present
time within the region.

The ICTY was
not against the region, justice was not against the region. Some processes
had to be contributed to together, partly through the ICTY and partly through
the people in the region. They had to be responsible, face the situation and
try to provide instruments able to bring justice.

The reaction
to the Lora case was that the victims did not feel that justice was done.
Even the ICTY could not solve all of these problems. Many victims would be
left without justice because the Tribunal would only deal with the highest
responsible. This was very important, but she hoped that this experience would
push people in the region to deal with low and mid-level cases.

The OTP would
not be able to take over cases from the region because they were not well
tried or not tried at all. A problem of this case was that victims would not
testify. Something had to be done to improve not only victim protection, but
also the will of the victims to go to wherever a trial was being conducted.
The whole of the region had to introduce structures able to provide fair trials.

Landale added
that the Tribunal was not set up to prosecute every crime which might have
been committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. It was
set up to investigate and prosecute as high up the chain of command as the
evidence would allow. But while the Tribunal took its responsibility very
seriously in doing that, it was vital that the Tribunal worked hand in hand
with local courts who should do everything they could to investigate and prosecute
in a fair and transparent manner some of the lower to mid-level perpetrators.
The Tribunal did have an interest in what was happening in the courts in the
former Yugoslavia, he concluded.

A journalist
stated that in the Milosevic case, when the Trial Chamber appointed the amici
last year the court order set out a whole series of tasks for them.
He went on to say that the court order concerning the appointment of the new
amicus, Mr. McCormack, only talked about international law. Asked if
this meant that the new amicus would be specialised, Landale replied
that his feeling on the appointment of Mr. McCormack was that he would be
an amicus in a more traditional sense of the concept, in that he would
probably not be in court on a day to day basis, but would be asked to file
submissions and papers on particular points of law that the Judges would like
to hear about.

Asked when
Mr. McCormack would come to the Tribunal, Landale replied that he did not
have a definitive date. He added that he did not believe it was a matter of
him arriving at the Tribunal at a particular time. It might be that the Judges
would state in court that they had asked him to look at a particular question
or point of law and that they would then await his submissions. It did not
necessarily require him to be in court, he concluded.

Asked whether
this meant that he would remain in Australia, Landale replied that he might
well remain in Australia. He believed that he might sit in court a few times.
He did not know when the first time would be, he concluded.