Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
The President of the Tribunal, Judge Patrick Robinson, welcomes the extension by the High Representative of the mandates of the international judges and prosecutors at the Court and Prosecutor’s office of BiH. Over the past months, the President has repeatedly called on local authorities to support these institutions by extending the mandates of international staff and securing adequate resources. The President believes that Bosnia and Herzegovina, like any other country, has the right to comprise its courts of nationals only - but all reports indicate that the time for this is not yet right.
The President welcomes the unanimous support of the High Representative and the international community for the work of the Court of BiH and the development of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time, in accordance with the sovereign rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he supports the transition of the Court of BiH into a completely domestic institution, staffed solely by national judicial experts and supported by a government in favour of the rule of law, the fight against impunity and the promotion of reconciliation. He calls on the local authorities to show flexibility and find the consensus necessary to create the conditions for the transition of the Court and Prosecutor’s office into truly local institutions.
As to the court activities:
Turning first to two decisions rendered this week, Mićo Stanišić and Franko Simatović have been granted provisional release over the winter recess. Both Accused are to return to the Detention Unit by 15 January.
Following the decision rendered a week ago in the case of Zdravko Tolimir, which granted the Prosecution’s confidential motion to amend his indictment, the start of trial has been postponed for a period of at least two months. A Status Conference will be held this afternoon in Courtroom I during which Tolimir will be asked to enter a plea on the new charges contained in the third amended indictment, a copy of which is available on the Tribunal’s website.
As to the schedule for the remainder of the week, the trial of Gotovina and others is scheduled to sit tomorrow and provisionally on Friday morning in Courtroom III and the trial of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin will continue tomorrow morning in Courtroom I.
There will be no hearings during the winter recess which starts Monday, 21 December. Proceedings will resume on Monday 11 January, with hearings in Gotovina and others and Prlić and others. Vojislav Šešelj’s trial is expected to resume on Tuesday 12 January at 14:15 in Courtroom I. I invite you to check the Tribunal’s website towards the end of the winter recess for the latest courtroom schedule.
Finally, I wish you all a happy holiday season. The next Press Briefing will be held on Wednesday 13 January.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.
No questions were asked.