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Weekly Press Briefing - 31 March 2010

Date:  31.3.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

Good afternoon,
A major project is underway at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to convert audio-visual recordings of its court proceedings to high-resolution digital video files. This UN-funded project is due for completion by the end of 2010. 

Some 60,000 hours of public court proceedings will be digitised as a result of this project.

The digitisation project will permanently preserve these valuable recordings, which in their current video format are subject to deterioration over time. Conversion of the recordings to digital video files will also facilitate future public access to the Tribunal’s hearings.

The preservation and accessibility of the records and archives falls within the scope of the Tribunal’s Legacy Strategy, the purpose of which is to secure a long-lasting and positive impact of the ICTY in the former Yugoslavia and beyond.

I will now turn to the courtroom schedule:

The Tribunal will be in recess from this Friday to Monday, 5 April for Easter. There are no hearings scheduled for next week with trials resuming on Monday, 12 April.

Hearings in the case of Gotovina and others will resume at a date to be confirmed. Four more Chamber witnesses are left to be heard and their testimonies are expected in mid-April. During last Friday’s hearing, the Chamber reminded the court that there is a pending application to re-open the Prosecution’s case, which may result in the hearing of further evidence. The Chamber also announced that final briefs will have to be submitted by 31 May 2010.

As for the trial of Vojislav Šešelj, at the conclusion of yesterday's session today's hearing was cancelled. A scheduling order is expected in due course for the testimony of the last witness. Once the last witness is heard a scheduling order will then be issued to begin 98bis proceedings.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


A journalist asked if there was any comment on the Srebrenica resolution adopted yesterday by Serbian Parliament. Jelačić replied that the Tribunal would not be in a position to comment on political decisions made by any government. Jelačić added that in addition to judicial, alternative justice mechanisms have an important role to play in dealing with past but that those mechanisms should be shaped by the authorities and people of the region where the conflict happened.