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Weekly Press Briefing - 12 May 2010

Date:  12.5.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

The Tribunal notes with concern the reports that Krstić was assaulted while serving his sentence. The Tribunal's convicts serve their sentences in the states with which the Tribunal has entered an enforcement of sentence agreement. Conditions of detention are governed by regulations of that state while independent inspecting organizations also visit the convicts periodically. The Tribunal is confident that the responsible authorities will investigate the matter fully and take the appropriate steps.

On Monday, Trial Chamber I issued a Decision regarding Ivan Čermak’s and Mladan Markač’s request for certification to appeal the Trial Chamber’s decision of 21 April 2010 to reopen the Prosecution case in order to present new evidence.

In their motions, the Defence teams argue that the decision to reopen the Prosecution case adversely affects the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings and the rights of the Accused.

The Trial Chamber granted the request to appeal the decision on the basis that the introduction of new evidence could have significant bearing on the individual criminal responsibility of the Accused. The Chamber emphasised that the ultimate significance of the evidence will only be determined in the final judgement, in light of all other evidence.

The Chamber also granted the request on the basis that an immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially advance the proceedings. The Chamber considered that should the certification to appeal be denied, and should the Appeals Chamber later find that it erred in allowing the reopening, this would have repercussions on all the sections of the judgement which were influenced by or based on the new evidence. These repercussions could have a considerable impact on the judgement and entail significant complications and delays for the proceedings as a whole. Any delay that could potentially result from the Appeals Chamber deciding on this matter now would be limited, in particular considering that no party has requested a stay of proceedings.

Onto other developments during this past week:

At his further initial appearance last Thursday 6 May at his trial for contempt of court, Vojislav Šešelj once more declined to enter a plea. This led to the Presiding Judge directing the Registrar to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf. The date for the contempt hearing will be announced in a scheduling order in due course.

Also last Thursday, Trial Chamber II issued an order scheduling the closing arguments in the Vlastimir Ðorđević trial for 13 and 14 July 2010. Hearings in his trial resume this Monday at 9:00 in Courtroom II. Three remaining witnesses are expected to be heard next week – two Defence witnesses and one Prosecution witness who will be heard as part of the reopening of the Prosecution case.

As to the rest of the upcoming courtroom schedule:

The Appeals Judgement in the case of Ljube Boškoski, former Macedonian Minister of the Interior and Johan Tarčulovski, a former Police Officer will be heard on 19 May at 9.30am in Courtroom I. In July 2008, the Trial Chamber found Tarčulovski guilty of ordering, planning and instigating crimes committed between 12 and 15 August 2001 when a Macedonian police unit under his control entered the village of Ljuboten, shooting and killing six unarmed ethnic Albanians and severely mistreated 13 other residents. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Boškoski was acquitted of charges of failing to investigate the crimes and ensuring those responsible be punished.

Next Tuesday 18 May, a Status Conference will be held in the case of Nikola Šainović and others. The judgement in the case was rendered on 26 February 2009. Of the six high-ranking Yugoslav and Serbian political, military and police officials originally indicted by the Tribunal, Milan Milutinović, the former President of Serbian, was acquitted of all charges. The Judgement was the first handed down by the Tribunal for crimes perpetrated by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbian forces against Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo. Notices of appeals in respect of Nikola Šainović, Dragoljub Ojdanić, Nebojsa Pavković, Vladimir Lazarević and Sreten Lukić were filed on 27 May 2009 by both Prosecution and Defence. The last Status Conference was held on 18 January 2010.

Hearings in the trial of Vlastimir Ðorđević resume this Monday at 9:00 in Courtroom II. Three remaining witnesses are expected to be heard next week – two Defence witnesses and one Prosecution witness who will be heard as part of the reopening of the Prosecution case.

Hearings in the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, Radovan Karadžić, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović as well as Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin continue this week and next as scheduled.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

The Prosecutor will be in Belgrade later today and tomorrow. There will be a media opportunity tomorrow at 12:15 in the Special Court in Belgrade where he will make a brief statement and take questions.


Asked if there were any new developments in the Rasim Delić case, Jelačić stated that the Chamber was still considering the submissions made by the Prosecution and Defence.

A journalist asked if there were any submissions by either Krstić’s defence or a response to the Serbian government asking for Krstić to be moved to another facility following his attack last week in a British prison.  Jelačić said that there has been no public filing and was unable to say at this moment if there has been any correspondence between the governments and Tribunal officials. Jelačić added that nothing further than her previous comment on the matter could be said.