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Weekly Press Briefing - 07 July 2010

Date:  7.7.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

The Appeals Judgement in the case of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, three former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), will be rendered on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 9:30 in Courtroom I.

The case concerns crimes committed between 1 March and 30 September 2008 in the Dukagijn area of Western Kosovo. On 3 April 2008, the Trial Chamber acquitted Haradinaj and Balaj of all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced Brahimaj to six years’ imprisonment for cruel treatment and torture of two persons at the Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters of the KLA.

The Defence of Brahimaj and the Prosecution filed their appeal briefs in July 2008. Haradinaj and Balaj were released after the judgement was rendered. On 25 May 2009, Brahimaj was granted provisional release pending the hearing of his appeal. Last Friday, he was ordered to return to the Detention Unit for the purpose of hearing the Appeals Judgement.

In the case of Vlastimir Dorđević, former Assistant Minister of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Chief of its Public Security Department, on trial for war crimes committed against Kosovo Albanians, closing arguments will be heard on 13 and 14 July 2010 from 9 a.m. onwards in Courtroom I.

A Status Conference in the case of Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić will be held on 14 July at 3 p.m. in Courtroom III.

Hearings in the trial of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović have been cancelled for the remainder of the week and will resume next week.

Hearings in the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, Momčilo Perišić, Radovan Karadžić continue this week and next as scheduled.

Finally, I would like to highlight a Decision made by the Deputy Registrar earlier this week:

The Deputy Registrar denied Vojislav Šešelj’s requests for the Tribunal to fund his defence team, following the Accused’s continued failure to comply with the Registry’s requests to provide the necessary documentation regarding his financial status.

This issue dates as far back as 26 February 2003, when Šešelj first requested for that his Defence be financed by the Tribunal. The Registry and the Trial Chamber have repeatedly called upon the Accused to provide the Registry with all documents needed to prove that he does not have the financial means to ensure his defence. The Accused has to date failed to comply with these requests. Consequently, the Registry was unable to determine the indegency of the Accused. The Deputy Registrar therefore denied his request.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Ljiljana Pitesa, Public Information Assistant of the Office of the Prosecutor, was present to respond to journalists’ questions.


Asked to confirm whether Judge Antonetti wrote to the Serbian Government requesting more information regarding the media claims in Serbia that Šešelj had ordered the political assassination of Tomislav Nikolić from his cell in the Detention Unit and whether the Government had responded, Nerma Jelačić responded she could not confirm at this moment but would get back to the journalist later. (Subsequently, Jelačić confirmed that Judge Antonetti wrote to Serbian authorities about this issue but has received no answer to date.)

She added that the Registry is aware of the allegations published in the media and that it is investigating the claims that there has been a breach of security in the Detention Unit. Thus far there has been no indication proving the claims of the media. However, the investigation is ongoing and should the result show that communications facilities in the DU have been abused the Registrar could take action in accordance with the relevant rules and guidelines.