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Weekly Press Briefing - 21 October 2010

Date: 21.10.2010
Time: 11:45

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good morning,

I wish to first flag up two key decisions:

In the case of Vojislav Šešelj, the Trial Chamber on Tuesday ordered a new medical assessment of the Accused to be conducted by a panel of three experts, including a cardiologist.

The Chamber received in September three confidential medical reports, which gave a reassuring assessment of the health of the Accused, finding that his life does not seem be in danger. The Chamber however finds it necessary to obtain further information on certain aspects of his health which the Reports were unable to address, including the Accused’s heart problems.

Last Friday, the Tribunal’s President, Judge Patrick Robinson, declined to grant Haradin Bala a remission of his sentence. Under French law, Bala was eligible to benefit from reductions in his sentence. In denying his request, the President took into account the high gravity of Bala’s crimes and the fact that to date he has demonstrated only limited rehabilitation.

Bala, a former guard at the Lapušnik/Llapushnik prison camp of the Kosovo Liberation Army, was convicted on 30 November 2005 of crimes he committed against Serb and Kosovo Albanian civilians between May and July 1998 and was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment. His sentence was affirmed by the Appeals Chamber on 27 September 2007 and he was transferred to France to serve the remainder of his sentence on 14 May 2008.

Onto a separate issue, this time in the case of Radovan Karadžić:

Following the Rule 54bis hearing which was held last Friday, the Trial Chamber issued on Tuesday an invitation to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to submit a report on the status of its searches of the documents requested by the Accused in his original Motion of 31 August 2009 and follow-up request of 7 January 2010. The sought documents pertain to the alleged clandestine supply of arms. The report is to be submitted by 15 November 2010.

Onto the courtroom schedule:

A Status Conference in the re-trial of Haradinaj and others will be held on Tuesday, 26 October at 10 a.m. in Courtroom III.

Proceedings in the trial of Momčilo Perišić are expected to resume on Wednesday, 27 October at 12 p.m. in a Courtroom to be confirmed.

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

Finally, please note that the Tribunal will be closed this Monday for the UN Day.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser of the Prosecutor, was not present.


Asked for the name of the Amicus Curiae Investigator appointed in the contempt case for Vojislav Šešelj, Jelačić confirmed that an Amicus Investigator has been appointed by the Registry to investigate allegations of witness intimidation by OTP investigators. Jelačić however explained that the name of the Amicus Investigator remains confidential which is in line with the Tribunal’s Practice Direction on Procedure for the investigation and prosecution of contempt before the Tribunal. The Practice Direction, issued by the President of the Tribunal, states that both the Chamber's request to appoint an amicus investigator as well as the Registry's order appointing the amicus should be filed ex-parte and confidentially.

Asked whether the investigation was suspended pending the Prosecution’s appeal of the Trial Chamber’s decision to look into Šešelj’s accusations, Jelačić said that she would have to get back to the journalist with confirmation.