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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 10 November 2010

Date: 10.11.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

I will first turn to two key decisions rendered this past week:

In the case of Radovan Karadžić, the Trial Chamber last Wednesday ordered the suspension of proceedings for a period of one month. This is to enable Karadžić to review around 14,000 pages of material containing potentially exculpatory information, disclosed to him by the Prosecution at the end of October 2010. The adjournment entered into effect last Thursday. The Chamber indicated that should there be witnesses who have to testify during this particular time, the one month period will be adjusted accordingly.

On Monday, the Tribunal’s President, Judge Patrick Robinson, denied early release to Zoran Žigić, a former guard at Keraterm camp in Prijedor area of north western Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed against detainees in the Keraterm, Omarska and Trnopolje camps. In 2006 he was sent to Austria to serve the remainder of his sentence. In his decision, President Robinson found that, although Žigić “displayed some – albeit very limited evidence of rehabilitation”, the “high gravity” of Žigić’s crimes and the amount of time he has spent in detention did “not militate in favour of his release.” It is the practice of the Tribunal to consider convicted persons to be eligible for early relase when they have served at least two-thirds of their sentences, which in his case will be around 16 December 2014.

Onto the courtroom schedule for this week and next:

A Status Conference in the Appeals Case of Milan and Sredoje Lukić will be held tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

In the trial of Momčilo Perišić, proceedings were adjourned last Friday and will resume on Monday 15 November at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 2.

Hearings in the cases of 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 coming Tuesday for Eid al-Adha.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

Mr. Brammertz, the Prosecutor, was on an official visit in Moscow on 8 and 9 November at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Mr. Brammertz met with Mr. Alexander Yakovenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Kirill Gevorgian, the Head of the Legal Department of the Ministry. They discussed the current trial and appeals work, progress in the completion strategy and cooperation of States. Mr. Brammertz was also received by Mr. Alexander Zvyagintsev, the Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia.

During this visit, Mr. Brammertz took the opportunity to address a conference on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trial organised at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Next Monday, 15 November, Mr. Brammertz will be in Belgrade. He will meet with Mr. Boris Tadic, the President, Mr. Mirko Cvetković, the Prime Minister, Mr. Rasim Ljajić, Minister and President of the National Council for Cooperation with the Tribunal.

He will also meet with Mr. Vladimir Vukčević, the War Crimes Prosecutor, and other members of the Action Team, the group of officials coordinating the search for fugitives.

The key issue to be discussed is the need to locate and arrest the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić.
There will be an opportunity to meet with the press on Monday at noon, at the Office of the Prosecutor for War Crimes in Belgrade.
The Prosecutor's next report to the UNSC will be submitted after the visit to Belgrade.


Asked how long the Prosecutor would be visiting Belgrade and the purpose of the visit, Swinnen said that the Prosecutor would have a full day of meetings with officials on Monday 15 November. He added that the Prosecutor would primarily address Serbia’s cooperation with the OTP prior to submitting his report to the UNSC. The report will address cooperation with Serbia and other States, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The Prosecutor has already traveled to Sarajevo and Zagreb in the past weeks. Swinnen added that during his visit to Belgrade, the Prosecutor will be receiving the latest update from key operational actors dealing with the search for fugitives.

Asked if there was an issue between the Tribunal and Russia regarding cooperation, Swinnen said that support from the international community remains crucial for the OTP. It is therefore a common topic discussed with States and, in particular with permanent members of the UNSC, such as Russia. 

Asked if Jelena Rasić was still in the Tribunal’s custody in the UNDU, Jelačić confirmed that Rasić was indeed still in the UNDU.

Asked for an update on the health status of Vojislav Šešelj, Jelačić said that it is not the practice of the Tribunal to provide updates and details on the health status of an accused and referred the journalist to the statement made at last Wednesday’s press briefing.

Asked if the confidential amicus curiae appointed in the Šešelj case has started investigations, Jelacic said that she was not able to comment until the matter has been concluded.