Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
This week the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme is hosting a visit of Croatian war crimes trial monitors from non-governmental organisations Documenta, the Civic Committee for Human Rights and the Centre for Peace, and journalists from a range of Croatian news agencies. During the four-day visit, the monitors and journalists will attend the closing arguments in the case of Prlić and others. The group will meet officials from all three organs of the Tribunal to discuss such issues including media coverage of war crimes issues in Croatia, command responsibility and joint criminal enterprise, trial advocacy and equality of arms. The visit has been facilitated by the Tribunal’s Outreach programme in cooperation with the Croatian NGO Documenta.
Turning now to the courtroom schedule:
A Status Conference in the case of Vujadin Popović and others will be held this afternoon at 3:00pm in Courtroom I.
In the case of Ramush Haradinaj and others, a Status Conference will be held on Wednesday 23 February at 9.00am in Courtroom II.
In the case of Momčilo Perišić, this week the Trial Chamber ordered that the parties file their closing briefs no later than 4 March. Closing arguments will be heard between 28 and 31 March at a time and location to be confirmed.
In the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, a Pre-Defence Conference will be held on Monday 4 April, prior to the start of the Defence case on Monday 11 April.
Closing arguments in the trial of Jadranko Prlić and others, and hearings in the trials of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, Radovan Karadžić, and Zdravko Tolimir continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor, made no statement.
A journalist asked about Radovan Karadžić’s request for access to ex-parte filings in the Slobodan Milošević case, and the Prosecution’s response that no such filings exist – a response that has been contradicted in published comments by former Principal Trial Attorney Geoffrey Nice.
Frederick Swinnen responded that the OTP would not be commenting on statements in the media by Geoffrey Nice, which were made in his private capacity as he no longer works for the Office of the Prosecutor.
A journalist asked about the request to the Government of Croatia from the Defence teams in the trial of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin for access to the ‘Integrated Register of Croatian Homeland War Defenders’. Would the ICTY be requesting that the Government of Croatia submit this document to the Defence teams? Nerma Jelačić responded that a motion for a Binding Order on the Government of Croatia to produce these documents had been filed by Mico Stanišić’s Defence team yesterday and it would now be for the Trial Chamber to consider this motion.
Asked whether the Tribunal has had any contact with the Croatian Academic Community (HAZ), Jelačić responded that the Outreach programme has already organised a number of lectures for the students of Zagreb Law Faculty. The aim of the Outreach Programme is to extend the programme to other universities and law schools in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Following the success of a High School programme in Kosovo, the Outreach team also aims to implement a lecture series for high schools in the region, including in Croatia. Feedback from students and teachers in Kosovo on these non-political, factual lectures on the Tribunal’s work and achievements has been extremely positive. Officials will be seeking to meet with representatives of the Croatian Ministry of Sports and Education to request their approval for such a programme. Talks on this issue are underway with the Serbian Ministry of Education.
Asked whether there has been any attempt to incorporate facts established by the Tribunal into high school text books in Croatia, Jelačić responded the Tribunal had not been approached on this subject. Were such an approach to be made, the Outreach Programme would be ready to assist with such an important project.
Asked whether a date had been fixed for the visit of the Prosecutor to Belgrade, Frederick Swinnen responded that the date of this visit would be finalised very shortly, and this would fall during the second half of February. Swinnen reiterated that this mission can be considered as a “technical” in nature. The programme is currently under discussion and will be made public once finalised. The purpose is to meet with authorities to discuss operational aspects of the cooperation and would not include meetings with the Press and the diplomatic community. Another visit will take place before the next report by the Chief Prosecutor to the Security Council.