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Weekly Press Briefing - 15 February 2012

Date:  15.02.2012
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

Yesterday the Appeals Chamber panel hearing the appeals of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač issued a decision denying an Application and proposed Amicus Curiae Brief filed on 13 January 2012 by 12 specialists in international humanitarian law. The Brief requests that the Appeals Chamber reconsider certain Trial Chamber findings concerning unlawful artillery attacks during Operation Storm. The Brief was filed pursuant to Rule 74 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence which provides that a Chamber may, if it considers it desirable for the proper determination of a case, invite or grant leave to a State, organisation or person to appear before it and make submissions. In concluding that the Brief would not assist in determining the issues on appeal, the Appeals Chamber found that the brief repeats the work of the Trial Chamber and the appeal briefs of the parties. The Chamber also noted that certain expert reports included in the Application are also part of evidence Gotovina seeks to admit on appeal. Finally, the Chamber observed that the Application failed to disclose that two of the specialists appear to have an association with the Gotovina defence team.

In the case of Zdravko Tolimir, Trial Chamber II ordered yesterday that the parties submit their final briefs by Thursday 31 May 2012. The Prosecution’s closing arguments have been scheduled for Tuesday 21 August 2012, to be followed the next day by those of the Defence. Zdravko Tolimir, a former high ranking official of the Bosnian Serb Army, is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed between July and November 1995 against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and Žepa, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. His trial began in February 2010 and the Prosecution completed the presentation of its evidence on 17 January 2012, after calling a total of 126 witnesses. The Defence case started on 23 January 2012. The Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of the final Defence witness, Slavko Čulić, who was a Brigade Commander in the 1st Krajina Corps of the Republika Srpska Army during the relevant period. This witness is expected to complete his testimony this week.

A Status Conference in the case of Goran Hadžić will be held this Friday afternoon at 14:30 in Courtroom I. The last Status Conference in this case was held on Thursday, 10 November 2011.

In the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj and others, hearings scheduled for this week and next have been cancelled. There is one remaining Prosecution witness left to testify and the schedule for the testimony of this witness will be confirmed in due course.

Proceedings in the trials of Radovan Karadžić as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.

In the Karadžić case, the Trial Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Momir Nikolić, former Assistant Commander for Security and Intelligence of the Bratunac Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army

In the trial of Stanišić and Simatović, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Stanišić Defence witness Osman Selak, former officer of the Yugoslav People’s Army and Republika Srpska Army in Banja Luka.
Office of the Prosecutor:

Aleksandar Kontić, member of the Prosecutor’s Immediate Office, made no statement.

    Asked by a journalist whether there were any further investigations underway into members of the Defence team of Milan Lukić regarding possible contempt allegations, Aleksandar Kontić explained he was not is a position to comment on this issue.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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