Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Since the ICTY’s closure on 31 December 2017, the Mechanism maintains this website as part of its mission to preserve and promote the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunals.

 Visit the Mechanism's website.

ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 20th Oct 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 20 October 1999

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 20 October

Time: 11:30


Jim Landale, Spokesman
for Registry and Chambers, made the following announcements:

The President
of the Tribunal, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, and the Registrar, Dorothee
de Sampayo, met separately with the Croatian Ambassador yesterday afternoon
and were officially notified that all the remaining legal impediments holding
up the extradition of Mladen Naletilic, or ‘Tuta’, had been removed.
However, as you are all aware, Mr Naletilic has been taken ill and is currently
in hospital. The Registrar has made the necessary practical arrangements for
international medical experts to fly to Zagreb on short notice to examine Mr
Naletilic should it be required.

I will, of course,
keep you posted of any developments.



Paul Risley, Spokesman
for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following announcements:

The Prosecutor,
Madame Carla Del Ponte will visit the region of the former Yugoslavia this coming
week. Her visit will take her to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),
the Kosovo region of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Croatia.

Her trip to the
region comes at a very critical time regarding the Tribunal’s mandate and
work in the countries and regions of the former Yugoslavia.

In Kosovo, the
work of the forensic teams in amassing the clear evidence of war crimes and
atrocities is coming to a pause as winter comes. While in Pristina, Madame Del
Ponte will meet with General Reinhart, the new Commander of KFOR, to discuss
the continuing and close cooperation between the Tribunal and KFOR regarding
the gathering of evidence of war crimes. She will also meet with Bernard Kouchner,
the head of UNMIK, as well as others in the international community to discuss
the assistance the OTP can provide UNMIK in establishing a local criminal justice
system and for the local prosecution of war crimes suspects.

In Bosnia, the
Prosecutor will likely meet with the Presidency, as well as with senior officials
of the international community, including the new SFOR commander, General Adams.
The Prosecutor notes the recent statements supportive of the work of the Tribunal
made by authorities within the Republika Srpska region of Bosnia.

The Prosecutor
will also visit Croatia and meet with senior government officials regarding
the state of Croatia’s relations with the Tribunal. The Prosecutor notes
Croatia’s continuing non-compliance with the Tribunal, a fact that has
now been taken up by the Security Council.

Regarding the
Jelisic case, the Prosecutor, Madame Carla Del Ponte, notes that Goran Jelisic
was found guilty of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war.
Regarding the charge of genocide, the Judgement raises fundamental issues of
law. This is the first decision of its kind in the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,
although the Rwanda Tribunal has already begun to elaborate on the particular
elements of genocide that must be proved in a criminal case. The OTP will therefore
look closely at this Judgement in the light of the other jurisprudence and consider
whether to lodge an appeal.

Regarding the
case of Mladen Naletilic, the Prosecutor met yesterday with the Ambassador from
Croatia to The Hague. The Prosecutor welcomes Croatia’s admission that
they are now prepared to complete the transfer of Mr Naletilic to The Hague
for trial. Regarding his health, the OTP is now examining the medical information
provided by the Ambassador and may decide to request of the ICTY Registrar that
a medical team be sent on behalf of the Tribunal to establish Mr Naletilic’s

Yesterday, the
Prosecutor also met with the Ambassador of Rwanda to the Benelux countries,
the Prosecutor General of Rwanda and the Military Prosecutor. This was the first
time that an official delegation from Rwanda has visited the Tribunal in The
Hague. The Prosecutor welcomed the delegation and expressed her appreciation
for the close and excellent cooperation between the Office of the Prosecutor
for the ICTR and Rwanda.



whether the OTP would request a team of medical experts to examine Naletilic
(‘Tuta’), Risley replied that the OTP would ask the Registrar to
request that a team be sent to examine him. He added that based on an examination
of the medical information that the Ambassador of Croatia already provided
yesterday, his immediate condition was in crisis.

whether OTP had medical experts, who could carry out the examination, Risley
replied that they did not and that they would have to rely on outside medical

added that this was in fact what the Registrar had done by making a medical
team ready to go at short notice and that those arrangements had already
been made. Risley concluded that the OTP might wish to ask for outside advice
here in The Hague.

for specific dates of the Prosecutor’s visit, Risley replied that she
would be leaving early next week. He added that the trip would take her to
Skopje, Pristina, and the following week to Sarajevo and Zagreb.

whether she would meet with officials of Republika Srpska during her visit,
Risley replied that he would have more details soon.

to clear up the issue over the fact that the Croatian Ambassador had stated
that all legal obstacles were now exhausted, however, that ‘Tuta’
was still appealing to the Constitutional Court, Risley replied that the OTP
received a letter yesterday from the Ambassador indicating that all legal
avenues were exhausted. He added that as far as the Tribunal was aware, the
government had established that they were prepared to transfer him to The

for further information concerning the ‘Tuta’ indictment and the
issue of non-compliance being raised at the Constitutional Court in Croatia,
Risley replied that it was a matter for the Constitutional Court to decide.
He added that it was not an issue that had been brought to the attention of
the OTP.

about an article that appeared in the Dutch Press last week which stated that
arrests had been made by Dutch forces in Kosovo and that the arrested persons
would not come to The Hague but be tried by local courts, Risley replied that
he would provide a copy of the Prosecutor’s policy regarding the prosecution
of war suspects in Kosovo. He added that it was very much in the interest
of the Tribunal to allow a local criminal justice system to bring prosecutions
against war crimes suspects that this Tribunal did not have interest in prosecuting
specifically. He concluded that the Tribunal was willing to provide assistance
and information to local authorities that are part of UNMIK to assist them
in the apprehension and prosecution of specific local war crimes suspects
in Kosovo.

what kind of assistance the OTP would give, Risley replied that the OTP would
assist them in setting up their own Prosecution offices in Kosovo and also
give information to both KFOR military units, such as the Dutch and also to
the International UN police who are also located there.

whether there had yet been a date set for the written judgement to be released
in the Jelisic case, Landale responded that no date was known yet and that
it would probably take some time.

when the issue of Croatia’s non-compliance would be dealt with by the
Security Council, Landale replied that the matter rested with the Security
Council. He added that the President’s report was sent at the time when
the East Timor situation arose, which could have been the reason for any delay.
The Tribunal had been given no indication as to when the issue of non-compliance
would be dealt with, he added.