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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 21st Jul 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 21 July 1999

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 21 July 1999

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

Firstly, Judge
Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, the President of the International Tribunal, will be
going on an official visit to Vienna on Friday, where she will meet with the
Austrian Minister of Justice and the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Relating to the
Celebici appeals: On 19 July, the Appeals Chamber, with Judge Hunt presiding,
ordered that the Cross-Appellant, Zejnil Delalic, and the Office of the Prosecutor
should file submissions on the Motion to Sever Appeals by Wednesday 28 July

We will be providing
you with a full account of where we stand with the Celebici Appeals in the update
on Friday.

Finally, just
a reminder that on Monday the closing arguments in the Blaskic case will begin.



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

As of this morning,
five forensic teams (British, Canadian, French, Swedish and Danish) are in Kosovo.
A Belgian and a German team are expected to arrive later this week. Both of
these teams have personnel already in Kosovo, unloading equipment and preparing
to begin activities.

The Swiss, US
and Dutch teams have now left Kosovo. However, an advanced US party remains
and may attempt to restart involvement by a US team.



Asked to confirm
whether or not written submissions had been filed in the Blaskic case, Landale
confirmed that no written submissions had yet been received. He added that
they could arrive in the next few days and that if they did, they would
be distributed to members of the press.

Asked whether
there was any concern that the Prosecutor was "taking on another government"
with regard to Croatia, as it had with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(FRY), Risley responded that the concern of the OTP was that investigations
be able to continue, whether with or without the cooperation of specific

Asked whether
there was any indication as to when the Prosecutor would request the President
to inform the Security Council on this matter, Risley replied it had not
yet been presented to the Security Council.

Asked why
he felt the meetings in Zagreb had been so successful when the Prosecutor’s
statement seemed to suggest the opposite, Risley replied that, in relation
to the long-term goals of the Tribunal, the series of meetings that had
taken place had been very important. He noted that they may not have been
seen by everyone involved as successful, however, in regard to the overall
goal of continuing the investigations and determining facts with regard
to activities pertaining to the conflict in Croatia, they were essential.

Asked whether
this was the first time the Prosecutor has considered reporting Croatia
to the Security Council for non-compliance, Risley confirmed that it was.

Asked exactly
whom the Prosecutor had met while she was in Bosnia, Risley replied that
she had meetings with two Ministers in the Republika Srpska and that she
had also met with President Izetbegovic. He added that the meeting had been
very successful, as Izetbegovic was supportive of the work of the Tribunal.
In Kosovo the meetings were designed to assess the work that needed to be
done by the investigators. The visit to Kosovo also provided the Prosecutor
with the personal satisfaction of entering the country she had been denied
entry to for 15 months.

Asked whether
KFOR would be keeping a running total of all the sites in Kosovo, Risley
confirmed that they would be tallying reports of possible sites. These sites
would not be confirmed until the investigative teams gained access to them.
The locations of some sites could be withheld if further investigations
were necessary. He said that KFOR had stated during the Prosecutor’s
visit that they had found something less that 200 alleged grave sites. The
investigation of the majority of these sites would be possible, he said,
adding that many of these sites were believed to contain only a few bodies.

Asked to assess
the amount of work in Kosovo the OTP had completed at this stage, Risley
answered that at this stage it would be too early to say. He said that when
the Prosecutor met with KFOR they discussed what assistance KFOR would continue
to give to the Tribunal including guarding sites, determining new ones and
giving logistical assistance across Kosovo. He added that cooperation with
KFOR would be essential in the future.

Paul Risley
remarked that a German team present in Kosovo was using high tech equipment
to map sites of destruction, enabling them to gain a complete overview of
these areas.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor’s meeting with Izetbegovic had been planned in advance,
Risley confirmed that it was a scheduled meeting.

Asked when
the Prosecutor would be leaving the Tribunal, Risley replied that she would
be commencing her new job on the 15 September, and would therefore leave
at the beginning of September.

Asked whether
a new candidate had been chosen for the Prosecutor’s position and how
many candidates had been proposed so far, Risley gave no indication. However,
he confirmed that it would be standard practice for her to write a letter
to the Secretary-General in due course proposing her choice of candidates.
Risley did not know whether this letter would be made available to the Press.