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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 23 April 2008

Date:  23.04.2008
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good morning,

Judge Fausto Pocar, President of the ICTY, and Sandro Calvani, Director of UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute) earlier this month exchanged  letters initiating a best practices project aimed at contributing to the Tribunal’s legacy.

Following the exchange of letters, the ICTY with the assistance of UNICRI will draft a compilation of the Tribunal’s best practices which can be transferred to other international and domestic regimes dealing with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 

The best practices project will compile the Tribunal’s expertise on all aspects of proceedings from investigations to the enforcement of sentences, with the manual due for completion by autumn 2008. 

This project is an important element in President Pocar’s vision of the Tribunal’s legacy playing a significant role in the future prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by domestic judiciaries, particularly those in the region of the former Yugoslavia. 

Yesterday, the appeals judgement was rendered in the case of Hadžihasanović and Kubura. The Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber’s findings in part, including their failure to take the necessary and reasonable measure to punish their subordinates for the cruel treatment of detainees at the Zenica Music School and the plunder committed in Šušanj, Ovnak, Brajkovići and Grahovčići in June 1993 and in Vareš in November 1993. However, it also granted the two defendant’s appeals in part and reduced their sentences. Hadžihasanović’s from five years’ to three years and six months of imprisonment and Kubura’s from 30 months to two years’ imprisonment. As credit was given for the time already served, Hadžihasanović today left the Detention Unit of the Tribunal.

On Monday, Rasim Delić’s defence rested its case. A total of 11 viva voce were heard during the defence case. Both parties are to file their final briefs no later than 30 May 2008. The Prosecution’s closing argument have been scheduled for 9 June 2008 and that of the defence for 10 June 2008.

Lukić’s defence team in Milutinović et al. completed its presentation of evidence. It was the last defence team to present evidence. Before resting its case, the Defence of some of the accused has called to stand three handwriting experts. The Trial Chamber is also considering calling a limited number of witnesses.

A pre-defence conference was held in the Prlić et al. case this Monday. The defence case is due to start on 5 May 2008 in courtroom III at 2:15pm. Yesterday, one of the accused, Milivoj Petković, was granted provisional release on humanitarian grounds until the commencement of the defence case. 

As regards court room schedule:

This coming Monday, the pre-trial conference followed by the opening statements in the case of Stanišić and Simatović will take place at 1:15pm as scheduled. The Trial Chamber has ordered Dr. Falke, the Detention Unit’s Medical Officer, to appear as a witness during the pre-trial conference in order to provide the parties and the Trial Chamber with additional details on Stanišić’s health and capability of following proceedings.

A status conference for Dragomir Milosevic has been scheduled for Tuesday 29 April at 10am in courtroom II.

Hearings in Šešelj, and Gotovina et al. continue as scheduled.

Please note that no press briefing will take place next Wednesday as the Tribunal will be closed for Queen’s day. The next press briefing will be held on Thursday 1 May at 12:00.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


Asked whether the ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz recently had any discussion with European officials and more specifically with any Dutch officials regarding the cooperation of Serbia, Olga Kavran replied that the Prosecutor has regular contacts with European officials. In these contacts he had not said anything different to what he had said in Belgrade during his visit. She reminded the journalists that the official reporting line is to the U.N. Security Council and not to the European Union and that the detailed assessment will be provided in the report to the Security Council. The written report is due mid-May and the oral presentation is scheduled for the beginning of June. She stressed again that cooperation consisted of several elements like access to documents, access to archives, the very important issue of protection of witnesses and, of course, the search for the remaining fugitives.

Asked whether there was anything new after his visit to Belgrade, Olga Kavran replied that some documents have been delivered, which had to be analysed to see if they correspond to the requests. She added that promises were made in respect of other documents which are expected in the course of this and next week.