Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
With the start of proceedings this week in the Stanišić & Simatović trial, the Tribunal currently has the highest number of accused on trial since its establishment. A total of 28 persons in eight different trials are currently answering charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity among others. An additional six accused are awaiting the commencement of proceedings and four remain on the run from international justice.
The trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović commenced with the Prosecution’s opening statement. This week, during an earlier status conference, the Presiding Judge Patrick Robinson ordered the trial to proceed without the presence of Stanišić who refuses to follow proceedings from either the courtroom or the video conference link that has been established for him in the Tribunal’s Detention Unit. The Trial Chamber also ordered that Stanišić’s health be closely monitored with frequent reports being provided to the bench throughout the trial.
On Tuesday, Astrit Haraqija, former Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport in Kosovo, and his associate Bajrush Morina pleaded not guilty to charges of witness intimidation. Both have been indicted of trying to persuade a protected witness against testifying in the Haradinaj and others trial. The start date of their trial will be scheduled in due course.
Following a status conference before the Appeals Chamber, Dragomir Milošević was denied provisional release on the basis that his brother’s health and his son’s wedding did not represent the required special circumstances to grant provisional release.
It’s another busy week ahead at the Tribunal with the defence case in the Prlić and others case due to commence on Monday 5 May at 14:15 in courtroom III. The accused Jadranko Prlić, Bruno Stojić, Milivoj Petković and Berislav Pušić should all return from the provisional release before Monday.
On Tuesday, the Prosecution’s closing arguments in the case of Ljube Boškoski and Johan Tarčulovski will take place in courtroom I at 14:15. The Defence’s closing arguments will be heard on Wednesday morning in courtroom III.
A status conference will be held on Tuesday in the case of Mićo Stanišić. The accused – who has been on provisional release - has been ordered to return to the Detention Unit no later than Friday 2 May. Another status conference for Momčilo Perišić has also been scheduled for Tuesday. The accused will not be present as he is still on provisional release.
Hearings in Šešelj and Gotovina et al. trials continue as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.
Asked whether the Prosecution will file an appeal against the Haradinaj et al. Judgement, Olga Kavran replied that an appeal will indeed be filed, the notice of which will be filed and distributed to the public in the course of tomorrow. Asked whether she could provide more details regarding the exact nature of the appeal, Olga Kavran replied she could not do so but that she will be happy to answer any questions regarding the appeal once the notice has been filed.
Asked why the Prosecution waited until last Friday to unseal the indictment against Haraqija and Morina, Olga Kavran replied that it is up to the Chambers to order a seal on an indictment and decide when to lift it. Asked whether it was the Prosecution who had requested the indictment to be sealed and why the indictment had been kept confidential for so long, Olga Kavran replied that she would have to look into the exact procedure before answering the questions.