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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 8th Apr 2005


ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 28.05.2003

Time: 11.30

and Chambers:

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

On behalf of the
Outreach Programme:

1. On Friday 23
May, Outreach hosted a visit of a cross-party group of MP's, city counselors
and party officials from Serbia and Montenegro. The visit, sponsored by Pax
Christi in the Netherlands, was part of a week long study visit in The Hague
and Brussels entitled, "Serbia and Montenegro: Towards a European Future". While
at the Tribunal the MP's attended a briefing by officials from the Registry
and attended the Milosevic trial.

2. On Friday and
Saturday, Outreach and the Humanitarian Law Center from Belgrade organised a
conference on Command Responsibility in International and National Law. The
conference was the first segment of a two-part event supported by the Peace
and Stability Fund of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by
judges, prosecutors and other senior legal professionals from Serbia and Montenegro
and Croatia. This timely seminar is due to resume in Zagreb, Croatia on 13 and
14 June.

3. This week,
Outreach is hosting a group of over 30 law students from Sarajevo, Banja Luka
and Mostar. The visit is supported by the Open Society Fund of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and is aimed at providing them with a thorough and intensive introductory programme
to the Tribunal.

Among the court
documents we have received since the last briefing, the following are brought
to your attention:

From the
Appeals Chamber:

In The Prosecutor
v. Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric
on 23 May the Appeals Chamber
(Judge Meron, presiding, Judges Pocar, Schomburg, Shahabuddeen, and Guney) issued
a "Decision on Prosecution Interlocutory Appeals on the Use of Statements
Not Admitted Into Evidence Pursuant to Rule 92 bis As a Basis To Challenge Credibility
and to Refresh Memory
", in which the Appeals Chamber granted the First
Appeal and Second Appeal and quashed the appealed decisions.

On the same day
in The Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaskic the Appeals Chamber (Judge Meron,
presiding, Judges Pocar, Hunt, Guney and Gunawardana) issued its "Decision
on ‘Prosecution’s Preliminary Response and Motion For Clarification Regarding
Decision on Joint Motion of Hadzihasanovic, Alagic and Kubura of 24 January
", in which the Appeals Chamber granted the Motion for Clarification
"to the extent that clarification is necessary for the implementation
of Decision I

From the
Trial Chambers:

Following the
amendments to the Tribunal’s Statute adopted by the Security Council in resolution
1481 on 19 May 2003, we have received two Orders designating an ad litem
Judge to be a Pre-trial Judge in two cases. The Orders from Judge Liu, presiding
Judge of Trial Chamber I, designate Judge Canivell to the Prosecutor v. Milan
and to the Prosecutor v. Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala and Isak Musliu.

On 23 May in the
Prosecutor v. Blagojevic, Obrenovic and Jokic, we received an Order for
the "Separation of Proceedings and Scheduling Order", which
ordered the following:

The dismissal
of the remaining charges against Dragan Obrenovic in the Indictment;
The separation
of the proceedings against Dragan Obrenovic from the proceedings against
the two co-accused charged under the Indictment;
The issuance
by the Registrar of a new case number for the separate proceedings against
Dragan Obrenovic.
The Prosecution
and counsel for Dragan Obrenovic shall, by Monday 28 July 2003, file all
submissions and provide statements of any witnesses they might call in relation
to the sentencing hearing; and
The date
for the sentencing hearing shall be fixed by further Order.

On 22 May, in
the Prosecutor v. Momcilo Gruban we received the "Decision on
Second Defence Application for Variation of Conditions of Provisional Release
in which the Trial Chamber denied the application.

In terms of other
court documents:

On 22 May, in
The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic we received the "Prosecution’s
Submission on the Costs of Restoration of the Old Town of Dubrovnik

In the same case
and on the same day we received the "Amici Curiae Observations Upon
Prosecution Submission of Expert Report of Dr. Ivan Kristan Filed 25 April 2003
Pursuant to Rule 94 bis

On 23 May, in
The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milosevic we received the "Prosecution
Submission of Second Expert Report of Ewa Tabeau Pursuant to Rule 94 bis
which is entitled "Population Losses in the ‘Siege’ of Sarajevo 10 September
1992 to 10 August 1994

Again in the Milosevic
case and on the same day, we received the "Amici Curiae Reply to Prosecution
Motion for the Admission of Testimony Pursuant to Rule 92bis (D) Filed 20 May

On 22 May, in
the Prosecutor v. Naser Oric we received a "Preliminary Motion
Regarding Defects in the Form of the Indictment
" from Oric’s defence

On 22 May in the
Prosecutor v. Blagojevic, Obrenovic and Jokic, we received the "Prosecution’s
Motion to Dismiss Charges Against Accused Dragan Obrenovic

On 23 May in the
same case we received a "Decision" from the Registrar, Hans
Holthuis, in which is decided to "assign Mr. Jan Sjocrona, attorney
at law from The Hague, as independent legal counsel, for the purpose of advising
the accused on his rights in relation to assignment of counsel, and assisting
him in preparing documentation, if any, that may follow from their consultations
on the issue

On 26 May
in the same case we received the "Prosecution’s Motion for Leave to
File Third Amended Joinder Indictment

On 22 May, in
The Prosecutor v. Vojislav Seselj, we received "Submission no. 13"
addressed to the President of the ICTY.

In the same case
on 27 May, we received a response from the Senior Legal Officer of Trial Chamber
II to Vojislav Seselj’s "Submission number 8".

Finally, in The
Prosecutor v. Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric
on 27 May, we
received information that the closing arguments will be heard from 30 June until
4 July.

Copies of all
the documents I have mentioned are available to you on request.


Asked whether
there was any indication as to when Obrenovic and Nikolic would testify, Hartmann
replied that unless mentioned in court, the Tribunal gave no information regarding
future witnesses and when they would testify. As far as this case was concerned,
she added, there was also currently a 30 day break.

Asked whether
there was any word on Milosevic’s condition of health and whether there would
be a hearing tomorrow, Landale replied that he did not know at this point. He
added that he was still waiting to receive further information concerning his
condition. Yesterday, Milosevic had a fever. Landale concluded that he believed
that later on this afternoon he would hear and an advisory would be put out.

Asked whether
he believed that it was typical that the Trial Chamber in the Milosevic case
was pressing the Prosecution to hurry up with their case, but that during cross-examination
Milosevic was given as much time as he wanted. Then when the Prosecution asked
for another 100 days, the Trial Chamber said that they were wasting time, while
Milosevic continued to waste time, make speeches in court and had now fallen
ill. The journalist stated that it was typical, that the case was suffering
because of Milosevic, but the Trial Chamber still appeared to be coming down
on the Prosecution no matter what.

Landale replied
that he did not agree with the journalist. The Prosecution had been given 100
trial days to complete their case. Obviously when Milosevic was ill that did
not count as one of those trial days. The Prosecution was, from the opinion
of the Trial Chamber, aware of the time period they had to present their case
and the Trial Chamber would continue to manage the trial as they had done throughout.
One of the reasons the 100 days had been calculated in this way was that if
there were further illnesses or days lost, either through Milosevic not being
well enough to attend or for whatever other genuine reason, then that would
not be a matter to penalise the Prosecution for. He believed that everyone was
quite clear as to exactly what the situation now was, he concluded.

A journalist
remarked on the allegations made during the Milosevic case by amici curiae
Tapuskovic that it was Muslims who had in fact shelled the Markale market
place in Sarajevo. He added that Tapuskovic had not shown any proof of this
and that it was entirely unsubstantiated. He concluded that Tapuskovic was told
by the Trial Chamber that this belonged in the Defence case.

Asked what the
position was of Registry and Chamber was concerning him making these allegations
and whether there was anything that could help define the role of the friends
of the court, Landale replied that the amici curiae were under the direction
of the Judges and specifically the presiding Judge. He said that the transcript
showed very clearly Judge May’s interventions on a number of occasions during
that part of the cross examination. Judge May pointed out that this should be
brought up as part of the Defence case. If it were part of a defence case it
would be expected that witnesses would testify to that effect. Those witnesses
could then be subject to cross examination by the other party.

Asked whether
this was all the Trial Chamber could do, Landale replied that it was up to the
Judges whether or not to take any further action, but he believed that in terms
of direction Judge May had made it abundantly clear. He did not envisage punitive
measures being brought against an amici curiae for making a statement
of that kind, no matter what the journalist might think of that statement. Judge
May pointed out that this issue could be brought up at the right time as an
argument in defence of an accused.

Asked whether
the Judges could ask Tapuskovic to substantiate what he said, Landale replied
that he did not think so. He added that the amici curiae were not defence
counsel, they were friends of the court.

A journalist stated
that Tapuskovic had made the accusation. Landale referred the journalist back
to Judge May’s response. It was precisely to point out that it was more in keeping
with something that a defence council would say. It was up to the Judges to
decide how they were going to manage the amici curiae. Where Judge May
had felt they had stepped over the line from being merely friends of the court
to acting like defence counsel he had pointed that out and asked them to move
on and asked them to focus on their role as amici curiae in bringing
up relevant points pertaining to the testimony of the witness.

A journalist stated
that Tapuskovic had been interviewed in the Blic magazine in an article dated
September 2001 stating that his role as amici curiae was to assure a
just Judgement by the Trial Chamber in the Milosevic case and that a just Judgement
would be Milosevic’s acquittal. Asked whether his attention had been drawn to
the article and what his reaction was, Landale replied that he would like to
see the article.

Asked in relation
to the Prosecution’s additional 100 days, what a trial day consisted of, Landale
replied that it was what the media was used to. At the moment the sessions started
at 9 a.m. and lasted until 1.45 p.m. This counted as a trial day, but for instance,
when the Judges sat yesterday for only a 15 minute hearing this did not count
as a trial day. Depending on other cases a trial day could be taken as 9 a.m.
until 1.45 p.m., or, if in the afternoon, 2.15 p.m. until 7 p.m.

A journalist quoted
Justice Minister Batic as saying that during the Prosecutor’s visit to Belgrade
she had said that new Indictments against senior officials were ready. He also
apparently stated that he had offered to assist in the writing of further Indictments
against Thaci. Asked whether this was true, Hartmann replied that different
investigations were mentioned during the meetings, but investigations were of
a confidential nature and the Tribunal did not disclose the names of the suspects.
Some people would draw conclusions by looking at the RFA’s, (requests for judicial
assistance) and could guess certain suspect names. The OTP was asked whether
investigations against certain KLA suspects were progressing. The OTP pointed
out some details which were not related to any possible Indictment, but related
to access to certain documents and that was all. The OTP informed Belgrade that
it was working on investigations, but did not promise when they would be ready.
It depended on evidence. The comments made by Minister Batic were made because
he was not happy with the work the OTP was doing on this issue. The OTP would
only bring an Indictment when it had evidence, these were the rules. The OTP
would not take any orders from any government but worked on the basis of the
Tribunal’s Rules. No Indictment could be issued without sufficient evidence
because it was necessary to go through the process of confirmation as part of
the ICTY system. They could not create Indictments to please politicians. Indictments
were made on the basis of important violations of international law.

Asked whether
the OTP would take up his offer to help write Indictments, Hartmann replied
that the OTP would take up an offer to arrest fugitives, this was in the minister’s

Asked whether
there was any word on the arrivals of Simatovic and Stanisic, Landale replied
that there was not. He added that he had seen all the media coverage relating
to the issue.

Hartmann added
that both orders for transfer had been signed and that the Tribunal had been
informed that Stanisic was undergoing surgery and would be transferred afterwards.
There was no reason that the transfer of Simatovic should not take place within
the next days. The Tribunal was expecting at least that Simatovic be transferred
in the next days. As soon as the Tribunal had any information it would let the
media know.

Landale went on
to reiterate what he had said last week which was that the Tribunal expected
them to be transferred soon and were confident that they would be. The Tribunal
would watch and wait for that to happen, he concluded.

Asked what the
Tribunal’s stance was as to the transfer of Simatovic taking into account Stanisic’s
surgery, Landale replied that the Tribunal expected the authrorities in Belgrade
to cooperate in effecting their transfer as soon as was possible, bearing in
mind that they were going through the procedures laid down in the law on cooperation.
The Tribunal was confident that would happen soon, he added.