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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 3rd Nov 1999

ICTY Press Briefing - 3 November 1999

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 3 November

Time: 11:30 a.m.


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

Firstly, in case
you did not receive it yesterday evening, Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, the
President of the of the Tribunal, sent a letter to the President of the Security
Council yesterday outlining the continued cases of non-compliance by various
states with the Tribunal.

Among other things,
President McDonald noted that, "the States concerned have continued
to flaunt the will of the international community, refusing to cooperate with
the Tribunal and failing to carry out their legal obligations".
continued, "the Tribunal is often at odds with the authorities of certain
States of the former Yugoslavia who have attempted to systematically undermine
the work of the Tribunal. When faced with what has amounted to blatant obstructionism,
the Tribunal’s only recourse is to the body that created it – the
Security Council."

Towards the end
of the letter, President McDonald says, "I implore you to take the effective
measures necessary to bring the recalcitrant States and entity back into the
fold of the community of law abiding nations."

And, "On
the verge of the twenty-first century, it is simply unacceptable that territories
have become safe-havens for individuals indicted for the most serious offences
against humanity. It must be made absolutely clear to such States that this
behavior is legally – as well as morally – wrong. The Security Council
has the authority and the wherewithal to rectify this situation. For the benefit
of all the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, I urge you to act."

Copies of the
full text, as well as the attachment, will be available after this.

Also, President
McDonald will give her speech presenting the Annual Report to the General Assembly
this coming Monday 8 November. We will make copies of the speech available to
you on Monday.

At this point,
I would also like to announce that copies of the Annual Report in all the official
languages of the UN, namely Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, French and English,
are now available.

Next, I would
like to announce that the next plenary session of the Tribunal will take place
on 15, 16 and 17 of this month (November). The plenary is confidential, however
I can remind you that according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, "the
Judges shall meet in plenary to:

-Elect the President
and Vice President

-adopt and amend
the Rules;

-adopt the Annual
Report provided for in Article 34 of the Statute;

-decide upon matters
relating to internal functioning of the Chambers and the Tribunal;

-determine or
supervise the conditions of detention;

-exercise any
other functions provided for in the Statute or in the Rules."

In terms of court
proceedings, the sentencing hearings in the Jelisic case will begin on Monday
next week in courtroom I. According to the schedule as I have it at the moment,
the hearings will pause for the plenary and then recommence on the 22 November
in Courtroom II. They are due to end on Friday 26 November. No date has yet
been set for a judgement.

I can announce
that the Trial Chamber in the Tadic case will hand down its sentencing judgement
on the additional counts (of which the Appeals Chamber convicted him) at 9 o’clock
on 11 November in Courtroom III. You are, of course, all welcome to attend.

And, just a reminder
that Damir Dosen’s initial appearance has been rescheduled for this coming
Monday, 8 November at 9 o’clock in Courtroom I.

Finally, on behalf
of the Liam McDowall, the Outreach Coordinator, I would just like to say that
the Media Symposium held at the end of last week was a great success and I would
like to thank you all for your contributions.



Asked when
the report from the medical team sent to Croatia to examine Mladen Naletilic
(Tuta) was expected, Landale replied that it would probably be handed to
the Registrar sometime later today. He added that it was a confidential
medical report and would not be made public. Any recommendations that stemmed
from the report might be made public, however, that was up to the Registrar,
in consultation with the Prosecutor, he said.

Asked about
an investigation in Kosovo due to have concluded on 1 November 1999, that
the Prosecutor said was still on going, Landale responded that this was
an investigations issue and must be put to one of the spokespersons for
the Office of the Prosecutor.

Asked whether
the list attached to yesterday’s press release of previous reports
of non-compliance was complete or just an example, Landale replied that
it was the complete list.

Asked whether
there were any other examples other than ‘Tuta’ where it was claimed
that an indictee was too ill to travel to The Hague for trial, Landale replied
that a similar situation occurred in the Aleksovski case. He added that
Aleksovski was in detention in Croatia when a question over his health had
arisen. A medical team had been arranged and examined him, after which the
Croatian authorities agreed that he was well enough to travel and to face

Asked how
sick ‘Tuta’ would have to be to remain in Croatia, Landale replied
that this was a question for the doctors. He added that a decision as to
the status of his health would be taken from a number of different angles.
There were concerns that there was a valid health issue that had to be established,
along with concerns on the part of the Registrar that he was healthy enough
to travel and to stand trial. The Tribunal must await the recommendations,
he added.

Asked who
had the ultimate authority to decide whether ‘Tuta’ was well enough
to travel, Landale replied that firstly the report would go to the Registrar.
He added that it was then up to her to decide what to do with the report.
There would also be consultation on the contents of the report with the
Croatian authorities and the Prosecutor, he concluded.

Asked for
an indication of the date for the Krstic trial, Landale replied that no
date had yet been set.

Asked for
an indication of developments in the contempt hearing in the Simic case
and when the trial would begin, Landale replied that a date had not yet
been set for the beginning of the trial. He added that much of the contempt
hearings had taken place in closed session.