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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 17 November 2010

Date: 17.11.2010
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

First of all, I would like to welcome the ten Serbian journalists visiting the Tribunal this week. The group includes editors and journalists from Radio Television Serbia and Vojvodina, TV Pink, Beta and Tanjung news agencies, NIN weekly, as well as Alo and Press dailies. The visit has been organised in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Serbia. 

The media in Serbia has a crucial role to play in the process of facing the past and raising the issue of responsibility for war crimes. We therefore hope that their visit provides them with a deeper insight into the work of the Tribunal and helps them improve their reporting skills on the war crimes trials, in a way that is informed, accurate and responsible. This in turn will help enhance the Serbian’s public understanding and perception of the work of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal last week delivered a first set of trial transcripts produced in local languages to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a second batch to the Croatian authorities. This took place as part of the EU funded War Crimes Justice Project, which aims to enhance the capacity of judiciaries in the region to handle complex war crimes cases. In the course of the Project, which is implemented together with ODIHR/OSCE and UNICRI, the Tribunal will produce a minimum of 60,000 transcript pages in local languages.

Also last week, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross paid their regular visit to the UN Detention Unit. They carried out a thorough review of conditions in the facility and met with those accused who wished to do so. The Tribunal prides itself in upholding the highest international standards of detention and as such welcomes the ICRC’s visits. As all previous reports, their report is confidential.

Onto a key decision rendered in the case of Radovan Karadžić:

The Trial Chamber, last Friday, granted a request by the European Union to be given an extra 15 days to respond to the Accused’s motion for an order for the release of documents pertaining to his contacts with the EU during 1992-96, and the alleged involvement of the European Union Monitoring Mission in the provision of arms to the Bosnian Muslim Army during 1994. The European Union now has until 29 November 2010 to respond.

As to the courtroom schedule for this week and next:

The trial of Momčilo Perišić has been temporarily adjourned with all scheduled hearings for this week and next cancelled. The trial is due to resume on 29 November at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 2.

Hearings in the cases of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, Zdravko Tolimir as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


Asked whether the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina had submitted its report in response to the Trial Chamber’s invitation to provide information on the results of the search of the documents sought by Radovan Karadžić, Nerma Jelačić responded that it was indeed submitted on Monday in accordance with the deadline set by the Chamber. The report was filed confidentially.

Asked whether the Office of the Prosecutor has sent its report to the UN Security Council, Frederick Swinnen responded that the report would be sent this evening to the UN Security Council Secretariat, which will forward it onto the 15 members of the Security Council. Swinnen added that the official report would be made public by the UN on 6 December 2010 when the Prosecutor addresses the Security Council. Swinnen also added that should any developments occur between today and the Prosecutor’s address, the Prosecutor would brief the Security Council accordingly.