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Weekly Press Briefing - 29 February 2012

Date:  29.02.2012
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

Last Friday, the Prosecution filed its pre-trial brief in the case of Ratko Mladić. The Defence is expected to file its pre-trial brief by Friday, 16 March 2012, as ordered by the Trial Chamber.

Turning to the upcoming courtroom schedule:

Closing arguments in the trial of Vojislav Šešelj, the leader of the Serbian Radical Party, are due to commence on Monday, 5 March at 14:15 in Courtroom III. The Prosecution’s closing arguments are expected to be held from Monday, 5 March to Wednesday, 7 March and will be followed by the Accused’s closing arguments from Monday, 12 March through to Thursday, 15 March. I would like to remind those journalists planning to cover the closing arguments from the Tribunal that they should contact the Media Office by tomorrow afternoon to confirm their attendance.

Next Wednesday, a Status Conference will be held in the appeals case of Momčilo Perišić at 15:00 in Courtroom III. This is the first Status Conference to be held since 6 September 2011 when Perišić, the most senior officer and Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army to have been indicted by the Tribunal, was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Proceedings in the trials of Radovan Karadžić, Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.

In the Karadžić trial, the Trial Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Manojlo Milovanović, Former Chief of Staff in the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska Army.

In the Stanišić and Simatović trial, witness Mladen Karan, former Yugoslav Army officer and later Chief of Security in the 21st Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska Krajina, is currently testifying.

Tomorrow, Chamber witness Slavko Lisica, a former Republika Srpska Army Officer, is expected to testify in the Stanišić and Župljanin trial.

Finally, I would like to bring to your attention the event that will be held at the Tribunal on Thursday, 8 March 2012 in celebration of International’s Women’s day. This year, the guest speaker will be Kathryn Bolkovac, author of "The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Women's Fight for Justice" an inspiration for the movie "The Whistleblower", which portrays her fight against sex trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event will be hosted by Michelle Jarvis, the Tribunal’s Focal Point for Women and \ for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Journalists are invited to attend the event and meet and interview Ms Bolkovac and Ms Jarvis.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Aleksandar Kontić, member of the Prosecutor’s Immediate Office, made no statement.

Asked if the Prosecution had a viewpoint or was relieved that the trial for Vojislav Šešelj was coming to a close, Kontić said that he would not say relieved as this was the normal ending of the criminal proceedings taking place. Kontić added that the Prosecution was now preparing for the final submissions starting on Monday. After the Prosecution and Defence submissions, it would then be in the hands of the judges to render its judgement.

A journalist pointed out that in the latest Status Conference for Ratko Mladić the accused requested that his wife be allowed to bring him his military uniform. Asked if there was any provision for Mladić to be allowed to wear the uniform in court and had others worn uniforms in court, Jelačić answered that apart from some witnesses still serving in the military who may have worn a uniform in the courtroom, she was not aware of an accused that has done so, to date.

Jelačić added it would be up to the Chamber to decide on this issue regarding courtroom appearances. She said that in the UN Detention Unit wearing of such uniforms is not allowed in line with standards in place in other similar establishments in order to preserve the good security and order.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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