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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 6 February 2013

Date:  06.02.2013
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Magdalena Spalińska, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

Good afternoon,

Last Friday, the ICTY Registrar issued a decision in which he found that Ratko Mladić is able to remunerate counsel in part and that he is to contribute 60,992 euros to the cost of his defence. The rest of the expenses will be borne by the Tribunal. Subsequently, the Registrar assigned Branko Lukić and Miodrag Stojanović as permanent counsel and co-counsel to the Accused. The decision is available online.

Last Thursday, the Appeals Chamber declared the appellate proceedings against Dragoljub Ojdanić closed after accepting Ojdanić’s withdrawal of his appeal against the Trial Chamber Judgement and that of the Prosecution insofar as it concerns Ojdanić. The Appeals Chamber declared as final Ojdanić’s 15-year sentence for aiding and abetting the deportation and forcible transfer of the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo in 1999. Ojdanić is to remain in the custody of the 7Tribunal pending his transfer to the State in which he will serve his sentence. This decision will be rendered by the President in due course.

As a consequence to the completion of proceedings against Ojdanić, the Appeal Hearing in the Šainović and others case is now scheduled to be held from Monday, 11 March to Friday, 15 March 2013. The hearings initially scheduled for 18 and 19 March have been cancelled.

Turning to the activities in the courtrooms:

Last Thursday, the closing arguments in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović concluded. The Defence asked for both to be acquitted of all charges whilst the Prosecution asked for life imprisonment for both accused. The date of the Judgement will be announced in due course.

In the case of Radovan Karadžić, the Trial Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Srđa Trifković, who is the 68th witness to testify on behalf of the Defence. Trifković met the Accused during the war as a Balkan affairs analyst and journalist.

In the case of Goran Hadžić, expert witness Christian Nielsen is currently testifying about the historical and political developments in the former Yugoslavia. He is also testifying about the Serb police structures in Croatia from 1990 to 1993. So far, 29 witnesses have been called by the Prosecution.

In the case of Ratko Mladić, witness Mirza Sabljica is currently testifying about a number of shelling and sniping incidents in Sarajevo during the time when he was working as a forensic ballistic analyst in the local police. He is the 69th witness to be called by the Prosecution.

Finally, I would like to highlight the second round of highschool and university presentations by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme. The first presentation was held at a highschool in Sarajevo yesterday afternoon and will be followed by another one in Zenica tomorrow. High school presentations will continue to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina and across the region throughout the school year. A regional series of university presentations is planned to begin in March. The first round of presentations was held during the 2011-2012 school year and engaged over 3,500 students from high schools and universities across Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, Special Advisor to the Prosecutor, made no statement.


Asked when Ojdanić would have served two-thirds of his sentence, Magdalena Spalińska responded that this had yet to be determined. Spalińska explained that Ojdanić would first have to request to be granted early release before the President could consider his request and determine when he will have served two-thirds of his sentence.

A journalist asked why Vojislav Šešelj had not been back in the courtroom since last summer, pointing out that according to the Rules, Status Conferences are to be held every four months. Spalińska said that as soon as any information on an upcoming Status Conference would be made public, the media would be informed instantly.

Asking why no Status Conferences had been held recently, Spalińska said that she had no information as to the reasons why a Status Conference had not taken place. She later added that she would seek further information from the Chamber and inform the interested journalists accordingly.

Asked whether a Legacy Conference would be held in Belgrade, Spalińska responded that the Tribunal still hopes that it will be able to hold a conference in Belgrade. Spalińska explained that the conference that was planned last year was cancelled due to security reasons and the Serbian government’s statement following the Appeals Judgement in the Gotovina and others case that they would reduce cooperation with the Tribunal to a strict technical level. Spalińska added that the Tribunal was still optimistic that a conference of this kind would go ahead in Serbia. She said that the Tribunal deemed it important to sit down with people in Serbia and speak about the Tribunal’s legacy.

Asked whether there were any ongoing activities concerning the Legacy Conference in Belgrade, Spalińska said that the Outreach Programme was looking into possibilities of holding a conference and that it was speaking to local partners on the ground. Spalińska reiterated that the Tribunal remained optimistic that a conference would happen and that the public in Serbia is interested in the work of the Tribunal and wants a discussion on its legacy.

Asked why references to the Belgrade Legacy Conference had been removed from the Tribunal’s website, Spalińska said that Outreach is in ongoing discussions with local partners but that it could not state at this stage that a conference would happen until there it was confirmed. Spalińska added that the Tribunal mentioned from the beginning that its intention was to hold three conferences and this information was still available online.

Asked whether there had been any developments with regards to Florence Hartmann’s conviction for contempt of the Tribunal and France’s refusal to arrest her, Spalińska responded that there had been no further developments.

Asked whether the Registry or President’s Office had conducted any legal analysis on France’s position, Spalińska responded that she was not aware of any such analysis having been conducted.

A journalist commented on the repercussions this issue might have on other countries and cited the example of countries of the former Yugoslavia who have been obliged to execute Tribunal’s arrest warrants in cases of individuals who refused to come and testify and as a consequence faced contempt charges. Spalińska answered that there were no statements on this issue from either the Registry or Chambers.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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