Registry and Chambers:
Magdalena Spalińska, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
A public redacted version of the President’s decision of 29 November 2012 granting Mladen Naletilić early release was filed yesterday. Naletilić was released from a prison in Italy on 18 February 2013.
Naletilić, also known as Tuta, was convicted on 3 May 2006 to 20 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims from April 1993 to January 1994 in the Mostar area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was transferred to Italy on 24 April 2008 to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Naletilić was the founder and commander of the Convicts’ Battalion, a military unit within the Croatian Defence Council.
In rendering his decision, the President balanced the high gravity of the crimes for which Naletilić had been convicted with the evidence of some remorse he had demonstrated towards the victims of his deeds whilst in prison, his good conduct there as well as his health.
Turning to the activities in the courtrooms:
The Trial Chamber Judgement in the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, two former high ranking Bosnian Serb officials accused of crimes committed against non-Serb civilians in various areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina between April and December 1992, will be rendered this afternoon at 15:30 in Courtroom I.
I’ll turn now to developments in the case of Radovan Karadžić. This Monday 25 March, Radislav Krstić refused to testify in this case, in non-compliance of a Decision of the Chamber of 13 March ordering him to testify. The Chamber will proceed to issue an order in lieu of indictment for contempt in due course. Krstić was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment by the ICTY in December 2004 following his conviction for aiding and abetting the genocide committed at Srebrenica in July 1995.
An appeal hearing in relation to the Prosecution’s appeal against the Trial Chamber’s decision to acquit Karadžić of Count 1 of the indictment, has been scheduled for Wednesday, 17 April from 9:00 to 12:30 in Courtroom III.
Count 1 charges Karadžić with genocide in relation to the crimes alleged to have been committed between 31 March and 31 December 1992 against the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in some municipalities in BiH.
The Chamber’s oral decision was rendered on 28 June 2012 pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence which provides that at the close of the Prosecutor's case, the Trial Chamber shall, by oral decision, and after hearing the oral submissions of the parties, enter a judgement of acquittal on any count if there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction.
Proceedings in Karadžić’s case are ongoing and the Trial Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Rodoljub Đukanović who is testifying about the events in Bratunac as a former member of the Crisis Staff in the town. He is the 116th witness to be called by the Defence.
The Status Conference in the case of Vlastimir Ðorđević has been scheduled to be held on Monday, 13 May in courtroom 1. The timetable will be provided in due course. On 23 February 2011, this former Serbian police official was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment for crimes against Kosovo Albanian civilians in 1999. Both parties filed the appeals against the judgement: the Prosecution asked the Chamber to increase the sentence to life imprisonment whereas the Defence asked for a reduction in sentence.
Moving on to an update on the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme, I would like to bring your attention to the new web feature on the Youth Education Project that was published yesterday on our website. The feature provides an in-depth account of the Outreach Programme’s grass-roots project of bringing the work of the Tribunal closer to thousands of how high school and university students across the former Yugoslavia during the 2011 – 2012 school year. The second round of presentations for this school year was launched in February.
Finally the Outreach Programme this week launched its second round of university lectures in Bosnia and Herzegovina with lectures to students at the Faculty of Criminology at the University of Sarajevo, the American University of Sarajevo and the Law School of the University of Zenica. The lectures are as part of the Outreach Programme’s region-wide youth project which aims to provide information to students throughout the former Yugoslavia on the work of the Tribunal.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Aleksandar Kontić, member of the Prosecutor’s Immediate Office, made no statement.
No questions were asked.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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