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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 29 May 2013

Date: 29.05.2013
Time: 14:30

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

This morning, the Trial Chamber rendered its judgement in the case of Prlić and others, six former high-ranking officials from the wartime Croat entity of Herceg-Bosna. All six were found guilty of crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed between 1992 and 1994. The sentences ranged from 10 to 25 years’ imprisonment. The Press Release and summary of the Judgement is available online.

Tomorrow, the Trial Chamber will render its judgement in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, two high level officials of the Serbian Secret Service accused of crimes committed against non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia between 1991 and 1995. The judgement will be rendered at 16:00 in Courtroom I.

The trial in the contempt of Tribunal case of Radislav Krstić concluded yesterday after the Chamber heard the testimony of one Defence expert witness. The judgement in the case will be pronounced in due course.

Krstić, former Commander of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), is charged with contempt of the Tribunal for failing to comply with, or to show good cause why he could not comply with, a subpoena in which he was ordered to testify in the case of Radovan Karadžić.

Hearings in the trials of Ratko Mladić, Goran Hadžić and Radovan Karadžić continue this week and next as scheduled:

In the case of Radovan Karadžić, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Mile Poparić, an expert in ballistics. He is the 138th witness to be called by the Defence.

Proceedings in the trials of Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić will resume tomorrow morning in Courtroom III and II respectively.

President Meron will be making an official visit from May 29 to June 1 to China.  He will be meeting with various Chinese officials, including the Vice Foreign Minister Mr. Liu and the Director General of the Treaty and Law Department, Mr. Huang Huikang.  President Meron will be discussing issues relevant to both institutions of which he is President, the ICTY and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. President Meron will also be giving a lecture to the law faculty of Peking University.

Tomorrow, the German President Joachim Gauck will be visiting the Tribunal as part of a wider visit to the international courts in The Hague. President Gauck will meet with the Tribunal’s Vice-President, Judge Carmel Agius, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and Registrar John Hocking. He will be introduced to the Tribunal’s Judges, including Judge Christoph Flϋgge, who will provide him with an update on the ongoing cases.

Office of the Prosecutor:

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


Commenting on the fact that Jadranko Prlić had been sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment whilst Prosecution had requested a sentence of 40 years, a journalist asked whether the Prosecution was considering appealing the judgement. Aleksandar Kontić, responded that it was too early to confirm whether the Prosecution would appeal the judgement, pointing out that it is over 2,600 pages long and that it would take some time before the Prosecution could fully review it before taking a decision. Kontić added that the Office of the Prosecutor is satisfied with the Trial Chamber’s establishment of individual criminal responsibility for all six accused for the majority of crimes they were charged with. Kontić said that the Office of the Prosecutor found this finding very important, especially for the victims of the crimes.

Asked to clarify whether the Prlić et al. case was the longest case to be tried at the Tribunal, Magdalena Spalińska confirmed that it had been one of the longest and most complex trials considering the number of the accused and the scope of the case in terms of numbers of victims and the geographical area it covered. Spalińska pointed out that the judgement was close to 3,000 pages which reflected the complexity of the trial.

Asked when additional material related to the judgement could be expected, Spalińska said that the translation of the full judgement would take some time, whilst the English and BCS versions of the summaries would be available later this afternoon. Spalińska explained that separate opinions of the judges would be translated as part of the full judgement.