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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 16 October 2013

Date: 16.10.2013
Time: 12:30

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

I’ll turn first to some decisions which have been issued since our last briefing.

In the case of Vojislav Šešelj, last Monday, 7 October, the Chamber appointed by order of the Vice-President denied by Majority, Judge Liu dissenting, the Prosecution’s Motion of 3 September seeking reconsideration of its Decision of 28 August 2013. In this Decision, the Majority, Judge Liu dissenting, upheld a motion by the Accused for the disqualification of Judge Frederik Harhoff from proceedings in the Šešelj case. In reaching its decision of 7 October, the Majority found that the Prosecution failed to demonstrate a clear error of reasoning in the Decision of 28 August, or any particular circumstances which would justify reconsideration of the Decision. Additionally, the Chamber found that under Rule 15 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, it was not required to consider in its Decision the report of Presiding Judge Antonetti, and that the report was immaterial to the issue of whether a reasonable, informed observer would apprehend bias on the part of Judge Harhoff.

Following the confirmation of Judge Harhoff’s disqualification, in the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, the Stanišić Defence filed a Motion on Monday 14 October requesting the Appeals Chamber to declare a mistrial in his case and a discontinuation of proceedings against him. Judge Harhoff was a member of the bench that convicted Mićo Stanišić on 27 March 2013, sentencing him to 22 years’ imprisonment for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed between April and December 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Also last Monday 7 October, in the case of Jadranko Prlić and others, the President denied Slobodan Praljak’s request for review of the Decision on his ‘Motion for Review of the Registrar’s Decision on Means’, issued confidentially on 25 July 2013. The Registar’s original ‘Decision on Means’ was issued on 22 August 2012 and confirmed Praljak’s full ability to remunerate counsel. In denying the request, the President considered that Praljak had not presented any new fact that was not considered in the original decision, had not identified a clear error of reasoning or the existence of circumstances that justify reconsideration in order to prevent an injustice.

In the trial of Radovan Karadžić, last Friday 11 October the Accused submitted a Motion to amend his list of witnesses.  Karadžić sought leave to add two witnesses related to the Srebrenica component of the case and provided notice of his intention to withdraw 98 municipalities-related witnesses from his original list. Separately, this morning Karadžić requested leave to recall 46 defence witnesses to give testimony relevant to Count One of the indictment which deals with the charge of genocide in the municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a reminder, the trial of Radovan Karadžić will resume on Tuesday 29 October at 9am in Courtroom I.

Turning now to the courtrooms, the trials of Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić resumed today after scheduled breaks. They will continue this week and next as scheduled.

In the case of Ratko Mladić, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of expert witness Andras Riedlmayer who is testifying about destruction of cultural property.

In the case of Goran Hadžić, hearings have adjourned for the day. The trial will resume tomorrow at 9am in Courtroom II.

I’ll conclude with some scheduling matters. The next Status Conference in the case of Vlastimir Đorđevic has been scheduled for 13 November at 15:00 in Courtroom II. 

Finally, the Appeals Hearing in the case of Vujadin Popović and others has been scheduled to take place from 2 to 13 December 2013.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Aleksandar Kontić, member of the Prosecutor’s Immediate Office, made the following statement:

The Office of the Prosecutor has posted on the ICTY website a list of the witnesses the Prosecution plans to call to give evidence during the remainder of the Prosecution case-in-chief in the Mladić case. In addition, the OTP has filed motions with the Trial Chamber seeking to tender the evidence of other witnesses in written form. Decisions for some of these are still pending. It remains possible that some of these witnesses may be required to give their evidence before the Trial Chamber in person.

I would like to introduce to you and welcome a new member of the Immediate Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. Margriet Prins, who would among other things deal with media issues in the OTP and participate in the weekly press briefings. Ms. Prins is the Special Advisor to the Prosecutor, the position previously held by Mr. Frederick Swinnen. Ms. Prins worked for the past twenty years mostly in the former Yugoslavia for the UNHCR and the Office of the High Representative. For the last 15 years she worked as the Special Advisor of the Deputy High Representative at the OHR in Bosnia and Herzegovina dealing with issues of return of refugees (Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Accord), BiH National War Crimes Strategy and matters related to Srebrenica. Ms. Prins is fluent in Dutch, English, French and last but not least Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian.


No questions were asked.