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Weekly Press Briefing - 27 June 2012

Date:  27.06.2012
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

I would like to take the opportunity of a relatively quiet period in the Tribunal’s courtrooms to give you am update on the status of ongoing trials and appeals. As the Tribunal’s mandate nears its end, it is natural that our courtrooms witness less activity as cases approach completion. But outside the courtrooms, the Tribunal’s judges are working diligently on the completion of ongoing cases. Trial and appeal judgements in seven cases are currently scheduled to be delivered before the end of this year. 

Of the eight cases currently in trial phase, four are at the judgment drafting stage: Prlić and others, with the judgment scheduled for November this year, Mico Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, with the judgement scheduled for December, and Vojislav Šešelj, currently scheduled for March 2013. The bench in the case of Zdravko Tolimir will sit on 21 and 22 August to hear closing arguments with the judgement expected in December.

Closing arguments in the re-trial of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, three former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army are currently ongoing. The Prosecution have asked for 20 years imprisonment for each accused. The Haradinaj and Balaj Defence teams have asked for an acquittal. The judgement is currently expected in November 2012.

The start of presentation of the Prosecution’s evidence in the sixth trial phase case, that of Ratko Mladić, has been scheduled for Monday, 9 July 2012 and will continue until 20 July, at which time the Tribunal will observe a three week summer recess. A revised witness list was submitted by the Prosecution yesterday. Journalists and other members of public wishing to attend the start of presentation of evidence will be informed in due course of the accreditation procedure.

Also on 9 July, in the seventh active case, that of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, the Chamber will call one witness who will be examined under the pseudonym CW-1. During the week commencing 9 July, trial sessions have been scheduled daily from 8:00 to 12:00.
Finally in the eighth active case, that of Radovan Karadžić, the Chamber will render its decision on the Rule 98bis submissions of the parties tomorrow at 11:00 in Courtroom I. In accordance with Rule 98bis, the Trial Chamber can enter a judgement of acquittal on any count in the indictment by oral decision at the close of the Prosecution case if there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction. The Defence case is scheduled to open on 16 October.

The Tribunal’s only case in pre-trial phase is that of Goran Hadžić. Last week the Prosecution filed confidentially its list of witnesses and exhibits. The witness list contains 141 names in total, out of which 89 will come to the Tribunal to testify. The Prosecution estimates it will need approximately 172 and a half hours for its case and intends to present more than 5,800 exhibits. Hadžić has been charged with 14 counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed in eastern Slavonia, Croatia, from June 1991 to December 1993. The trial is scheduled to commence on 16 October 2012.

Turning now to cases on appeal, two judgments are expected before the end of the year: that in the case of Milan and Sredoje Lukić as well as that in the case of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač. Three appeal judgements will be rendered in 2013: Momcilo Perišić, Nikola Šainović and others, and Vlastimir Đorđević. In the case of Vujadin Popović and others, the appeal judgement is expected in 2014.

Before I conclude for the day, I would like to bring to your attention one more scheduling issue for tomorrow. The judgement in the third contempt of Tribunal case of Vojislav Šešelj will be rendered on 28 June at 9:00 in Courtroom III. Šešelj, the leader of the Serb Radical Party currently standing trial at the Tribunal for alleged war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Vojvodina, Serbia, is accused of failing to remove confidential information from his personal website in violation of the orders of a Chamber.

Office of the Prosecutor:

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

Asked whether she could confirm that the Appeals Judgment in the case of Milan and Sredoje Lukić will be issued in August, Jelačić said that the judgment is currently anticipated for delivery in August, but that the official scheduling order from Chambers has not yet been issued.

Asked whether a Rule 98bis hearing has led to an acquittal in the past, Jelačić responded that there has never been a full acquittal as a result of a Rule 98bis hearing in any case where the Accused or the Defence team decided to file a submission.  Of the cases in which the accused or the Defence team has decided to make a submission in accordance with this rule, there have only been partial counts removed, but not complete acquittals.

Asked whether the Office of the Prosecutor was confident that the Mladić trial would resume on 9 July as scheduled, Kontić confirmed that that there is a scheduling order for 9 July and the Prosecution is preparing to examine its first witness on that date.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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