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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 13th Dec 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 13 December 2000

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 13 December 2000

Time: 11:20


Landale, Spokesman for Registry and Chambers made the following statement:

there will be an extraordinary plenary session of the Judges of the ICTY, where
the focus will be on adopting reforms in order to be able to implement the recent
resolution establishing a pool of ad litem Judges.

newly appointed Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Henry Hans Holthuis, is expected
to be officially sworn in at the extraordinary plenary session of the Judges

have received copies of the Vasiljevic pre-trial brief, which is available to
you after the briefing.

note that the Kordic and Cerkez trial will start tomorrow at 0900 hours rather
than 0930 hours. On Friday it will revert back to 0930 hours.

week, on Wednesday 20 December, the Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte will give a
press conference here at the Tribunal. That will be the last press conference
of the year. The regular press briefing will resume on Friday 5 January 2001.



Graham Blewitt, Deputy Prosecutor of the ICTY, made no statement.



what had been sacrificed in the interest of justice to remove the issue of
the involvement of SFOR in the arrest of Todorovic, Blewitt replied that absolutely
nothing as far as the OTP was concerned had been sacrificed.

He added that
the negotiations leading up to the plea agreement had been ongoing for some
months. They stemmed from the desire of the accused to enter this plea of

The OTP recognised
that a consequence of this plea removed a particular problem that had been
confronting the Tribunal for some months, particularly if the problem had
anything to do with the recent lack of apprehensions by SFOR in the last
six months. The OTP had no indications one way or the other of this, Blewitt
said, adding that he would not be surprised if the Todorovic proceedings
concerning SFOR had something to do with the lack of arrests in recent months.

For that reason
alone, the OTP saw that today’s plea was a significant one and hoped that
if there was a log jam being created by the Todorovic proceedings involving
SFOR this plea would now remove that log jam.

He concluded
by saying that he was pleased that in doing this nothing had been sacrificed
and the accused had entered his plea willingly and knowingly and as a consequence,
the withdrawal of the applications today was just a natural consequence
of the plea.

Asked why
Todorovic had entered this plea, Blewitt replied that he could not speculate
on this issue.

Asked whether
this meant that there would be no further proceedings against Todorovic apart
from sentencing and that the trial against the others on the same indictment
would continue, Blewitt replied that this was the case.

added that the second part of the hearing where the Trial Chamber would say
whether they were satisfied that Rule 62 bis had been fulfilled would
be held on the 12 January 2001.

Asked whether
the OTP had informed the Government of Croatia of certain names in connection
with ‘Operation Storm’, Blewitt replied that they had.