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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 23rd Feb 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 23 February 2000

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 23 February 2000

Time: 11:30 a.m.



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

Firstly, I’d like
to announce that we have received a scheduling order officially confirming that
the Krstic trial will start on 13 March at 9.30 a.m. in Courtroom I.

Krstic has been
charged on the basis of his individual and superior criminal responsibility
with two counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and one
count of violations of the laws or customs of war for his alleged part in the
massacre of approximately 8,000 Bosnian Muslims after the fall of the Srebrenica
enclave in July 1995.

In addition,
we have received a scheduling order officially confirming that the trial of
Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos, Mladjo Radic and Zoran Zigic will begin on Monday
28 February at 1030 a.m. in Courtroom III.

Next, we sent
out a media advisory yesterday confirming that the Judgement in the Blaskic
case will be rendered by Trial Chamber I on Friday 3 March at 9.00 a.m. You
are all invited to attend.

Also, on 18 February,
the Appeals Chamber denied a confidential request filed on 10 February from
Zlatko Aleksovski for his "direct" release. This follows a ruling
by the Appeals Chamber on 9 February dismissing Aleksovski’s appeal against
conviction; allowing the Prosecution’s appeal against sentence and ordering
that Aleksovski be returned to custody to await a revised sentence.

Finally we have
copies of the updated Radic defence pre-trial brief in the Kvocka and others
case, and also the Prosecutor’s pre-trial brief on Zoran Vukovic.



Paul Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following

The Prosecutor
is in Arusha where yesterday she argued before the Appeals Chamber regarding
the Barayagwiza Appeal Review. Madame Del Ponte is expected back in The Hague
on Friday.

The Deputy Prosecutor
is in Helsinki today, at a preparatory meeting for the International Criminal

On Tuesday 29
February, the Prosecutor expects to meet with President Chirac of France.

Jim Landale added
that President Chirac would also meet with President Jorda and the Registrar.
A media opportunity with interpretation would be arranged and a media advisory
with full details would be dispatched in due course.



Asked when
and where the Decision on Barayagwiza would be made and how the documents
would be made available, Risley replied that the Appeals Chamber expected
to make a decision very quickly, possibly as early as next week.

added that he expected that judging on past experience, the Decision would
be announced in Arusha.

Risley continued
that the documents would be released from Arusha.

Landale concluded
that whatever was received by fax from Arusha would be distributed to those
who were interested.

Asked whether
the Prosecutor had requested the Registrar to send a team of doctors to examine
"Tuta", Risley replied that he believed so.

added, however, that he had not heard anything officially yet.

Asked for
confirmation that the Prosecutor had proposed to the Judges that trials could
be conducted in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, Risley replied that the
most likely possibility the OTP was exploring was not to hold complete trials
in specific countries but rather to hold specific hearings. He added that
this was a very real possibility that the Prosecutor was exploring with the
Judges. He went on to say that it depended upon security arrangements and
finding the appropriate facilities. Risley did not believe that there was
any expectation of holding an entire trial away from The Hague, only a proportion
of a trial, depending on the Judges determining that it was something they
were able to do.

Asked whether
the proposal depended upon the Judges, Risley replied that it did. He said
that they would have the final word on this issue. He added that, based on
her discussions with the Judges, there was a sense from the Prosecutor that
this was an idea worth exploring.

Asked for
some background information on the Prosecutor’s proposal, Risley replied that
he believed that the issue first arose during the fall Plenary session, during
discussions between the Prosecutor and the Judges as to how to improve the
visibility of the Tribunal, within the former Yugoslavia specifically. He
added that this was also an idea that the Tribunal for Rwanda had explored,
providing suitable courtrooms in Kigali could be found to allow for either
sub trials or proportions of trials to take place.

Risley went
on to say that the proposal being considered was to hold hearings of a specific
trial, for example hearing the testimony of specific witnesses. This would
mean that the court as a whole, would move to a specific location, would hear
the testimony of specific witnesses and then return to The Hague.

Asked whether
the purpose of this would be to speed up proceedings, Risley replied that
he believed it was to make the Tribunal more visible to the local community.

Asked whether
this idea was also being explored in connection with Croatia as well as Bosnia,
Risley replied that it was a possibility, however, he was not aware of it
being explored for the very simple logistical reason that most of the trials
being looked at over the next 12 months concerned events that took place in
Bosnia. He added that looking at the trials announced by Jim Landale, parts
of any of those hearings could be held in Bosnia. He concluded that there
would be logistical reasons such as expense and security but certainly the
Prosecutor was very interested in seeing that this Tribunal was seen to be
open to the public especially the public within the former Yugoslavia, a concern
felt also by the Judges.

Asked who
first came up with the proposal, Risley replied that the issue was raised
during a meeting between the Prosecutor and the Judges at the time of the
last Plenary.

Asked whether
it was in response to the request by the Republika Srpska to be allowed to
hold trials in Republika Srpska and was it a compromise, Risley replied that
it was a separate initiative. He added that when the Prosecutor was in Banja
Luka she met with the Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska and he had made
his own proposal.

Asked whether
Prime Minister Dodik would visit before the end of this month, Risley replied
that far as he was aware, he would not. He added that there where currently
no plans for a visit.

Asked whether
the accused would also be taken there, Risley replied that they would and
that this was a security issue for the protection of the accused. He added
that this was probably the most serious hurdle to consider.

Asked whether
the final decision of the proposal was in the hands of the Judges, Risley
replied that the proposal would mean moving the court not just hearing depositions
in other countries and that there would be a decision from the Registry on
such an issue.

confirmed that it was the President and Judges who would ultimately decide
a step as important or a significant as this. He was not prepared to say anymore
at this stage. When the time was appropriate and enough exploration and investigation
had taken place into the idea and it was at a position where it could move
forward, something would probably then be said.

Asked whether
the proposal had been discussed with the Bosnian Government, Landale replied
that he was not prepared to go into any further detail at this time.

Paul Risley
reminded the group of tomorrow’s Press Briefing taking place in Brussels.