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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 5th Jul 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 5 July 2000

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 5 July 2000

Time: 11:30 a.m.



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

First, there has
been a slight change to Dusko Sikirica’s initial appearance. It was due to take
place at 1430 this Friday, but has been moved back by half an hour to 1500 hours.

We also have copies
of the Simic and Avramovic contempt of court judgement that was issued on 30

In addition, we
have copies of the Defence’s response to SFOR’s request for additional time
to respond in the Todorovic case.

Also, the Appeals
briefs in the Kupreskic case are being copied. We have not yet received one
from Vlatko Kupreskic, who has been given an extension of time to file his brief
due to a change in defence counsel. Copies will be available later.

In the Foca case:
This morning we also received copies of an affadavit from of Kunarac’s wife,
which could be of interest to you, and an affadavit from Professor Doctor Stanko
Bejatovic, a legal expert for the defence who will give evidence on the crime
of rape. We can provide copies to those who want them.

We also have copies
of two press releases out today. The first concerns the Trial Chamber’s Judgement
on the Motion for Judgement of Acquittal on certain counts in the Foca case.
In addition, we have a press release from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)
on the exhumation programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Finally, there
was another symposium coordinated by the Outreach Programme and hosted by the
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Republika Srpska (RS) at the end
of last week, this time in Banja Luka. This is the most significant public event
staged in the RS by the Tribunal thus far. Representatives from the Chambers,
Registry and OTP presented papers on their areas of expertise to a gathering
from the judiciary, politics, law enforcement and the media in the RS. Just
under 100 attended the event. It proved to be a welcome occasion for members
of the tribunal to meet and discuss areas of mutual interest. The event was
very successful with good audience participation and engagement from all.

There will be
a similar event in Mostar in September.

In addition, I’m
pleased to announce that the Public Information Services Internet Unit, in conjunction
with the Outreach Programme, has launched a comprehensively revised and updated
web page in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian as part of the Tribunal’s website.



Graham Blewitt, the Deputy Prosecutor, made the following statement:

The Prosecutor
is issuing a press release today, detailing the preliminary reports of the exhumation
work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The press release basically says that work at
two sites in the Prijedor region has been completed and as a consequence of
these exhumations the bodies of 116 victims have been exhumed and examined.
The OTP has also up until now been cooperating with the Bosnian State Commission
for the Tracing of Missing Persons at another site at which another 50 victims
were recovered. The OTP is assisting in the post mortem examinations of those
victims. This basically completes the Prosecutor’s forensic work in the Prijedor

Next week on 13
July the OTP will be commencing the forensic activities in the Srebrenica exhumations
sites. This will continue until the end of the year, which I anticipate, will
be the end of October.



Asked for clarification
of an alleged statement by Prime Minister Dodik that the Judges of the Tribunal
would be visiting the RS in the near future, Landale replied that he was not
aware of a planned visit by any of the Judges to the RS, however he would

Asked what
case the Prijedor exhumation site related to, Blewitt replied that the Prijedor
exhumations related to detention camps. However, he added that, bearing in
mind that there was a trial already taking place, in respect of the Omarska
camp, with another trial pending on the Kereterm camp, it was necessary to
be cautious in order not to inflict any prejudice on those cases. He concluded
by saying that these exhumations did relate to detention camps in Prijedor
and evidence would be called at the appropriate trials.

Asked whether
the other 50 bodies exhumed related to the same case, Blewitt replied that
the site exhumed in connection with the Bosnian State Commission on the Tracing
of Missing Persons was in an area named Donji Dubovik, which he believed was
not associated with the detention camps. The OTP wished to acknowledge that
they were working with this commission, he concluded.

Asked what
case the Srebrenica exhumations related to and how they would effect the Krstic
case, Blewitt replied that the investigations into Srebrenica were not yet
concluded. He added that there would be additional indictments coming out
eventually. He said that he doubted that any additional evidence in the Krstic
trial was needed as that part of the trial was now completed.

Asked whether
there would be further indictments in relation to Milosevic following exhumations
in Kosovo, Blewitt replied that the impact of the OTP’s continued forensic
work this year had meant that the OTP has had to deploy its own resources
to numerous forensic teams working in Kosovo. The supporting network was not
yet able to do the necessary work to pull the indictment together, so the
forensic work was delaying the issuance of new indictments. Nothing would
be seen before the end of this year in respect of that, but the OTP did anticipate
an expansion of the existing indictment against President Milosevic and the
four other accused by the inclusion of additional counts. There would be additional
indictments against other people in respect of Kosovo, but he believed that
until the results of the forensic work were assessed, these would not be forthcoming
this year, but maybe early next year, he concluded.

Asked whether
he believed that there would be additional indictments on Srebrenica before
the end of this year, Blewitt replied that he did.

Asked for clarification
of reports that defence lawyers had been giving part of their wages to suspects
and what legal basis for sanctions the tribunal had to end this, Landale replied
that these rumours were not new and that the Registrar had been aware of them
for quite some time and had been looking into them. He added that the legal
basis for taking action was a gray area as far as the Tribunal was concerned
at that it was more a question of ethics. If solid proof were to be obtained
by the Registrar that this practice was going on and she could identify individuals
who were engaged in it, then it would possibly be a matter of contacting the
bar associations of the people concerned, he said. Ordinarily in most countries
it would be an issue for the bar associations to deal with any of their members
engaged in this kind of practice.

At the moment
the Tribunal was attempting to gather all the available information into this.
Obviously no one could expect her to take any action or to make any pronouncements
on it until she had solid proof. And given the nature of these types of allegations,
proof could be quite difficult to come by, he concluded.

Asked for clarification
of the legal situation if the defence wished to call a possible future accused
in the Krstic trial and what the outcome of this would be, Blewitt replied
that this was an issue addressed in the very first trial, the Tadic trial,
where the Chambers gave safe passage to defence witnesses namely that they
would be free to travel here and give evidence without fear of being apprehended.
The same would apply, he concluded.