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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 24th May 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 24 May 2000

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

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 24 May 2000

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Christian Chartier, Head of the Public Information Services made the following

Jim is away sick, it is my pleasure to update you on a number of interesting
developments, concerning the President’s activities and the court’s proceedings:

Firstly, President Jorda, held a meeting at the Tribunal this morning with His
Excellency Mr. Khodakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation. The visit was
prompted by the letter sent last week by the President seeking explanations
as to why the accused Dragoljub Ojdanic, the Minister of Defence of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia was not arrested during his visit to Moscow. The meeting
has just ended. The President indicated that he wished first to discuss the
outcome of the meeting with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) before making
any comments or taking any other action. I expect to be able to tell you more
on this issue soon.

The President was yesterday in Brussels in order to address the Plenary Meeting
of the Peace Implementation Council. Copies of the President’s address are available.

One final item on the President’s agenda: President Jorda will pay an official
visit to London on 1 June 2000. At the invitation of the British authorities,
he will meet with the Foreign Secretary as well as with the Lord Chancellor.

As far as court developments are concerned, I would like to inform you that:

In the Celebici case, on 19 May 2000, the Appeals Chamber rejected the motion
by Esad Landzo to have subpoenas issued to a number of potential witnesses in
support of one of his appeals’ grounds, (the so-called "Sleeping Judge"
issue). The Appeals Chamber held that the evidence of the proposed witnesses,
consisting of conclusions drawn by the witnesses, has no probative value and
would not advance the appellant’s case. Also, the Appeals Chamber admitted into
evidence the opinion given to the OTP by an expert in the law of Costa Rica
on the issue of the alleged ineligibility of one the Trial Camber’s Judges.
This opinion was admitted without prejudice of the weight to be afforded to
the views of the expert.

In the Kvocka and others case, and more specifically with regard to Dragojlub
Prcac, on 18 May, Trial Chamber I granted the Defence’s request for a psychological
and medical-psychiatric examination of the accused. "The purpose of this
examination is to give information regarding the past and present physical
and mental ability of the accused, to make observations on the mental state
of the accused during the commission of the alleged crimes and to give information
on the accused’s potential ability to be reintegrated into society"


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

can confirm that the Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor will visit Zagreb later
today. This is a follow up visit to one made by the Prosecutor on 5 April 2000.
More details may be made available later.

the Krstic trial today, the Prosecution are reviewing videotapes of the Rule
61 hearings. This will take up the remainder of today. Tomorrow and Friday will
return to live witnesses and to forensic evidence to be shown by the investigator
Jean-René Ruez.



Asked for
further clarification on the subpoena issue in the Landzo case, Christian
Chartier replied that the Defence request for subpoena was rejected. He
elaborated on this by describing two documents mentioned by Jim Landale
during the last weeks briefing. The first was a motion by the Defence reporting
statements by four witnesses pertaining to the issue, the second was an
additional motion which requested subpoenas to be issued for at least three
of these witnesses, ordering them to come to the Tribunal. Both documents
were considered by the Tribunal and rejected, he concluded.

Asked why
subpoenas were requested, Christian Chartier replied that it was his understanding
that the Defence lawyer for Landzo claimed that all the witnesses were very
busy people who required cover to enable them to travel to the Tribunal.
He added that it was done in anticipation of them possibly coming to the

for further details of the meeting between President Jorda and the Russian
Ambassador, Christian Chartier replied that there was little information
to divulge at the stage apart from the fact that the meeting began at 10.30
a.m. and went on until 11.20 a.m. He re-emphasized that it was an important
meeting and a consequence of the letter sent by the President of the Tribunal
to the Ambassador, who obviously had things to report back from Moscow.
He added that the President wished to discuss the outcome of the meeting
with the Prosecutor or Deputy Prosecutor before coming out with any statement.

why the Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor were making a follow up visit to
Zagreb, Risley replied that the Prosecutor was in Palermo, yesterday. Zagreb
was a fairly convenient stop to make on her return to The Hague. He added
that her visit came at a very opportune time to continue the recent improvement
in cooperation between Croatia and the International Tribunal and to discuss
the collection of evidence and other operational issues. The Prosecutor
noted that the arrangements for increased cooperation were generally going
very well, however there were some difficulties in certain areas which she
hoped to see resolved. Her visit today would hopefully bring that about.
He concluded that this was a routine meeting that fit her schedule and came
at an opportune time. It was not an extraordinary meeting.

whether it was the Russian Ambassador, who took the first steps to arrange
the meeting with the President, Christian Chartier replied that it was.

whether this was the first visit by the Russian Embassy to the Tribunal,
Christian Chartier replied that it was not.

whether the letter from President Jorda would be made public, Christian
Chartier replied that he did not expect it to be. He added that some mention
of the letter might be made in a forthcoming press release. Any announcement
very much depended upon when a meeting could be held between the President
and the Prosecutor or Deputy Prosecutor.