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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 29 April 2009

Date:  29.04.2009   
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

The trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović is scheduled to recommence on 25 May with the opening statements of the Prosecution, Trial Chamber III ordered on Monday. In a decision on the Prosecution’s motion for revocation of Jovica Stanišić’s provisional release, the Chamber granted the motion in part and ordered the two accused, who have been on provisional release since 26 June 2008, to return to the UN Detention Unit by 4 May. Stanišić, who was granted provisional release for reasons of health, is able to effectively participate in the trial, the Chamber ruled. The Trial Chamber will endeavour to adjust the regime of the trial so as to accommodate the health circumstances of the Accused and will inform the parties accordingly.

In separate scheduling orders the Chamber ordered a status conference be held on 12 May 2009 at 14:15 in courtroom II. A pre-trial conference is expected to take place on 18 May.

As for the upcoming court schedule:
The Appeals Chamber will render its judgement in the case against former senior officers in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) Mile Mrkšić and Veselin Šljivančanin on Tuesday, 5 May at 14:15 in courtroom I. Mrkšić and Šljivančanin are convicted for their part in the executions of prisoners of war after the fall of Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991 and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and five years’ imprisonment respectively.

Mrkšić, a JNA Colonel, was found guilty of murder, torture and cruel treatment of 194 non-Serb prisoners of war taken from Vukovar Hospital in November 1991. The trial chamber found Šljivančanin a JNA major at the time, guilty of torture of the prisoners.
The third accused in the case, former JNA captain Miroslav Radić, was acquitted of all charges and was released from Tribunal custody.

On Wednesday 6 May at 14:15 a status conference will be held in the case of Radovan Karadžić in courtroom I.

In the Prlić and others case, the defence of Bruno Stojić concluded its case until further notice pending the testimony of its final witness. On Monday 4 May, Slobodan Praljak is expected to begin his defence case with the Accused’s own testimony.

The testimony of Momir Nikolić in the Popović and others case concluded yesterday and an OTP witness, Mr Dusan Janc, started his testimony in rebuttal. One additional OTP witness is expected to present rebuttal evidence.

As to the trials of Vlastimir Ðorđević and Momčilo Perišić, these will continue next week as scheduled.

The Tribunal will be closed tomorrow for Queen’s Day and will reopen on Friday with the Popović and others trial at 9am in courtroom III.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz will be in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first of his scheduled visits to the region of the former Yugoslavia in preparation for the biannual report before the Security Council which is scheduled for June.

In Sarajevo, the Prosecutor will meet with representatives of the local and international authorities to discuss issues related to the Tribunal's Completion Strategy and cooperation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr. Brammertz will also meet with colleagues from the Bosnian judiciary as well as representatives of victims' associations.
In the course of May, the Prosecutor will also travel to Belgrade, Serbia and Zagreb, Croatia. More details about these visits will be announced in due course.


Asked if there were any cooperation problems with Bosnia as far as the OTP was concerned, Kavran stated that cooperation would be discussed in Sarajevo and that she would not comment in advance of the Prosecutor's visit. The purpose of the visit would be to discuss all ongoing issues. Asked if there would be press opportunities during the visit, Kavran said that no media opportunities were planned.

Asked if there was a reaction by OTP on the decision regarding Karadzic’s various jurisdictional motions, Kavran answered no, not at this time, the team has to study the decision first.

A journalist asked if OTP had any indication that Ratko Mladic might be hiding in Bosnia, Kavran said that the Office is constantly in contact with operational authorities on the ground in the region, but that primary contacts are with colleagues in Serbia on this matter. Kavran reiterated that the Prosecutor will be travelling to Serbia in the next few weeks to discuss all issues related to cooperation including the search for fugitives.