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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 13 May 2009

Date:  13.05.2009

Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
The Acting Registrar John Hocking will tomorrow speak at an OSCE-organised workshop in Sarajevo on ‘Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Knowledge-Transfer Methodology on Processing War Crimes’. The workshop is part of a multi-agency and trans-regional initiative to identify priorities and support the needs of judiciaries handling war crimes cases in the former Yugoslavia.  The Acting Registrar will speak about the ICTY's contribution to the capacity building of national judiciaries. Each of the Tribunal's organs is represented at the workshop.

In a separate OSCE-organised event in Warsaw entitled “Annual Human Dimension Seminar” the President yesterday delivered a key-note speech about the Tribunal’s role in strengthening the rule of law in the former Yugoslavia and the importance of the independence of the judiciary. A link to the speech is available on the Tribunal’s website.

I wish to now flag up two decisions rendered by the Appeals Chamber since last week in the Karadžić and Delić cases:   

Last Thursday, the Appeals Chamber dismissed Karadžić’s appeal of the Trial Chamber’s decision on adequate facilities, thereby upholding Trial Chamber’s earlier decision that the Accused’s legal associates are not entitled to receive remuneration rates comparable to those of assigned counsel. The Appeals Chamber refused to treat Karadzic’s case differently from those of other self-represented accused who have been assisted by legal associated paid according to the Registrar’s Remuneration Scheme. Karadzic has been presented with a number of options to assist him in his self-representation, which has included not only the provision of funding for additional legal associates and other support staff and raising the maximum allotment of hours but also support staff of equivalent to those assisting represented accused.
On Monday, the Appeals Chamber ordered that Rasim Delić be provisionally released pending the hearing of his appeal.
Onto the schedule:

In the contempt case of Florence Hartmann a Status Conference has been scheduled to take place on 19 May at 2:30pm in Courtroom II.

Next week, the Trial Chamber will hear closing arguments in the case of Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić. The hearings will commence on Tuesday 19 May at 2:15pm in courtroom I.

The pre-trial conference in the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović case has been moved to 2 June and the recommencement of the trial to a later date which has yet to be confirmed by the Trial Chamber.

In the case of Mičo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, the Trial Chamber ordered Prosecution and Defence to file their Pre-Trial Briefs by 8 June and 29 June 2009 respectively.

The trials of Momčilo Perišić, Vlastimir Đorđevic and Prlić and others continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.


A journalist asked if it were possible to give an indication on the amount of financial assistance Karadžić was receiving, either weekly or monthly, for his defence. Jelačić answered that she would not be able to disclose specific amounts but she could confirm that five individuals have been named to his legal support team.

Asked if there were any comments on regional reports that the Prosecution has destroyed materials relating to Srebrenica, Kavran said that the Prosecutor in his meeting with the representatives of The Mothers of Srebrenica in Žepa did not confirm the destruction of any evidence nor did he discuss any particular crime scenes.

Kavran stated that what he did say was that, in accordance with procedures, such as those found in national systems, material collected that was no longer needed for trial purposes could be destroyed, if for example, it presented a high risk to hygiene or health. Under such circumstances photographs of the materials would be kept.

Kavran emphasized again that in his meeting the Prosecutor did not confirm destruction of evidence or discuss any particular crime scenes.

Asked if the Prosecution had any indication on how this impression was given, Kavran said that she did not know.

Asked if any materials under these circumstances had been destroyed, Kavran said that she could not confirm or deny whether that had been the case.