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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 17 June 2009

Date:  17.06.2009   
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
The President of the Tribunal, Patrick Robinson, today wrapped up his first visit to the region of the former Yugoslavia. During the visit, President Robinson had an opportunity to meet with colleagues from local judiciaries in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as representatives of governments and civil society.

During the meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia Jadranka Kosor, President Robinson acknowledged that Croatia was working hard on its relationship with the Tribunal and added he looked forward to the country’s future cooperation.

The President also met with members of BiH Presidency, judges of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the High Representative of the international community there. He expressed his concern that the country's government has not extended the mandate of international judges and prosecutors, who are at this time still of vital importance in protecting the integrity of the judicial institutions.

During his tour of the region the President spoke at two conferences in Dubrovnik and Sarajevo and met with the mayors of the two cities. During the meeting with the mayor of Sarajevo Alija Behmen, the issue of future locations of the Tribunal’s archives was discussed. The President expressed his interest in the initiative to have certified copies of ICTY archives housed in Sarajevo. He also met with representatives of victims associations in BiH.
He is expected to visit Serbia soon.
On to judicial decisions:

Yesterday, Trial Chamber II granted Milan Gvero, one of the seven accused in the Popović and others case, provisional release on humanitarian grounds, for a period not exceeding 21 days, to take place between 30 June and 23 August. The exact dates of Gvero’s provisional release have yet to be determined.

In the Stanišić and Simatović case, Dr. Eekhof informed the Trial Chamber today that Jovica Stanišić’s physical condition has improved since last week. In his latest weekly medical report, Dr. Eekhof says that he is fit to be transported to the Courtroom and to sit and participate in the proceedings for a period of at least one hour. The report will be made available later today.

As to the court schedule:

On Thursday 25 June, a Status Conference will be held in the Zdravko Tolimir case at 14:30 in Courtroom II.

The following day, on Friday 26 June, a hearing will be held in Courtroom I at 09:00 on Ante Gotovina’s Defence Motion for a restraining Order against Croatia. In April, the Defence requested that a restraining order be issued against the Croatian Government, the State Prosecutor’s Office there as well as the Municipal Court in Zagreb, prohibiting them from continuing criminal proceedings currently underway in Zagreb against Marin Ivanović, an attorney working for the Defence team of Ante Gotovina. Marin Ivanović is accused of concealing archival material depicting the use of HVO artillery which he received from a Croatian Army Officer. A representative of the Croatian government has been ordered to appear before the Chamber to discuss the matter.

Proceedings in Gotovina and others, Prlić and others, Momcilo Perišić and Vlastimir Ðorđević 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 for background information on the extension of the mandate of international judges and prosecutors at the State Court of BiH. Jelačić said that Court and Prosecutor’s Office of BiH have mixed national and international staff. When the institution was established in 2004 the estimate for the time needed to transition the institution from mixed to completely national was five years. Jelačić stated that since the original plan both the President of Court of BiH and chief Prosecutor of BiH as well as members of international community there voiced the opinion that there was still the need for presence of international judges and prosecutors. The Tribunal has also voiced its support for the extension of their mandates on a number of occasions in the last two years. The journalist further questioned until when the mandate should be extended and Jelačić noted that the mandate should be extended until there is no further need for their presence.