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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 28th Jun 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 28 June 2000

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

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 28 June 2000

Time: 12:30 p.m.


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

Firstly, Dusko
Sikirica’s initial appearance before Trial Chamber III will take place on Friday
7 July 2000 at 1430 hours in Courtroom III, where he will be asked to enter
a plea to the charges contained in the indictment against him. All media are
welcome to attend.

Please also note
that an amended indictment was confirmed on 30 August 1999 and kept under seal
until his detention and transfer to The Hague on 25 June 2000.

In the amended
indictment, Sikirica is charged on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility,
as well as superior criminal responsibility with two counts of genocide, three
counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of violations of the laws or
customs of war for his alleged role as commander of the Keraterm prison camp
in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 23 June, a
defence statement on motion for provisional release was filed by the defence
for Stanislav Galic. This includes submissions from the accused himself, his
defence counsel and his wife. On the same date Galic’s defence also filed their
reply to the Prosecutor’s Response in Opposition to Motion for Provisional Release.

On 27 June, a
Prosecutor’s Response to Defence Motion for Judgement of acquittal pursuant
to Rule 98bis was filed in the Foca case. We have copies of those documents
available after this.

Finally, a reminder
that the Defence case in the Foca trial will begin next Monday, 3 July.


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

The Prosecutor
is in Arusha today, she will be there until the end of the week. The Deputy
Prosecutor is currently on leave.



Asked why
there was such a long postponement of the Sikirica initial appearance, Landale
replied that when Sikirica arrived at the detention unit he had a medical
check up, one of the normal formalities for a new detainee. During the check
up some injuries were detected that were sustained during the detention operation,
he added. He went on to say that these were minor injuries, however, they
required attention and it was decided by a doctor that this should be done
before Sikirica’s initial appearance took place.

Asked what
kind of injuries Sikirica sustained during his arrest, Landale replied that
they were minor injuries.

Asked for an
update on the investigations in Dubrovnik, Risley replied that he could not
give many precise details, apart from the fact that the OTP was receiving
excellent cooperation from the Government of Croatia. He added that the OTP
currently had a team of investigators working in and around the Dubrovnik
area. He concluded that the Prosecutor had publicly revealed her intention
to complete this investigation and to issue indictments before the end of
this year.

Asked for
further information on the Prosecutor’s visit to Arusha, Risley replied that
he did not have much information to give apart from the fact that there was
a Plenary taking place in Arusha which the Prosecutor would be following.

Asked to
comment about a statement allegedly made by Radio Free Europe that he had
confirmed that investigations were being carried out against journalists for
instigation of crimes, Risley replied that four days ago a reporter for Radio
Free Europe had asked him several questions on that issue. He added that for
the record, the OTP had no journalists under investigation in the former Yugoslavia,
although the OTP might in the future.

He went on to
say that to some degree the reporter from Radio Free Europe had put words
into his mouth, implying that he had confirmed that there were ongoing investigations.
He concluded by reiterating the fact that the OTP would never confirm who
targets of its ongoing investigations were, until the OTP was prepared to
make indictments and it was the same for this case and that he did not know
of any publicly known events or occurrences that would lead one to believe
that journalists would be under investigation.

Risley added
finally that the reporter from the Radio Free Europe was incorrect in saying
that he was confirming any investigation, as targets of investigations were
not confirmed in that way.

Asked to
comment on a report quoting Mr. Thaci as stating categorically that there
were no investigations against KLA leaders, Risley replied that, an investigation
from the Prosecutor always began with a specific allegation of a crime. He
added that the OTP did not announce or indicate the targets of the OTP investigations
until they were prepared to make an indictment, thus perhaps what Mr. Thaci
said was correct. However his word should not be relied upon on this issue,
only the words of the Prosecutor.

The Prosecutor
had made it very clear that she had an investigation underway into alleged
crimes where there were Serbian victims. The mandate and the authority of
this Tribunal and this Prosecutor were for the investigation of the senior
most persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian
law, he concluded.