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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 26 August 2009

Date:  26.08.2009   
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

Christian Chartier, acting Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

Good morning,

An appeal hearing in the Haradinaj and others case has been scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 from 9:00 to 19:00.

On 3 April 2008, Trial Chamber I acquitted Ramush Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj on all charges of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo between March and September 1998. At the time, Haradinaj was a commander of the KLA in Dukagjin area (north-western Kosovo), and Balaj was the commander of the Black Eagles Unit within the KLA. Following the judgement, they were both released from custody. The Appeals Chamber yesterday ordered them to inform the Registry if they will exercise their right to be present at the 28 October hearing.

Also acquitted of crimes against humanity, a third accused, Lahi Brahimaj, was convicted by the Trial Chamber for war crimes (cruel treatment and torture) against two persons at the Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. On 25 May 2009, Lahi Brahimaj was granted provisional release pending the appeal hearing.

In May 2008, both the Prosecution and the Defence for Brahimaj filed appeals against the Trial Chamber's judgement. The Prosecution asks the Appeals Chamber to remit the case to a Trial Chamber for a new trial "to hear direct evidence of witnesses regarding the participation [of the three accused] in a joint criminal enterprise and their individual responsibility" in relation to a number of crimes. Brahimaj's Notice of Appeal includes 19 grounds, nine against conviction and ten against sentencing: the Defence seeks an acquittal or, in the alternative, a reduced sentence.

As to the courtroom schedule for this week and next:

On Wednesday, 2 September at 09:00 the Trial Chamber will hear closing arguments in the case of Popović and others in courtroom III. The trial of Popović and others commenced on 14 July 2006.

The trial of Stanišić and Simatović resumes today at 14:15 in courtroom II. Hearings will continue tomorrow afternoon at 14:15 in courtroom II and also on Monday and Tuesday at 14:15 in courtroom II.

Hearings in Gotovina and others have been cancelled for the remainder of the week due to the unavailability of the witness. Proceedings will resume on Monday 31, August at 9:00 in courtroom I.

The trials of Vlastimir Ðorđević, Momčilo Perišić as well as Prlić and others will continue this week and next as scheduled.

Office of the Prosecutor:

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


In connection with the Haradinaj appeal, a journalist asked for an update on the contempt of court proceedings against Shefqet Kabashi. Christian Chartier confirmed that this case is still pending. He stated that there is no connection between this contempt case and the scheduling of the Haradinaj appeal hearing.