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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 28 October 2009

Date:  28.10.2009   
Time: 12:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good morning,

Judge Patrick Robinson and Judge O-Gon Kwon were re-elected to a new two-year term as President and Vice-President of the Tribunal by the permanent Judges in an Extraordinary Plenary Session on Monday, 26 October. President Robinson and Vice-President Kwon were re-elected by acclamation to a new two-year term effective from 17 November 2009.

The trial of Radovan Karadžić commenced yesterday with the Prosecution’s Opening Statement and will resume on Monday, 2 November at 14:15 in Courtroom I. Judge Kwon announced that should the accused not be present on Monday, a hearing will be held the following day to hear oral submissions from both parties on how to proceed further. The Chamber will then rule on the matter. The accreditation procedure for members of the media wishing to attend next week’s hearings will open today.

The appeals hearing in the case of Haradinaj and others commenced this morning and will last until this evening. The judgement in the case was rendered on 3 April 2008. Ramush Haradinaj, former Commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), and Idriz Balaj, a former Member of the KLA, were acquitted of all charges which alleged they were responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo between March and September 1998. The third accused, Lahi Brahimaj was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for cruel treatment and torture. The Prosecution has called for a re-trial and filed its notice of appeal on 1 May 2008. Brahimaj’s Defence filed its notice of appeal on 5 May 2008.

Another appeals hearing in the case of Ljube Boškoski and Johan Tarčulovski, will be held tomorrow from 9:00 to 17:00 in Courtroom I. The judgement was rendered on 10 July 2008. Ljube Boškoski, the former Minister of Interior of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, was acquitted of all charges, whilst his co-accused Johan Tarčulovski, a former police officer, was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment for crimes committed against ethnic Albanians in August 2001. Prosecution filed its notice of appeal in respect of Ljube Boškoski on 4 November 2008 and requested the Appeals Chamber to reverse his acquittal and sentence him for the crimes of murder, wanton destruction and cruel treatment. The Defence of Tarčulovski filed its appeal brief on 12 January 2009.

During last week’s Status Conference in the case of Zdravko Tolimir, it was announced that the Pre-Trial Conference would be held on Wednesday, 16 December 2009, followed by the Prosecution’s Opening Statement on Tuesday, 17 December. The Chamber has yet to confirm these dates.

The trial of Momčilo Perišić resumes on Monday, 2 November 2009 at 9:00 in Courtroom II.

In the case of Vlastimir Ðorđević, Prosecution is expected to complete its case this week.

Hearings in the trials of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin, Gotovina and others, and Prlić and others continue tomorrow and next week as scheduled.

Office of the Prosecutor:

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

As announced earlier, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina today and tomorrow where he will meet members of the Presidency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the High Representative and the War Crimes Prosecutor.

The Prosecutor is planning to be in Belgrade, Serbia on Wednesday and Thursday next week, where he will meet with the President, Prime Minister, the President of the National Council for Cooperation and the War Crimes Prosecutor.

These are his regular working visits to the region of the former Yugoslavia in connection with the biannual report before the Security Council which is scheduled for December. In his meetings with the local authorities, the Prosecutor will discuss issues related to cooperation of the respective states with the Office of the Prosecutor and other matters related to the Tribunal’s Completion Strategy.


A journalist asked whether we could expect a decision on Tuesday, 3 November on how to proceed further in the Karadžić case.

Nerma Jelačić responded that should the accused fail to appear for the scheduled continuation of the Prosecution’s opening statements on Monday, a hearing will be held on Tuesday afternoon, at which time the Chamber will hear submissions from both parties on the manner in which the trial can proceed. When the Trial Chamber makes its decision it will be communicated to the public.

A journalist asked whether there is a shortlist of possible defence counsels that could be imposed upon the accused. Nerma Jelačić responded that there is no shortlist as such but that the Registry holds a database of defence lawyers who are qualified to practice before the ICTY. If a counsel is appointed, the Registrar may consult this database. Currently there are 120 lawyers eligible to be assigned as counsels to legally aided accused before the Tribunal.