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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 09 December 2009

Date:  9.12.2009
Time: 11:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good morning,

Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber dismissed Veselin Šljivančanin’s motion to reconsider the Appeals Judgement of 5 May 2009. The Appeals Chamber found that Šljivančanin’s request is an attempt to re-litigate issues finally decided on appeal. The Chamber recalled that it has no power to reconsider final judgements as the Statute of the Tribunal only provides for a right of appeal of a Trial Chamber Judgement, a right of review of an Appeals Chamber Judgement but not for a second right to appeal, by means of reconsideration, of a final judgement.

On Monday, the Trial Chamber dismissed Radovan Karadžić’s motion challenging the legal validity and legitimacy of the Tribunal. In reaching its decision, the Trial Chamber noted that the issue as to whether the UN Security Council acted legally in establishing the Tribunal had already been unambiguously settled in 1995 in the case of Duško Tadić. The Trial Chamber dismissed Karadzic’s argument that the Tribunal was not legally constituted because it was not established through an international treaty. The Chamber referred to the Appeals Chamber’s earlier finding that the establishment of the Tribunal fell squarely within the powers of the UN Security Council. The Trial Chamber added that “the establishment of an international tribunal through an international treaty (…) is but one of the methods by which to set up such a tribunal.” The Trial Chamber concluded by emphasising to the Accused that his efforts and resources should best be directed towards preparing for the resumption of his trial rather than filing challenges out of moral duty. 

In the case of Momčilo Perišić, the Trial Chamber on Monday granted the Accused’s request to be provisionally released during the current break in his trial which is due to resume on 25 January with the start of the Defence case. The Trial Chamber ordered that Perišić be provisionally released to Serbia as soon as practicable and that he shall return by 14 January 2010. Prosecution has not appealed the decision and the Accused is expected to leave soon.

Onto the courtroom schedule:

Two Scheduling Orders were filed since last Wednesday, one announcing that the Appeals Hearing in the case of Rasim Delić will be held on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 and another one setting the date of a Status Conference in the Šainović and others case for Monday, 18 January 2010.

A pre-trial conference will be held in the Zdravko Tolimir case on Wednesday, 16 October at 14:15 in Courtroom I. The Trial is expected to start the following day at 9:00 am in Courtroom I.

Also on Wednesday, a hearing in the case of Gotovina and others will be held at 9:00 am in Courtroom III between representatives of the Republic of Croatia and the OTP to discuss the list of documents still sought by the Prosecution. These documents relate to the artillery operation carried out during Operation Storm, and the Special Police documents relevant to the activities and operations of Mladen Markač and his subordinate Special Police units during and following Operation Storm.

The trials of Vlastimir Ðorđević, Gotovina and others, Prlić and others, Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović will continue this week and next as scheduled.

And finally, the Tribunal is hosting this week a visit from a group of journalists from Serbia. The aim of this visit, which is co-organised by the Outreach programme and the OSCE mission to Serbia, is to deepen the journalists’ understanding of the Tribunal and improve their reporting skills on war crimes trials before the Tribunal.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, was not present.