Registry and Chambers:
Welcome to a record breaking week at the Tribunal in terms of the number of trials going on simultaneously. A total of nine trials involving 18 accused have been scheduled to take place this week. With the case of Zdravko Tolimir commencing last Friday, there are no war crimes indictees in the Tribunal’s Detention Unit awaiting the start of trial. Of 161 accused only two remain on the run – Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić.
Before turning to the court schedule, I would like to announce the appointment of David Kennedy of the United Kingdom as the Commanding Officer of the Detention Unit as of 1 March. Mr Kennedy has 31 years of experience in the UK prison system.
Onto the schedule:
The Trial Chamber heard the opening statements of Radovan Karadžić on Monday and Tuesday this week. The date for the presentation of evidence of the Prosecution will be set after the Appeals Chamber rules on Karadžić’s appeal of the Chamber’s decision to deny his request for postponement of trial. In accordance with the Rules, the accused has to file his written appeal within seven days of the Trial Chamber’s decision on certification.
A Status Conference in the case of Milan and Sredoje Lukić will be held on Wednesday 16 March at 14:15 in Courtroom I. Trial Chamber III rendered a judgement in this case on 20 July 2009, convicting Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić to life and 30 years’ imprisonment respectively, for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in eastern Bosnian town of Višegrad during the 1992-1995 conflict. Appeals were filed by the Prosecution, and by both Defence teams.
Last Tuesday, 23 February, in the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, the Trial Chamber partially granted Simatović’s motion for adjournment and ordered that hearings scheduled during the weeks beginning 22 March, 29 March and 5 April 2010 be cancelled. The Simatović Defence had originally requested a six-week adjournment in order to have extra time to prepare for the trial, following the formation of a new defence team.
Hearings in the case of Vojislav Šešelj have been cancelled for the remainder of the week due to witness’ inability to travel due to health reasons. Hearings will resume on Tuesday, 9 March, at 14:15 in Courtroom III with witness VS-1058 taking the stand.
Hearings in Gotovina and others resume tomorrow at 9:00 in Courtroom III with the testimony of the second Chamber witness. Chamber is expected to call five more witnesses after the testimony of this witness concludes.
Proceedings in the trials of Momčilo Perišić, Zdravko Tolimir, Prlić and others, Vlastimir Ðorđević as well as Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Frederick Swinnen, the Special Adviser of Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, made the following statement:
Mr. Brammertz, the Prosecutor, will travel to Brussels tomorrow, 4 March, to meet with senior officials of the European Union, including Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council. This will be their first meeting since the appointment of Mr. Van Rompuy as President. During the meeting, the Prosecutor will provide an update on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor, ongoing trials and appeals, the completion strategy and an update on cooperation of states. He will also underline the importance of the support of the EU to the OTP.
No questions were asked.