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Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
I’ll turn first to several decisions relating to requests for temporary provisional release.
In the case of Prlić and others, last week the Chamber denied by a majority decision requests for temporary provisional release made by Jadranko Prlić and Slobodan Praljak. Whilst finding that neither Accused posed a risk of flight, or a risk of endangering victims or witnesses, the Chamber judged in both cases that sufficiently compelling humanitarian grounds had not been presented to justify the granting of provisional release. Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti gave a dissenting opinion in both cases.
Last week the Chamber also ruled on requests for temporary provisional release by Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović. Stanišić’s request was granted in part, with the accused being provisionally released today. He will return to the Detention Unit on or before Tuesday 3 May. This is to allow the Accused to attend a memorial service for his late father. A request for provisional release for the period following the Rule 98bis stage of the trial, until the start of the Defence case was denied, with the Chamber ruling that the Stanišić Defence had not presented compelling humanitarian grounds justifying provisional release.
Franko Simatović’s request for temporary provisional release was denied. In its decision, the Chamber found that the Accused would not represent a risk of flight, or danger to any victim, witness or other person whilst on release. However, the Chamber found that given the recent granting of almost three weeks of provisional release of the Accused from 15 March to 4 April, it was not inclined to exercise its discretion in favour of granting provisional release for the short period up to the Rule 98bis Decision scheduled for 5 May. Regarding the period following the Rule 98 bis stage of the trial, until the start of the Defence case, the Chamber ruling that the Stanisic Defence had not presented compelling humanitarian grounds justifying provisional release.
Turning now to activities in the courtrooms:
Next Wednesday and Thursday, 4 and 5 May, two Oral Decisions will be rendered under Rule 98bis of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedures and Evidence, in the cases of Vojislav Šešelj and Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović respectively. Rule 98 bis of the Tribunal’s Rules of Procedures and Evidence provides that accused may file a motion for a judgement of acquittal on one or more offences charged in the indictment after the close of the Prosecutor’s case. After hearing the oral submissions of the parties, the Trial Chamber can enter a judgement of acquittal on any count if it finds that the evidence presented by the Prosecution is insufficient to support a conviction. Both decisions will be rendered at 9am in Courtroom I.
The media accreditation period for the Rule 98bis oral decision in the case of Vojislav Šešelj is now closed. Journalists who have sent an accreditation request will be contacted at the beginning of next week with further details on how to access the lobby and the public gallery on 4 May.
The trial of Zdravko Tolimir continues this week and next week with the Chamber currently hearing the testimony of Esma Palić, wife of the late Avdo Palić, war commander in Žepa, who was killed following the take-over of Žepa. She is the 102nd witness to be called by the Prosecution.
Hearings in the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin resume next Monday, 2 May in Courtroom I.
Finally, a Status Conference in the case of Sainović et al. will be held on 17 May at 14:30 in Courtroom III.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Aleksandar Kontić, member of the Prosecutor’s Immediate Office, made no statement.
No questions were asked.