Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Since the ICTY’s closure on 31 December 2017, the Mechanism maintains this website as part of its mission to preserve and promote the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunals.

 Visit the Mechanism's website.

Weekly Press Briefing - 12 May 2011

The Press Briefing can be viewed on the
ICTY YouTube channel

Date: 12.5.2011
Time: 13:00

Registry and Chambers:

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

Good afternoon,

On Tuesday, Trial Chamber III partially granted Radovan Karadžić’s motion for the further suspension of his trial having found that, Presiding Judge Kwon dissenting, the Prosecution had violated the Rules with respect to the disclosure of the documents. The Chamber ordered that the proceedings be suspended for a further week. The trial is now scheduled to resume on Tuesday, 31 May at 9:00 in Courtroom III.

Moving onto recent developments in the second contempt of court case of Vojislav Šešelj:

Šešelj’s contempt trial will resume on Monday 6 June at 2.30pm in a courtroom to be confirmed. The contempt proceedings were initiated against Šešelj on 4 February 2010 for having allegedly disclosed information in a book which may identify 11 protected witnesses, in violation of orders of a Chamber. The trial commenced on 22 February 2011, at which point the Accused informed the Chamber of his decision not to present his case pending the resolution by the Appeals Chamber of the financing of his defence in his main trial.

Moving next to the forthcoming court schedule,

A Status Conference in the appeals case of Sainović and others will be held next Tuesday, 17 May at 14:30 in Courtroom III. Nikola Sainović and his four co-accused, all former high-ranking Yugoslav and Serbian political, military and police officials, were convicted on 26 February 2009 of crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo in 1999. Milan Milutinović, former President of Serbia, was acquitted of all charges. In August 2009, the Prosecution filed its appeal brief in respect of all accused except Milutinović. In September 2009, all Defence teams filed their appeal briefs.

A Status Conference in the case of Popović and others will be held on Thursday, 9 June at 10:30. The courtroom will be announced in due course. The seven former high-ranking Bosnian Serb military and police officials indicted in this case were convicted on 10 June 2010 for a range of crimes committed in 1995 in relation to genocide committed in Srebrenica and the fall of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Žepa in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. All Defence teams apart from that of Ljubomir Borovčanin have appealed this judgement. The Trial Judgement has become effective with regard to Ljubisa Borovčanin. The Prosecution has also appealed the judgement in relation to all the remaining accused.

Hearings in the case of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as Zdravko Tolimir continue this week and next as scheduled. In the Stanišić and Župljanin case, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Stevo Pašalić, a demography expert. He is the 3rd witness to be called by the Defence.

In the Tolimir trial, the Chamber this afternoon will continue hearing the testimony of Dragomir Keserović, former VRS Main Staff officer. He is the 105th witness to be called by the Prosecution.

Finally, this week the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme welcomes a group of Serbian journalists for a four-day visit. The journalists are covering a range of topics relating both to the ICTY and its core courtroom activities, and to court reporting. Officials from all three organs of the Tribunal will meet the group, as will regional journalists based at the Tribunal and who report regularly on its activities.

This visit was organised by OSCE Mission to Serbia.

Office of the Prosecutor:

Frederick Swinnen, special adviser to the Prosecutor, made no statement.

Asked about the Tribunal’s prosecutors who remained in Belgrade after Prosecutor Serge Brammertz ended his official visit, and what their role was, Frederick Swinnen confirmed that members of the Office of the Prosecutor stayed to continue discussions with the operational services initiated during the official visit. Swinnen reminded that the Prosecutor was in Belgrade on 10 and 11 May in preparation of his next report to the UN Security Council. This was his second visit to Belgrade in the last six months. During the visit, the Prosecutor met with the President of Serbia, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister for Cooperation with the Tribunal, the Prosecutor for War Crimes and the operational services. Swinnen pointed out that the OTP had regular contacts with the operational services, and this discussion would also be continued through the members of the OTP who stayed in Belgrade. Swinnen added that the OTP would send the Report to UN Security Council at the beginning of next week.      

Asked whether the Prosecutor learnt anything new from Serbian authorities regarding the search for and arrest of the two remaining fugitives, Swinnen replied that Serbian authorities informed the OTP about their efforts to locate and arrest the fugitives. While Swinnen could not give details on the operational work, he said the Prosecutor was informed by the Ministry of Interior of recent changes in personnel and organisation in the Service for War Crimes Investigations in the police. He added that the OTP was eager to see the results of these changes and the impact on the cooperation.

Asked why the Prosecutor planned to meet with the Minister of Defence and whether that meant that Serbian Military should be involved in searching for the remaining fugitives, Swinnen reminded journalists that in the previous Report to the UN Security Council, the Prosecutor had asked for a more comprehensive and  multidisciplinary approach in tracking the fugitives, which includes involving various government services. According to Swinnen, precisely this was the reason why the Prosecutor met with the Minister of Interior and also why he had planned to meet with the Minister of Defence who was unavailable as he was abroad. Swinnen added that various government entities were involved in the effort, including the Police, Defence and Intelligence services. A comprehensive approach is therefore crucial

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
For more information, please contact our Media Office in The Hague
Tel.: +31-70-512-8752; 512-5343; 512-5356 Fax: +31-70-512-5355 - Email: press [at] icty.org
Follow ICTY on Twitter and Youtube