Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
I’ll turn straight to an update on several of the Tribunal’s ongoing trials.
In the case of Milan and Sredoje Lukić, Judge Gűney announced at this Monday’s Status Conference the Chamber’s intention to render its appeals judgement before this year’s summer recess, which will start on 23 July.
Also on Monday, the Defence case in the trial of Zdravko Tolimir began. Tolimir, who is representing himself, will be calling a total of four witnesses and will use 36 hours for his examination-in-chief. The Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of the first defence witness Slavko Kralj, who was an officer in the Department for liaison with foreign military representatives in the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska during the relevant period.
Proceedings in this trial, as well as the trials of Radovan Karadžić, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.
In the trial of Radovan Karadžić, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Tomasz Blaszczyk, an investigator for the Office of the Prosecutor who is testifying about the film on events in Srebrenica made by Zoran Petrović-Piroćanac.
In the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Borisav Pelević, a former Serbian Volunteer Guard member.
Next, a reminder that a Status Conference in the trial of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač will be held this Thursday, 26 January at 15:30 in Courtroom III.
Finally, in the case of Vojislav Šešelj, an Administrative Hearing will be held on 7 February at 14:30 in Courtroom III to discuss issues pertaining to the Accused’s health.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor, made the following statement:
The Office of the Prosecutor has welcomed the arrest on 21 January 2012 of Radovan Stanković in Foča, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The apprehension of Stanković is significant for the victims of the grave crimes he has been convicted for. We hope that this arrest reflects an increased commitment of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the process of bringing to justice those responsible for the grave crimes committed on their territory in the early 1990s.
Stanković, a former member of Serb paramilitary forces, was indicted by the ICTY for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including rape committed in Foča, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1992. He was transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2005 pursuant to Rule 11bis where he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment but escaped from prison in Foča in May 2007.
During the past four years, the OTP repeatedly called for his arrest. In the last report to the UN Security Council, the OTP had emphasized the importance of apprehending Stanković, which remained a critical challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina and other States of the former Yugoslavia.
A journalist asked about claims by the party of Vojislav Šešelj that he has been receiving inadequate treatment and wrong therapy at the United Nations Detention Unit and that this had been confirmed by the Doctors at the civilian hospital he attended recently. Jelačić said that there have been a number of inaccurate statements made in the media over the past week regarding the health of Vojislav Šešelj. Jelačić reiterated that the two occasions on which Šešelj has recently been transferred to an external hospital did not result from an emergency situation but were a precautionary measure. On both occasions, Šešelj had been returned to the UNDU within hours, which would indicate that doctors had judged that hospitalisation was not necessary. Jelačić stressed that it is the Tribunal’s obligation to respect the fundamental human rights of each accused and this includes their right to privacy in relation to their medical information. Šešelj continues refusing to allow the Tribunal access to details of his medical treatment but the available information would indicate that the statements made in Belgrade concerning this treatment are inaccurate.
A journalist asked whether the Registry has issued a decision on Šešelj’s request to be visited by doctors from Serbia. Jelačić confirmed that his request has been approved in accordance with Rule 31 of the Tribunal’s Rules of Detention and that the Accused had been informed of this yesterday. Asked whether she could confirm that one doctor on this list is a gynaecologist, Jelačić said she was unable to reveal the names of the doctors but confirmed that all four names submitted in the Accused’s request have been approved. Jelačić stressed that claims that there have been delays in the approval of the Accused’s request are inaccurate. Under Rule 31, the Accused alone can request a visit of medical specialists of his choice to examine him in the UNDU. The Registry had initially received a request for such a visit from an external party. This was forwarded to the Accused and following his confirmation that he wanted such a visit by the listed doctors, the request was approved. Jelačić went on to highlight that such medical visits can only involve certain activities in accordance with Rule 31 which comprise consultation with the detainee, non-invasive physical examinations such as measuring blood pressure and listening to the heart and lungs, viewing the contents of the detainees medical file if consent is given by the detainee, and providing a medical opinion to the detainee and to the UNDU Medical Officer.
A journalist asked whether a response had been received from Colonel Rutten following the letter sent on 10 January by Judge Kwon concerning the handing-over of Colonel Rutten’s Notes made during his time in Srebrenica. Jelačić confirmed that the Registry has not yet received a response.