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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 12th Apr 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 12 April 2000

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

Weekly Press Briefing

Date: 12 April 2000

Time: 12:00 a.m.


Jim Landale, Spokesman for Registry and Chambers made the following statement:

there will be an extraordinary plenary session of the Judges next Tuesday, which
will be devoted to administrative, organisational and management matters.

6 April 2000, a scheduling order was filed which has set the beginning of the
appeal in the Celebici case for 5 June 2000 at 1000 hours. At this the parties
will be able to supplement their appeal briefs with oral arguments.

on 6 April, the President of the Tribunal, Judge Claude Jorda, appointed Judges
Lal Chand Vohrah, Rafael Nieto-Navia and Judge Fausto Pocar to a bench of the
Appeals Chamber to decide on the Prosecutor’s application for leave to
appeal against Trial Chamber III’s decision to grant the provisional release
of Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric.

have also received the Defence’s response to the Prosecution’s application
for leave to appeal the provisional release decision, and the Prosecutions reply
to the Defence response. Copies of those will be available after this.

you might have heard in the status conference yesterday evening for Stanislav
Galic that a pre-trial conference in that case has been set for 1 September
and the Trial Chamber is aiming for January 2001 for the beginning of the trial.

will be a pre-trial conference in the Prcac case this afternoon at four o’clock
in courtroom III.

addition, there will be a status conference today in the Krstic case. It is
not clear at this stage whether this will be open or closed to the public.

a reminder that Lord Robertson, the Secretary-General of NATO, will be visiting
the Tribunal tomorrow 13 April between 3 p.m. and 4.15 p.m. There will be a
press opportunity at approximately 4 p.m. in the lobby to which you are all
invited to attend.



Risley stated that the Prosecutor was here in The Hague today. In the Krstic
trial, massacre survivors would testify through the end of this week, and the
trial will resume in late May with a different line of witnesses, he said. Risley
announced that on Monday 17 April, the OTP would resume exhumations in Kosovo.
On the same day a new morgue near Orahovac, constructed with labor donated by
the Dutch military detachment in Kosovo, would be dedicated, he said. Risley
went on to say that reporters were invited to the opening and any wire services
might want to inform their Pristina-based counterparts. A Tribunal forensic
team would begin work on the 18th April and international forensic
teams would begin in early May, Risley stated. Journalists from Pristina will
be invited to visit the Team’s work sites once they are established, he
said. Risley further said that there were 300 suspected sites to be examined
in four months, which was a very ambitious schedule.



Asked how many
sites would be started next week. Risley replied that the Tribunal team would
begin at possibly three sites. The team consisted of 15-20 people, he said.

Asked if any
international teams had already begun work, Risley replied that they had not.

Asked for the
number of exhumed bodies, Risley referred the questioner to the statement
by the Prosecutor of December 8th last year in which she said there
were 2,108 exhumed bodies. He went on to say that no new numbers could be
expected until the autumn when the current programme in Kosovo had finished.
Identification of bodies would be carried out by the Victims Recovery and
Identification Commission of UNMIK, he added.

Asked for more
details on the morgue, such as cost, size and where precisely it was, Risley
replied that he would have more information soon. He added that the Prosecutor
was extremely appreciative of the Dutch Government’s very substantial

Asked about
the total annual cost of the Tribunal and whether the figure of one billion
dollars or guilders quoted in a Dutch newspaper report was at all realistic
if the regular budget was combined with all the voluntary contributions, the
trust fund, seconded personnel costs, etc, Landale replied that it seemed
very high, but that he would check.

On the issue
of investigations in Croatia, Risley was asked what was happening and how
much cooperation there had been with the Government there. He replied that
the Croatian Government had already issued a statement announcing their
approval of OTP investigations and their support in areas such as security.
This was the first field investigation in the last two years and the Prosecutor
was very appreciative of the support in these very important investigations,
he said.

Asked what
sites were being investigated, Risley replied that he could not comment on
ongoing investigations.

Asked if there
was any time scale on the issue of provisional release for Miroslav Tadic
and Simo Zaric, Landale replied that there was not. Trial Chamber III had
decided that they should be released pending an appeal from the Prosecution.
The Prosecution had filed their application for leave to appeal and a panel
of Judges had been appointed to decide whether the appeal should go ahead,
he said.

Asked whether
any new documents had been handed over by the Croatian Government, Risley
replied that the liaison office in Zagreb had received two separate deliveries
of documents as requested by the Prosecutor. These documents were being reviewed
by Tribunal staff to see if they fulfilled all the requests made by the OTP,
he said. He went on to say that during the Prosecutors’ visit to Croatia
last week, the emphasis was on cooperation and on examining their files to
discover what other documents they might have to aid investigations. Assistance
with investigations was an ongoing process, he said, and the Croatian Government
had indicated that they were in agreement over this.

Asked whether
this ‘first investigation in two years’ had already begun, Risley
replied that it had.

Asked about
the Celebici appeal in which the Defence counsel were apparently using video
footage to try to prove that Judge Karibi-White was asleep during parts of
the trial and whether it was true that the Prosecution was submitting footage
of Judge Karibi-White awake, and if so what purpose this could serve, Risley
replied that he was not aware whether the Prosecutions’ submission was
public, but stressed that the whole issue was taken very seriously by the
Tribunal and OTP appellate counsel.

Landale added
that this was an issue that initially formed a part of Landzo’s appeal
brief and was now also mentioned by the other appellants in their briefs.
It was, therefore, something that would be very seriously considered by
the Appeals Chamber, he said.