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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 15th Mar 2000

ICTY Press Briefing - 15 March 2000

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

Weekly Press Briefing

15 March 2000

11:00 a.m. 


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

I would like to announce that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi
Annan, has nominated Judge Liu Daqun to succeed Judge Wang here at the Tribunal.
He is due to arrive on 1 April and his assignment will follow his arrival.

as part of the Tribunal’s involvement in the Preparatory Commission for the
International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Richard May will be giving a speech
at a plenary session in New York this coming Monday, 20 March, in which he will
deliver the Tribunal’s Judges comments with regard to the adoption of the ICC’s
Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

13 March, the Appeals Chamber issued a scheduling order for the Aleksovski appeal.
The Judgement in that case will be rendered on Friday 24 March at 0900 hours.

10 March, a scheduling order was filed in the contempt of court case against
Milan Simic and his counsel, Mr. Avramovic, stating that the Judgement will
be handed down on Wednesday 29 March at 0845 hours.

the Prosecution is seeking leave to appeal Trial Chamber III’s decision to order
that the Prosecution disclose certain specified documents in connection with
SFOR, or other military and security forces operating on the territory of Bosnia
and Herzegovina.

Kovac’s application on 11 March for Milan Vujin to act as pro bono co-counsel
for him on his defence team, Trial Chamber II, has denied Mr. Milan Vujin the
right of audience in the case. In their decision, they state that "he was
found guilty of contempt of the Tribunal and is therefore no longer fit to appear
before the Tribunal; consequently he cannot be given the right of audience by
the Trial Chamber. This decision applies regardless of Mr. Milan Vujin’s pending
appeal against the judgement of the Appeals Chamber. The Trial Chamber would
be failing in its duty to protect the interests of the accused Radomir Kovac
if it allowed Mr. Milan Vujin to appear before the Trial Chamber

following the recent visit by the Montenegrin Prime Minister and other ministers
to the Tribunal, yesterday the Outreach Coordinator, Liam McDowall, met with
senior officials from the Montenegrin Ministry of Justice and Foreign Ministry
in Podgorica to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation between the Tribunal
and the authorities in Montenegro and how to improve communications and information
on the Courts’ activities. The meetings were described as very constructive
and positive. Liam will be back at the Tribunal on Monday if any of you want
more details from him.

a reminder that there will be no Krstic trial on Thursday, which is an official
UN holiday, or on Friday. In addition, as you should by now be aware, the so-called
Foca ‘rape camp’ trial is set to begin on Monday morning, at 0930 hours in courtroom



Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following

Monday the Foca trial begins and I believe that this is the first trial before
the Tribunal in which the crime of rape is the primary focus of the Prosecution’s
efforts. This is the first trial before the Tribunal where the severity, degree
and number of alleged rapes would indicate the systematic nature of the crime
and thus merits it as a crime against humanity. This trial is as important as
the ongoing Krstic trial. We are at the point in the history of the Tribunal
where we ironically almost rue the day that there are many trials going on at
the same time, this is a measure of our success but also a measure of the work
that the reporters must do to be sure to give the proper attention to each of
these trials.


whether the reason that many localised grave-sites in Srebrenica had not yet
been exhumed was due to lack of funding for the exhumation program, a lack
of personnel, or due to the method in which the investigators worked, Risley
replied that it was due to the number of sites.

whether this situation could be speeded up with more financial means or more
people working on the exhumation programmes, Risley replied that he did not
believe this to be the case. He believed that with the Srebrenica investigations
a certain pace and plan had been set that proved to be successful. The OTP
investigation had been able to deliver very clear and overwhelming evidence
and the exhumations and investigations of these sites would continue through
this summer, as well as the continuing investigations in Kosovo and elsewhere.

whether Erdemovic would give his testimony to the court by deposition or whether
he would actually be in the court, Risley replied that the answer would be
learned shortly.