Time: 12:30 p.m.
Registry and Chambers
Nenad Golčevski, Acting Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
I’ll turn first to the trial of Ratko Mladić which resumed this Monday after a month-long recess, granted in order for the Defence to prepare for the re-opening of the Prosecution’s case. This re-opening relates to evidence from the mass grave discovered in Tomašica, near Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of a forensic expert Ian Hanson. He is the 3rd witness to testify in the Prosecution’s reopening.
I’ll look next at two decisions issued by President Meron in his capacity as President of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.
First, on 29 May, President Meron denied the request by Sreten Lukić, a senior official from the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, from the case of Nikola Šainović and others, for determination of the time he has served so far. This followed Lukić’s original request, filed confidentially on 27 January, that the President confirm that the Trial and Appeal Judgement granted him credit for the whole period spent in ICTY custody, including periods spent on provisional release, and that credit be granted for the time spent in Serbia pending his transfer to the ICTY. In his decision the President noted that the Trial Judgement observed that Lukić ‘has been in custody since 4 April 2005’ and that ‘he is entitled to credit for time spent in detention thus far’ which was not challenged on appeal. The President went on to dismiss Lukic's motion concluding that President of the Mechanism has no jurisdiction to reconsider a final judgement.
Second, on 23 June the President in his capacity as President of the Mechanism issued a public version of his decision, issued confidentially on 5 December 2014, denying early release to Stanislav Galić, former Commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army.
Galić was sentenced to life imprisonment on 30 November 2006 by the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY for his role in the campaign of sniping and shelling against civilians in Sarajevo from September 1992 to August 1994. Galić was transferred to Germany to serve the remainder of his sentence on 15 January 2009. Under German law, convicts sentenced to life imprisonment are eligible for early release after 15 years. On 15 October 2014, the Registrar conveyed to the President a notification from Germany of Galić’s eligibility for early release under German law. On 21 November 2014, the Registrar conveyed to the President Galić’s submission that he be granted early release after having served 15 years of his sentence.
This is the first decision of the Mechanism to address the question of the eligibility for early release of an individual sentenced to life imprisonment. President Meron explains the reasons for his decision not to grant early release to Galić in a separate filing, issued on 23 June. In this document, the President first sets out that those sentenced to life imprisonment by the ICTR, the ICTY or the Mechanism should not be ‘barred’ from being considered for early release. The President proceeds to hold that Galić shall be considered eligible for early release by the Mechanism upon having served more than two-thirds of the highest fixed-term sentence imposed by the ICTR, the ICTY, or the Mechanism, which amounts to more than 30 years of Galić’s sentence. Given that Galić has served 15 years of his sentence, as of 18 December 2014, the President denies him early release. The President notes, however, that whether or not an individual has served two-thirds of his or her sentence is not dispositive as to either the possibility of review for purposes of early release or the prospect of such early release.
Moving onto scheduling, the Appeals Hearing in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović has been scheduled for Monday 6 July 2015 at 10am. The courtroom will be confirmed in due course.
Finally, this week the Tribunal launched a dedicated website commemorating the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, four weeks ahead of its twentieth anniversary on 11 July 2015. The website is intended as a resource for teachers, journalists and the general public, and provides multimedia information for those wishing to learn more about the genocide, its victims and the ICTY’s role in bringing the perpetrators to justice. A new video narrating the events that took place during the takeover of Srebrenica as established by ICTY judgments is also premiered on the site.
No questions were asked.