ICTY WEEKLY PRESS BRIEFING Latest Developments
ICTY Weekly Press Briefing                                                

Date:  16.04.2008
Time: 13:00

Registry and Chambers:

 

          The Tribunal is concerned by a number of inaccurate and misleading statements made by agencies and some media in recent days following the rendering of the judgement in the Haradinaj and others case.

         The Tribunal, as a body that has done so much to ensure that victims are respected and that their voices are heard, appreciates how they, in some instances, may be disappointed by specific decisions made by the Tribunal.  Their disappointment or frustration should not, however, be inflamed or abused by politicians or others in the region of the former Yugoslavia.  Rather than expending energies and resources on issuing negative assessments or false information about the Tribunal and its distinguished record, such parties should focus their efforts on investigating the many serious outstanding allegations against war crimes suspects and on detaining the remaining fugitives.

         In light of continuing  malicious statements emanating from Serbia and other sources about the trial and judgement in the case of Ramush Haradinaj et al., I would like to stress once more that the Trial Chamber’s findings in this case - like in any other before the Tribunal – was based on the Trial Chamber’s assessment of the evidence before it. It did not find conclusive evidence which showed beyond reasonable doubt that the accused bore criminal responsibility for the crimes alleged. As such, the Trial Chamber acquitted the accused. This is a basic rule that guides all democratic judicial systems.

         There are 30 days in which the Prosecution can appeal this decision if it believes it is warranted. Furthermore, if new evidence should come to light, the Prosecution can file an application for review of the Trial judgement.

         Meantime, allow me to revisit the particular issue of witness protection that has been systematically misrepresented in Serbia. Contrary to the misinformation placed in the public realm by Serbian officials, allegations that witnesses who testified in this case were killed are simply untrue. The Trial Chamber clearly stated that the proceedings were held in an atmosphere where witnesses felt unsafe. To extrapolate from that assessment that numerous witnesses were killed is bogus and inaccurate. With respect to witnesses who were reluctant to testify, most responded to the subpoenas issued by the court. Those that did not are subject to contempt proceedings.

         Let me now touch upon another matter. The Tribunal is aware of very serious allegations of human organ trafficking raised by the former Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, in a book recently published in Italian under her name. No evidence in support of such allegations was ever brought before the Tribunal’s judges. As I said, the allegations are extremely grave. It is up to the Prosecution to determine what information they may provide on this matter.

         It is well known that, in line with its completion strategy, no new indictments will be confirmed by the Tribunal. However, the Tribunal has for a number of years worked intensively with the national courts in the former Yugoslavia, both building their capacity to handle cases and in the provision of materials to assist prosecutions. The Tribunal is committed to continuing its support for the work of local judiciaries on war crimes cases.

         On to the latest developments in the Tribunal’s courtrooms. The hearing in the case of Stanišić and Simatović will resume on Monday 28 April at 13:15, on which date the full video-conference link with the UN Detention Unit will be established to ensure Stanišić’s full participation in the proceedings. There will be a pre-trial conference, followed by the Prosecution’s opening statement. The first witness will be called immediately after. Allow me to for the third time in recent weeks address deliberate untruths published in Serbian media about this case. Stanišić is afforded the best medical attention and is being treated by specialists of highest standards. Those that claim otherwise are simply not reporting the actual situation.

         Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber terminated Enver Hadžihasanović’s provisional release in view of the Appeals Judgement in the case of Hadžihasanović and Kubura, which is to be rendered on Tuesday 22 April at 2.15 pm in courtroom III. Both accused are to be present.

         Also yesterday, the Appeals Chamber granted Pavle Strugar and Berislav Pušić provisional release. Both accused are to be provisionally released no later than 17 April 2008. Strugar has been ordered to return to the UNDU by 21 April 2008 whilst Pušić is to return on 2 May 2008. Vladimir Lazarević was also granted provisional release by the Trial Chamber, on humanitarian grounds, from 25 April 2008 to 1 May 2008.

         Last Friday, Mićo Stanišić’s provisional release was suspended in order for him to attend a combined status conference and hearing on Tuesday 6 May 2008, to discuss his wish to represent himself at trial. Mićo Stanišić is to return by Friday 2 May.

         As regards court room schedule:

         This coming Monday, there will be a pre-defence conference in the Prlić et al. case, at 2:15pm in courtroom I.  The Defence case is scheduled to commence on 5 May 2008.

         Hearings in Šešelj, Delić, Gotovina et al. and Milutinović et al. casescontinue as scheduled.

 

Office of the Prosecutor:

          Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

         The Prosecutor will be in Belgrade tomorrow. This is his first official visit to Serbia in his capacity as Prosecutor of the Tribunal where he will meet with Serbian officials in charge of cooperation with the ICTY. He will meet with Minister Ljaljić, Prosecutor Vukčević and other members of the Action Team. He will also meet with the President and the Prime Minister and other government officials. The Prosecutor will conclude his visit on Friday morning when he will meet colleagues from the War Crimes Court in Belgrade.

         In terms of the allegations of organ harvesting, in 2002-2003, UNMIK informed the Office of the Prosecutor of allegations that people had been abducted from Kosovo and taken to Albania where their organs were removed. It is our understanding that the Serbian authorities were also aware of these allegations at the time.

         The Office of the Prosecutor, together with UNMIK and the Albanian authorities conducted a preliminary investigation into the matter and visited a site in north Albania in connection with the allegations.

         Despite these efforts, the OTP could not substantiate the allegations and had no further basis on which to proceed in relation to our jurisdiction. The matter was left to the competent authorities – UNMIK and the Albanian authorities.

 

Questions:

         Asked to clarify her statement that “no evidence in support of such allegations was ever brought before the Tribunal’s judges”, Nerma Jelačić replied that in none of the cases before the Tribunal had the evidence about such allegations ever been brought to the judges. If during investigations such evidence was found, it would not come before the judges until there is an indictment. This is therefore a question that should be asked to Prosecution.

         Asked whether no evidence at all had been found in Northern Albania, Olga Kavran replied that no reliable evidence had been obtained to substantiate the allegations.

         Asked whether UNMIK is still pursuing the organ harvesting allegations, Olga Kavran replied that she did not know and that this is a question for UNMIK.

         Asked whether the Albanian authorities had been taking part in the investigations into the organ harvesting allegations, Olga Kavran replied that the preliminary investigations were conducted together with the Albanian authorities through regular judicial assistance, because the allegations were in connection with the territory of Albania.

         Asked whether there will be a press opportunity during Mr. Brammertz’s visit to Belgrade, Olgan Kavran replied that there will not be a press conference as such but Mr. Brammertz will provide a brief statement at around 11.30 tomorrow at the War Crimes Court.

 

Document List: 

 

Case

Date

Document Title

Borovcanin (Interlocutory appeal )

11-Apr-08

ORDER ASSIGNING JUDGES TO A CASE BEFORE THE APPEALS CHAMBER

Boskoski et al

14-Apr-08

INTERNAL MEMORANDUM RE. VERIFICATION OF ACCURACY OF INTERPRETATION IN CASE NO. IT-04-82-T, HEARING OF 6 FEBRUARY 2008

Boskoski et al

14-Apr-08

INTERNAL MEMORANDUM RE. VERIFICATION OF ACCURACY OF INTERPRETATION IN CASE NO. IT-04-82-T, HEARING OF 21 FEBRUARY 2008

Delic

11-Apr-08

ANNEX R TO URGENT DEFENCE MOTION TO ADD DOCUMENTS TO RULE 65 TER DOCUMENT LIST

Delic

11-Apr-08

PROSECUTION MOTION TO ADMIT DOCUMENTS IN EVIDENCE

Delic

14-Apr-08

PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO URGENT DEFENCE MOTION TO ADD DOCUMENTS TO RULE 65 TER DOCUMENT LIST

Delic

15-Apr-08

URGENT DEFENCE NOTICE ABOUT REMAINDER OF CASE AND MOTION TO WITHDRAW RULE BIS WITNESS

Delic (Interlocutory)

15-Apr-08

DECISION ON RASIM DELIC'S INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL AGAINST TRIAL CHAMBER'S ORAL DECISIONS ON ADMISSION OF EXHIBITS 1316 AND 1317

Dordevic Vlastimir

14-Apr-08

PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO VLASTIMIR DORDEVIC MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE 94BIS (B)

Gotovina et Al.

14-Apr-08

DEFENDANT ANTE GOTOVINA'S RESPONSE TO PROSECUTION'S SUBMISSION OF RULE 92 TER STATEMENTS FOR WITNESS 80

Gotovina et Al.

14-Apr-08

DEFENDANT ANTE GOTOVINA'S RESPONSE TO PROSECUTION'S SUBMISSION OF RULE 92 TER STATEMENTS FOR WITNESS 15

Gotovina et Al.

14-Apr-08

DEFENDANT ANTE GOTOVINA'S RESPONSE TO PROSECUTION'S SUBMISSION OF RULE 92 TER STATEMENTS FOR WITNESS 3

Hadzihasanovic et al. (Appeal)

11-Apr-08

SCHEDULING ORDER FOR DELIVERY OF JUDGEMENT

Hadzihasanovic et al. (Appeal)

11-Apr-08

NALOG O RASPOREDU ZA IZRICANJE PRESUDE

Hadzihasanovic et al. (Appeal)

15-Apr-08

DECISION TERMINATING THE PROVISIONAL RELEASE OF ENVER HADZIHASANOVIC

Kordic and Cerkez (Appeal)

14-Apr-08

RESPONDENT'S REPLY TO PROSECUTION'S RESPONSE TO EXPEDITED MOTION ON BEHALF OF VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN SEEKING ACCESS TO CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL IN THE KORDIC CASE

Krajisnik (Appeal)

11-Apr-08

DECISION ON PROSECUTION'S MOTION TO STRIKE GROUND 1 OF THE DERSHOWITZ BRIEF AND ORDER COUNSEL TO COMPLY WITH THE DECISION OF 11 MARCH 2008

Krajisnik (Appeal)

11-Apr-08

RESPONSE TO PROSECUTION'S MOTION TO STRIKE GROUND I FROM BRIEF ON JOINT CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE AND TO ORDER COUNSEL TO COMPLY WITH THE APPEALS CHAMBER'S ORDER

Miletic (Interlocutory appeal )

11-Apr-08

ORDER ASSIGNING JUDGES TO A CASE BEFORE THE APPEALS CHAMBER

Milutinovic et al.

11-Apr-08

VERIFICATION OF ACCURACY OF INTERPRETATION IN THE MILUTINOVIC TRIAL (IT-05-87-T) OF 10 DECEMBER 2007

Milutinovic et al.

11-Apr-08

VERIFICATION OF ACCURACY OF INTERPRETATION IN THE MILUTINOVIC TRIAL (IT-05-87-T) OF 21 JANUARY 2008

Milutinovic et al.

11-Apr-08

PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC'S NOTICE REGARDING EXHIBIT 5D1312

Milutinovic et al.

11-Apr-08

PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC'S NOTICE REGARDING MFI DOCUMENTS

Milutinovic et al.

14-Apr-08

PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO SRETEN LUKIC'S REQUEST REGARDING EXHIBIT 6D978

Milutinovic et al.

14-Apr-08

SECOND ORDER REGARDING DOCUMENTS TENDERED BY LAZAREVIC DEFENCE THAT HAVE BEEN MARKED FOR IDENTIFICATION

Milutinovic et al.

14-Apr-08

PROSECUTION NOTICE OF MILOSEVIC TRANSCRIPT EXCERPTS USED DURING TESTIMONY OF DEFENCE WITNESS MILAN KOTUR

Milutinovic et al.

14-Apr-08

PAVKOVIC NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK LEAVE TO CALL EXPERT WITNESSES AND REBUTTAL WITNESSES

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

DECISION ON LAZAREVIC MOTION FOR TEMPORARY PROVISIONAL RELEASE

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

MR. MILUTINOVIC'S SUBMISSION ON ARTICLE 4 OF THE EXHIBIT P984 THE LAW ON THE ARMY OF YUGOSLAVIA AND REQUEST FOR ADMISSION INTO EVIDENCE OF EXHIBIT IC 133

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

DEFENCE REQUEST SEEKING LEAVE TO REPLY & DEFENCE REPLY TO PROSECUTION RESPONSE TO VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC'S NOTICE REGARDING EXHIBIT 5D 1312

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

WAIVER FROM PAVKOVIC FOR ABSENCE FROM COURT ON  15 APRIL  2008

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

ADDENDUM TO VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC MOTION FOR TEMPORARY PROVISIONAL RELEASE ON THE GROUNDS OF COMPASSION

Milutinovic et al.

15-Apr-08

SECOND ORDER RE EXHIBIT 2D383

Mrksic (Appeal)

14-Apr-08

RESPONDENT'S REPLY TO PROSECUTION'S RESPONSE TO EXPEDITED MOTION ON BEHALF OF VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN SEEKING ACCESS TO CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL IN THE KORDIC CASE

Mrksic (Appeal)

15-Apr-08

PROSECUTION REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO AMEND NOTICE OF APPEAL

Popovic et al

11-Apr-08

DECISION ON POPOVIC'S REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE A RESPONSE TO THE MOTION TO REOPEN THE PROSECUTION CASE

Popovic et al

15-Apr-08

DECISION ON MILETIC'S REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATION OF THE DECISION ON DEFENCE OBJECTIONS TO THE ADMISSION OF THE EXPERT STATEMENT OF GENERAL RUPERT SMITH

Popovic et al

15-Apr-08

MOTION ON BEHALF OF DRAGO NIKOLIC SEEKING A FURTHER  EXTENSION OF TIME FOR THE FILING OF A MILITARY EXPERT REPORT

Prlic and Others

11-Apr-08

OPINION SÉPARÉE CONCORDANTE DE M. LE JUGE STEFAN TRECHSEL SUR LA DÉCISION À LA DEMANDE DE MISE EN LIBERTÉ PROVISOIRE DE L'ACCUSÉ CORIC

Prlic and Others

14-Apr-08

DECISION PORTANT ORDRE DU JOUR DE LA CONFERENCE PREALABLE A LA PRESENTATION DES MOYENS A DECHARGE DU 21 AVRIL 2008

Prlic and Others

14-Apr-08

ORDONNANCE PORTANT SUR LA PROCEDURE RELATIVE AU TEMOIGNAGE D'UN ACCUSE

Prlic and Others

15-Apr-08

WAIVER FROM MR. PUSIC

Prlic and Others (Interlocutory)

14-Apr-08

DECISION ON PROSECUTION'S URGENT APPEAL AGAINST "DÉCISION RELATIVE À LA DEMANDE DE MISE EN LIBERTÉ PROVISOIRE DE L'ACCUSÉ PUSIC"

Prlic and Others (Interlocutory)

14-Apr-08

ODLUKA PO HITNOJ ŽALBI TUŽILAŠTVA NA ODLUKU PO ZAHTJEVU OPTUŽENOG PUŠICA ZA PRIVREMENO PUŠTANJE NA SLOBODU

Prlic and Others (Interlocutory)

15-Apr-08

ORDER ASSIGNING JUDGES TO A CASE BEFORE THE APPEALS CHAMBER

Seselj

11-Apr-08

INTERNAL MEMORANDUM RE ASSIGNMENT OF EXHIBIT NUMBER

Stanisic

11-Apr-08

DECISION FOLLOWING THE REGISTRAR'S SUBMISSION REGARDING MICO STANIŠIC'S LEGAL REPRESENTATION WITH INCORPORATED SCHEDULING ORDER AND ORDER RECALLING THE ACCUSED FROM PROVISIONAL RELEASE

Stanisic

11-Apr-08

ODLUKA PO PODNESKU SEKRETARA U VEZI S PRAVNIM ZASTUPANJEM MICE STANIŠICA S INKORPORIRANIM NALOGOM O RASPOREDU I NALOGOM KOJIM SE OPTUŽENI POZIVA DA SE VRATI S PRIVREMENOG BORAVKA NA SLOBODI

Stanisic

11-Apr-08

CORRESPONDENCE FROM SLO, TC II , REGARDING RULE  65 TER MEETING

Stanisic

11-Apr-08

DEFENCE'S RULE 94BIS NOTICE

Stanisic & Simatovic

11-Apr-08

DEFENCE RESPONSE TO PROSECUTION MOTION ON REPLACEMENT OF EXPERT REPORT BY CHRISTIAN NIELSEN AND NENA TROMP

Stanisic & Simatovic

11-Apr-08

PROSECUTION MOTION SEEKING A SCHEDULING ORDER WITH CONFIDENTIAL  ANNEX

Stanisic & Simatovic

11-Apr-08

DEFENCE REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATION TO APPEAL THE TRIAL CHAMBER'S "DECISION ON FUTURE COURSE OF PROCEEDINGS"

Stanisic & Simatovic

15-Apr-08

SCHEDULING ORDER

Stanisic & Simatovic

15-Apr-08

DECISION ON ORAL SUBMISSIONS DURING HEARING OF 14 APRIL 2008

Strugar et al. (Appeal)

15-Apr-08

DECISION ON THE RENEWED DEFENCE REQUEST SEEKING PROVISIONAL RELEASE ON COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS

 

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