ICTY Weekly Press Briefing
Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
The Tribunal would like to express its disappointment with the decision of the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina not to extend the mandates of international judges and prosecutors in the State Court and Prosecutor’s Office. This is a very grave matter, and it must be taken seriously. The Tribunal recognises that at some point the State Court will have to be comprised only of nationals, which is a goal the Tribunal is committed to seeing achieved in the near future. But the time is not yet right. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been recognised as one of the biggest success stories in tackling the legacy of war in the region and the Tribunal has demonstrated its trust in this institution by referring the largest number of its Rule 11bis cases to it. The role of the international judges and prosecutors in the ongoing process of strengthening the capacity of the BiH judiciary to deal successfully with complex cases of breaches of international humanitarian law cannot be overemphasised. The Tribunal calls on political representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina to reconsider the matter and not to undermine the progress made to date in strengthening the rule of law. The Tribunal also asks that the international community continue supporting the local judiciary in its fight against impunity.
President Robinson is in New York where he will address the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the presentation of the Tribunal’s sixteenth annual report tomorrow. A Press Release will be published tomorrow with the President’s speech. The annual report is already available on the Tribunal’s website.
As regards the courtroom schedule:
Turning first to the trial of Radovan Karadzić, Judge Kwon announced yesterday that, pending a decision of the Appeals Chamber, the provisional date for the commencement of trial is Wednesday 21 October. In the event that the Appeals Chamber does not issue its decision before 14 October on the Accused’s appeal to postpone the start of trial, the Trial Chamber will then consider staying the commencement of trial. However until that date, the Chamber will proceed on the basis that the trial will commence on 21 October as planned.
In the trials of Vlastimir Ðorđević and Prlić and others, hearings scheduled for the rest of this week have been cancelled. Both trials will resume next Monday 12 October, with the last witness for Slobodan Praljak’s Defence being called in the Prlić and others case.
The trial of Momčilo Perišić remains adjourned until further notice.
In the trial of Haradinaj and others, Lahi Brahimaj has been recalled from provisional release in order to attend his appeal hearing on Wednesday 28 October. After the appeal hearing, the provisional release decision will resume.
Hearings in the trials of Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin as well as Gotovina and others continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.
A journalist asked when the decision of the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina not to extend the mandates of international judges and prosecutors in the State Court and Prosecutor’s Office had been made, and when it would come into effect.
Nerma Jelacic confirmed that the decision had been taken on Thursday 1 October and that the current mandate of the international judges and prosecutors is set to expire at the end of this year.