note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
Weekly Press Briefing
Date: 5 April 2000
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Landale, Spokesman for Registry and Chambers made the following statement:
I would like to announce that Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric have been granted
provisional release, stayed until five o’clock this afternoon pending any applications
for leave to appeal filed by the Prosecutor.
coming to this decision, Trial Chamber III considered that the accused voluntarily
surrendered to the Tribunal; that the accused had provided both on their own
behalf and through the Government of the Republika Srpska guarantees required
by the Trial Chamber and further that the Government of the Republika Srpska
was competent to issue such guarantees. The Trial Chamber was also satisfied
that the accused if released, would appear for trial and further would not pose
a danger to victims, witnesses or other persons. The Trial Chamber also considered
that the accused had been held in detention awaiting trial for more than two
years and that there was no likelihood of an early date being fixed for the
commencement of their trial.
follows a motion from the two originally filed on 19 January 1999. A number
of conditions were attached to the order, namely that the accused:
within the confines of the municipality of Bosanski Samac;
their passports to the International Police Task Force (IPTF) or to the OTP
each day to the local police in Bosanski Samac;
to having the IPTF check with the local police about their presence and to
the making of occasional, unannounced visits by the IPTF to the accused;
have any contact with any other co-accused in the case;
have any contact whatsoever, nor in any way interfere with any persons
who may testify at their trial;
discuss their case with anyone other than their counsel;
responsibility for all expenses concerning transport from Schiphol airport
Samac and back;
strictly with any order of this Trial Chamber varying the terms or terminating
their provisional release.
Liu Daqun, who was sworn in on Monday 3 April has been assigned to Trial Chamber
II to sit on the Brdanin and Talic case; the Krnojelac case; and the Vasiljevic
case, replacing Judge Fausto Pocar. Judge Pocar will continue to sit on the
scheduling order in the Kolundzija and Dosen case was issued on 31 March, setting
out the pre-trial timetable. Copies are available for those interested.
in the Kordic and Cerkez case, an order was filed on 4 April, calling upon Kordic’s
defence on Monday 10 April immediately after the defence opening statements
and before the beginning of the presentation of evidence, to justify to the
Trial Chamber the extensive number of witnesses the defence has indicated it
wishes to call.
we now have copies of the Krajisnik indictment English, French and BCS, with
the confirmation orders.
a reminder that Lord Robertson, the NATO Secretary-General, will visit the Tribunal
at around three o’clock on Thursday 13 April and that there will be a press
OF THE PROSECUTOR
Risley, Spokesman for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), made the following
the announcement of the decision of the provisional release, the Prosecution
has stated its intention to appeal that decision. The Prosecution will submit
an application this afternoon prior to the 5.00 p.m. deadline.
Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor are today in Zagreb, Croatia. Yesterday they
were in Lubljana, Slovenia. While in Slovenia, the Prosecutor and her party
met with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affaires and the Minister of
Justice for Slovenia. Today in Zagreb they are expected to conclude a meeting
with President Mesic of Croatia, with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, and the Minister of Justice. Tomorrow there will be some meetings with
representatives of the international community in Zagreb.
whether this was the first time that the Tribunal was satisfied with guarantees
and provisions given by the authorities of the Republika Srpska concerning
provisional release, Landale replied that what made this case different from
those previously heard, was that there was no longer a requirement for exceptional
circumstances to be proved, following an amendment to the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence. He advised that the order should be reviewed, as the process
followed to come to this decision was long and detailed. He added that there
had been a number of applications by the Defence on this matter and also documents
filed by the Prosecution in opposition.
that the OTP was firmly opposed to the use of provisional release at this
time with any of the individuals in detention.
the investigation of Serb officers in Banja Luka, Risley replied that he could
not discuss details of ongoing investigations. He added however, that investigators
from the OTP had completed at this point, several separate missions to the
Republika Srpska where interviews of individuals had taken place. It was a
fairly routine matter, which was one of the benefits of the relationship that
had been developed with the authorities in Banja Luka and Republika Srpska.
He added that there had been at least three other occasions where individuals
had been interviewed on Republika Srpska territory.
Asked what would
be discussed during the Prosecutor’s meetings in Zagreb, Risley replied that
it would be the cooperation between Croatia and the Tribunal.
the proposed time of release for Zaric and Tadic was 5.00p.m., Landale replied
that it was, pending an appeal. He added that if no appeal was lodged by the
OTP, they would be given their provisional release.
that the Prosecution had submitted their intention for an appeal which should
freeze the process, however, he added that this was a matter for the Chamber
to make a decision on. By 5.00p.m. the Prosecution would submit its application
to appeal, not the full text, more like an outline, he concluded.
Asked what the
importance of the arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik was to the Tribunal as a whole
and in particular the OTP, Risley replied that this was the most significant
arrest by NATO made on behalf of the Tribunal in the Tribunal’s history.
this arrest made the possibility of reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia
more difficult, Risley replied that NATO’s arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik marked
their ability to effect the arrest of any individual under indictment by this
Tribunal within Bosnia, through safe and secure means for both their own soldiers
and the civilians of Bosnia.
that it was also important to look at the broader picture, at long-term peace
and stability in the region. If you did not, it could be argued that it was
never a good time to apprehend an individual who had been indicted by the
Tribunal and who might have some support in the community. If the Tribunal
was held to ransom to by those kinds of arguments the Tribunal would have
nobody in detention and would continually be held up and delayed in carrying
out its work. The Tribunal had a specific job, a specific mandate and a specific
jurisdiction and that was being followed to the best of the Tribunal’s abilities,
and the Tribunal applauded and welcomed the assistance given to it by NATO
in carrying out this mandate.
the Prosecutor planned to visit Bulgaria, Risley said that she intended to
visit, however he had no dates at this time.
Asked why in
some cases during the initial appearance only one Judge was present, Landale
replied that, according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, there could
be just one Judge attending, this was up to the Trial Chamber concerned.
Asked for further
information on the Prosecutor’s visit to Slovenia, Risley replied that this
was the first visit by a Prosecutor to Slovenia. He added that the Tribunal
enjoyed close cooperation with the Government of Slovenia and naturally there
were many aspects of the ongoing investigations that could benefit from the
close cooperation that Slovenia had provided in the past and had continued
to do so.