Registry and Chambers:
Magdalena Spalińska, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
Welcome to the last press briefing before the court’s winter recess. The recess begins on Monday, 23 December through Friday, 10 January. Please check the court schedule on our website in January for an updated hearing schedule.
I will now highlight some of the court’s latest developments.
In a decision filed on 13 December, President Meron denied Mile Mrkšić’s 4 June 2013 application for early release. In the decision, the President notes that Mrkšić has only served half of his 20 year sentence and while showing some signs of rehabilitation, Mrkšić was convicted of very serious crimes. The President therefore denied his early release stating “these factors in my view do not warrant his release now.” Mile Mrkšić was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in May 2009 for aiding and abetting murder, torture and cruel treatment in respect to events at Ovčara, Croatia and is currently serving his sentence in Portugal.
Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber, presided by Judge Agius, dismissed the motion for review of judgement against Rasim Delić in relation to the letter by Judge Harhoff, who was part of the Trial Chamber bench in this case. The Appeals Chamber dismissed the motion because neither Delić's son nor Delić's counsel have standing to submit motions before the ICTY "in circumstances where the appellant had died and the appellate proceedings before the Tribunal have been terminated."
Last Thursday, 12 December, Judge Koffi Kumelio Afande was sworn in as an ICTY permanent judge. On Monday, 16 December the Judge was assigned to sit on the Appeals bench for the Stanišić and Simatović case, replacing Judge Meron.
Turning now to the courtrooms, in the case of Radovan Karadžić, Simo Mišković, former president of the Serbian Democratic Party in Prijedor, is giving testimony. The Defence has so far called 209 witnesses in this case.
The motion for acquittal (Rule 98bis) hearing in the case of Goran Hadžić continued today with the Prosecution’s response to the Defence’s Rule 98bis submissions. The Defence on Monday claimed that the Prosecution has not proven any of the 14 counts against its client. The Rule 98bis decision will be rendered in due course.
Today, starting at 15:30, a Status Conference in the case of Šainović et al. is scheduled to take place in courtroom 3.
As a reminder, two Appeals Chamber judgments will be rendered in the New Year. The judgment in the Šainović et al. case is scheduled for 23 January at 9:30 in courtroom III and for the Đordević case on 27 January at 15:30.
And finally, I would like to announce that all available courtroom footage of the initial appearances and Trial and Appeals Chamber judgments are now available on the Tribunal’s YouTube channel, and linked to the relevant case pages on the icty.org website. They are available in English, BCS and French.
I wish you all a very festive end of year!
Office of the Prosecutor:
Margriet Prins, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor, made the following statement:
The last witness the OTP intended to call in the Mladić case completed his testimony last Thursday. However, the Prosecution case-in-chief is not finished yet, given that the Chamber had to decide on a number of motions. Once the Chamber has decided, the OTP team will file a written notice, stating that the Prosecution has rested its case.
No questions were asked.