Briefly Noted

(TU No 357, 08-May-04)

Briefly Noted

(TU No 357, 08-May-04)

Wednesday, 16 November, 2005

Among the complaints is the failure to arrest indictees and provide witness testimonies and documentary evidence. Meron warned this might prevent the tribunal finishing its work by the deadline set by the Security Council - 2008 for the main trials and 2010 for appeals.


"I share the concern of the Prosecutor that such failures are detrimental to the expectations placed upon the tribunal by its completion strategy and could seriously impinge the tribunal's ability to meet those expectations," he wrote.


The tribunal representative Jim Landale said he would not speculate about which concrete measures the tribunal was hoping would be taken against Serbia and Montenegro and said it was "a matter for the Security Council to decide what the appropriate next step was, based on the president's letter".


Meron is expected to address the Security Council in the coming months.


***


The defence part of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic will begin on June 22, two weeks later than it was originally planned, the tribunal has announced.


One of the reasons for delay was Milosevic's "bad health during the three month period assigned for the preparation of the defence case, his present bad health and his doctor's advice to rest", the tribunal said.


Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office published this week its response to the Milosevic amici curiae's motion call for the charges of genocide against Milosevic to be dropped.


The response, on more than 220 pages, parts of which were blackened for confidentiality reasons, the prosecutor's office argued that it has managed to present enough evidence of Milosevic's genocidal intent - especially in connection to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The prosecutors argued, amongst other things, that through the promotion of an ideology of "ethno-centrism" and "ethno-egoism", Milosevic created an atmosphere, which made genocide possible. They also maintain that their expert witnesses proved that the defendant "used the media which he controlled to create pre-conditions for the commission of genocidal crimes against Bosnian Muslims".


Milosevic also offered his full political and military support to Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, who were not hiding their genocidal intent, according to prosecutors.


The trial chamber will consider the prosecutor's response as well as amici curiae's motion after the newly appointed trial judge - Lord Bonomy - takes his place on the panel.


The judges will also have to decide on which of the 1,631 witnesses Milosevic asked for last month would be called to testify.


***


Croatia's justice minister, Miomir Zuzul, visited the Hague tribunal this week, following the court's decision not to grant provisional release to two indicted Croatian generals Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac before they give interviews to the court's prosecutor.


The two generals are indicted for the crimes committed during the summer of 1995, when Croatian army troops regained control over the territories previously held by the country's Serb minority.


After meeting the tribunal's president and the chief prosecutor, Miomir Zuzul told SENSE news agency he expected the tribunal to release the two generals as soon as they give the interviews.


Earlier, the Croatian media suggested the Zagreb government would try to persuade the generals to talk to the prosecutors.


***


Two more Hague indictees are hoping to go home while awaiting their trials.


The former head of the Serbian security service Jovica Stanisic and the former commander of Serbia's special forces Frenki Simatovic will appear in front of judges on May 10 to discuss motions for provisional release.


The Belgrade radio B-92 said the Serbian government is ready to give bail guarantees for Stanisic - who is though to be seriously ill - and Simatovic. According to the radio, Justice Minister Zoran Stojkovic would be submitting his government's guarantees on May 10.


Tribunal sources told IWPR that provisional release would be highly unlikely due to the possibility of Stanisic influencing witnesses.


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