Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Briefly Noted…

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU No. 291, 25-29 November, 2002)
By IWPR

The November 30 deadline for applicants for the post of Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, ICC, closed without a single person coming forward.


While 34 people have applied to be judges, the ICC has failed to attract a single prosecutor candidate.


The ICC has now stretched the deadline, hoping for last-minute applicants. “The period has been extended to December 8,” said ICC spokeswoman Claudia Perdomo.


But further extensions will be difficult - the ICC’s meeting to pick judges and a prosecutor will be held in New York next February, leaving little time for late applicants.


JOURNALIST EVIDENCE RULING


Retired Washington Post journalist Jonathan Randal will be told on December 11 whether his appeal against being required to give evidence at a war crimes trial has been successful.


If the ruling goes against him, the tribunal could order his arrest by police in France, where he now lives.


NO ROOM AT THE INN


Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Dragan Jokic arrived in The Hague for a pre-trial hearing last week looking forward to a comfy stay in one of the city’s best hotels. Instead, Dutch police whisked him off to jail.


Jokic had expected better, having been previously granted provisional release until his trial. But a representative of the Dutch government told Judge Wolfgang Schomburg that the decision to move Jokic into the tribunal’s detention unit at Schevengen was “for his own good” – because security was better than at a hotel.


Jokic is one of four Serb indictees who learned last week their trial, for alleged involvement in the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica, will begin next May. Also indicted are Vidoje Blagojevic, Dragan Obrenovic, and Momir Nikolic.


This will be the second Srebrenica trial. In the first, former corps commander Radislav Krstic was jailed for a record 46 years.


NO PUNISHMENT FOR RELUCTANT WITNESS.


Tribunal judges have ruled that protected witness, K-12 - a former soldier - will not be punished after he suddenly stopped giving evidence at the Milosevic trial, claiming an attack of fear.


Two out of three judges voted to overturn their original decision to prosecute him, which was taken on November 18, ruling four days later that his decision was acceptable as it was based on fear of retribution.


SLOBO SAYS NO TO MENTAL HEALTH TEST


Slobodan Milosevic has refused to allow a tribunal-appointed doctor to perform a psychiatric examination.


Three weeks ago Hague judges ordered medical and mental health reports on Milsovic after a series of illnesses caused delays to his trial.


The medical report is ongoing, but Milosevic has refused to see a psychiatrist and judges have decided not to force one upon him. "We are not in the business of forcing these types of examination of the accused," said tribunal spokesman Jim Landale. "It would have been desirable."


Chris Stephen is IWPR bureau chief in The Hague.


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