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Weekly Press Briefing - 8 February 2012

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Uploaded on Feb 8, 2012

Martin Petrov, Chief of the Immediate Office of the Registrar and Frederick Swinnen, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor.

Yesterday, the Trial Chamber sentenced Jelena Rašić, former case manager on the Defence team of Milan Lukić, to 12 months' imprisonment for contempt of the Tribunal. Rašić has been given credit for the 78 days she has already spent in detention. The Chamber ruled that the remaining 8 months of the sentence would be suspended for a period of two years, having taken into account the difficult circumstances brought about by Rašić being the only female detainee in the United Nations Detention Unit, her health condition, her comparably young age and the fact that this is the first time she has received a prison sentence.

Rašić was sentenced following her conviction on 31 January 2012 of having knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice by procuring a false witness statement in exchange for €1,000 in cash. This conviction followed the acceptance by the Trial Chamber of a Plea Agreement filed jointly by the Prosecution and the Defence, at a hearing at which the Accused pleaded guilty to all five counts of contempt set out in an amended indictment. This amended indictment was filed on 24 January 2012.

Also yesterday, an administrative hearing was held in the case of Vojislav Šešelj. Closing arguments in this case have been scheduled to commence on Monday, 5 March at a time and in a courtroom to be confirmed.

The trial in the contempt case of Milan Tupajić, who has been accused of failing to testify in the trial of Radovan Karadžić, adjourned last Friday until further notice. The date of the Judgement will be announced in due course and the media will be informed accordingly.

In the appeals case of Momčilo Perišić, a Status Conference has been scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 7 March at 15:00 in Courtroom III. This is the first Status Conference to be held since the judgement in the case was rendered on 6 September 2011. Perišić, former Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, was sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

In the contempt of court case of Vojislav Šešelj, a Status Conference will be held on Friday, 9 March 2012 at 10:00 in Courtroom III. On 31 October 2011, Šešelj was convicted of contempt of the Tribunal and sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for disclosing confidential information pertaining to protected witnesses in a book he authored. This is the second trial for contempt of the Tribunal against Vojislav Šešelj. In the first contempt case against him, completed on 19 May 2010, Šešelj was sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment for disclosing confidential information. The third contempt case against Šešelj, initiated on 24 May 2011, is currently underway.

A Status Conference will be held in the appeals case of Vujadin Popović and others this Friday at 11:00 in Courtroom III. The seven former high-ranking Bosnian Serb military and police officials indicted in this case were convicted on 10 June 2010 for a range of crimes committed in 1995 in relation to the genocide committed in Srebrenica and the fall of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Žepa in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The last status conference in this case was held on 19 October 2011.

Proceedings in the trials of Radovan Karadžić, Zdravko Tolimir as well as Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović continue this week and next as scheduled.

In the trial of Karadžić, the Chamber is currently hearing the testimony of Mira Mihajlović, who was Karadžić's secretary from January 1993 to 1996 and worked in the Presidential Office.

In the trial of Tolimir, military expert defence witness Rako Škrbić is currently testifying. He is the third witness to be called by the Accused.

In the trial of Stanišić and Simatović, the testimony of witness Aco Drača, which started last week, is ongoing. Drača was a member of the State Security Service of the Serb Autonomous Region (SAO) of Krajina in Croatia during the relevant period.

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