On 3 June, the ICTY Prosecutor, Mr Serge Brammertz presented the 23rd completion strategy report by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to the United Nations Security Council. In his report, which covered the period from 16 November 2015 to 15 May 2015, the Prosecutor detailed the progress the OTP has made towards the completion of its mandate.
There are currently four trials (Mladić, Hadžić, Šešelj and Karadžić) and three appeals (Stanišić and Simatović, Stanišić and Župljanin and Prlić et al.) before the Tribunal. The Prosecutor advised that in relation to the Ratko Mladić case, the Prosecution will reopen its case to present newly discovered evidence that relates to the Tomašica mass grave. The Hadžić trial was adjourned in October 2014 due to the accused’s ill health and trial judgments in the Šešelj and Karadžić cases are expected to be delivered later this year.
The Prosecutor regularly meets with government representatives in Bosnia and Herzgovina (BiH), Croatia and Serbia. The Prosecutor advised the Security Council that these countries, “continue to cooperate with the OTP and respond, as required, to our requests for assistance”. He provided an update regarding the prosecution of war crimes by these countries recognising the, “significant results during the reporting period in regional cooperation on high-profile cases”. He also stated that, “more should be done on the most complex and highest-priority cases”.
The Prosecutor emphasised the need to search for missing persons in the region and advised that the OTP was participating in an intensive effort to strengthen the search for missing persons in BiH. He concluded by reflecting on the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in July this year and pointed to successful prosecutions for crimes relating to the Srebrenica genocide by BiH prosecutors.
The Prosecutor’s recent completion report indicates that the seven cases remaining before the ICTY are on track to proceed through the Tribunal before its scheduled closure in 2017.