Friday, September 28, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The defence teams of the 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide before the Bosnian State Court, have announced that they want to invite Serbian war criminals indicted and convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague to testify.

The list of potential witnesses drawn up by Borislav Jamina, defence attorney of Serbian war criminal Branislav Medan, includes, among others, ICTY Srebrenica genocide indictees Ljubisa Beara, Zdravko Tolimir and Milan Gvero, as well as Serbian war criminal Radislav Krstic (convicted to 35 years imprisonment) and Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic (sentenced by a first instance verdict to 18 years imprisonment for genocide committed by the Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica).

Serbian war criminal Ljubisa Beara has already been included in other potential witnesses lists, but the Trial Chamber was informed that he refused to testify. Attorney Jamina considers that these people are "a source of information" and that their refusal to testify should not represent a problem.

"I do not know about Beara, but I think that many of these witnesses are the citizens of Bosnia. I would not say that they have the choice to refuse to testify," Jamina has explained.

The Prosecution considers that the 11 members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS) guarded, in the Bosnian village of Sandici on 13 July 1995, several thousand captured Bosnian civilians, who were then driven to concentration camps or executed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

In addition, the Bosnian State Prosecutor charges the 11 Serbian war criminals with the murder of around 1,000 Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica.

Two defence teams have examined two more witnesses. Slobodan Mijatovic,former member of the genocidal Serbian formations, has said that he was guarding and escorting former VRS commander,Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic - now a ICTY fugitive - on 13 July 1995. Mijatovic has recalled that Serbian war criminal Mladic visited the Bosnian civilians held by VRS on a meadow in the village of Sandici.

"Mladic told them not to worry. He also said that their families had been taken in the desired directions and that they would join as soon as the transportation was organised. Applause followed and people started shouting 'Cheerio!'," the witness said, adding that he did not see any policemen, because the Bosnian civilians were "guarded" by the VRS.

Mijatovic has said that, in the evening of the same day, he passed by the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica but he did not "notice anything unusual".

During cross-examination, the Bosnian State Prosecutor Ibro Bulic presented the witness with the statement he gave to the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) on 8 September 2006. According to this statement, on 13 July 1995 Mijatovic passed by Kravica and saw "a large group of soldiers" and he "supposed" that the Bosnian civilians, whom he had seen in Sandici earlier, were killed on that location.

The witness has not denied this part of the statement.

The trial is due to continue on 3 October, when four defence witnesses will be examined.

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