Tuesday, September 18, 2007


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (September 18,2007) - Former member of the genocidal forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Zdravko Tolimir attended a status conference at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague.

Before presenting his requests at the conference, Serbian war criminal Tolimir prayed "for the salvation of all those in any way connected with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia."

Serbian war criminal prayed briefly for all those present in the courtroom, all the Tribunal’s staff and elsewhere, before presenting his demands.

Serbian war criminal Zdravko Tolimir is charged with genocide and other wor crimes,committed in the eastern Bosnian towns of Srebrenica and Zepa,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Tolimir confirmed he wanted to defend himself, going on to say he wanted to get "all those things other accused representing themselves" get.

Pre-trial judge Kimberly Prost told the accused that when he decides whether he wants to defend himself he should weigh all the consequences of that decision.

She invoked the recent decision of the Appeals Chamber in the Krajišnik case, ruling that "self-representation and legal assistance of the Tribunal are mutually exclusive."

After a lengthy debate about the demand of the accused to be given all documents in "Serbian language and in Cyrillic alphabet" and his insistence that he "cannot understand documents in other languages and alphabets", the judge concluded the accused was "able to understand the documents in Serbian language and Latin alphabet."

In an effort to prove the opposite,Serbian war criminal Zdravko Tolimir demanded that the documents be disclosed to him "in Macedonian or Russian, because the Latin alphabet was too tiring for him."

At the end of the conference, the Canadian judge ordered the accused to file his preliminary motions challenging the Tribunal’s jurisdiction or alleging defects in the indictment, if any, within 45 days.

Serbian war criminal Tolimir warned her he would not be honoring any deadlines before the resolution of the issue of his status, primarily of his "kidnapping in Belgrade and his illegal surrender to the Tribunal."

According to official statements, Serbian war criminal Tolimir was arrested on May 31 on the border between Bosnia and Serbia,and transferred to the Hague Tribunal the next day.But Tolimir said that he was not arrested in Bosnia,as the first reports said,but that he had been apprehended in Serbia, whose citizen he is, and was then transferred to Bosnia.

"I was arrested in Serbia,against my will and without the right to an attorney. I was then taken to a location near Bratunac (Bosnia), the location of almost all charges against me,Serbian war criminal Zdravko Tolimir said.

When the judge asked him the usual question about his health, the accused replied he was "in perfect health." The judge then urged him to heed the appeals of the doctors in the UN Detention Unit.

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