Thursday, October 11, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 11,2007) – Four Defence witnesses have spoken yesterday before the Bosnian State Court about the personality of Serbian war criminal Aleksandar Radovanovic, one of the 11 Serbian war criminals indicted for genocide committed against Bosnians committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Radovanovic's defence attorney Dragan Gotovac has explained that these testimonies are expected to contribute to "shedding light on Radovanovic's humane characteristics".

Radmila Savic, Marko Katanic, Nada Savic and Tankosava Savic have described the same event, which happened at the beginning of May, "most probably on 8 or 9 May", in 1992.

The witnesses live in the village of Lijesce and are all neighbours, close or not so close, of Radovanovic's family. They claim that, at the beginning of May 1992 there was "fighting" and "shooting" in Lijesce village, whose population consisted of Serbians living in Bosnia and Bosnians. According to the witnesses, Serbian war criminal Aleksandar Radovanovic was a policeman at the time.

The village residents gathered at one place in the village when the shooting started. Sejdefa Ljeskovica was among those present. She cried because "her daughter had stayed behind in their house or in the forest".

"Aco, (indictee), risked his life and went with her to find the child. They found the girl and brought her back," Radmila Savic has said. The same story has been repeated by all other witnesses.

The witnesses say that a part of the Bosnian civilians sheltered in the house of Ljubisa Radovanovic, the Serbian war criminal Aleksandar Radovanovic's father, who then transported them by boat to Serbia.

"He is the most honest person in our area," Katanic has said.

The witnesses have known Radovanovic "since he was a little boy" and they can say "nothing but good things" about him.

Tankosava Savic has also described the indictee's goodness: "Whenever he was passing by in his car he would pick someone up, no matter what that person's nationality was".

Asked by the Bosnian State Prosecutor if Radovanovic carried a gun at the beginning of May 1992, Tankosava Savic has responded that she "did not look at the weapons".

Following these testimonies, Judge Hilmo Vucinic has asked the Defence to clarify why they have suggested that four experts' findings be presented and to explain which facts they would like to confirm or deny by those findings.

The opinions of the expert in demography relate to the legal qualification of genocide. In relation to this, the defence has suggested the reading of the transcript of the statement given by Prof. Dr. Svjetlana Radovanovic at the trials, conducted before ICTY, of convicted Serbian war criminals Vidoje Blagojevic (sentenced to 15 years imprisonment) and Dragan Jokic (sentenced to nine years imprisonment).

The construction court expert should explain how the shed in Kravica where 1.000 Bosnian civilians were murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor looked like and what construction material was found in mass graves in Glogova and Jadar. The Defence has not specified what findings it expects to get from a court expert in forensic pathology.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Ibro Buic has reiterated that the Defence should indicate which conclusions made by forensic pathologist Dr. Vedo Tuce, who has already been examined, they consider "suspicious".

"I insist on having the defence teams be serious enough and explain in details what facts they intend to deny or prove by these court experts' findings," the Prosecutor has said.

The trial of 11 Serbian war criminals before the Bosnian State Court is due to continue today,when five more witnesses will be examined.

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