Wednesday, November 28, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 28,2007) - The Bosnian State Prosecutor has revised the section of the indictment against Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija containing charges of war crimes against the Bosnian civilians.Some allegations have now been dismissed.

As the result of the revision, which was done during the hearing yesterday, the Bosnian State Prosecutor has removed part of clause 3 of the indictment, which charged Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija with forcing the Bosnian civilians to perform hard labour, causing starvation, confiscating and pillaging property, mass destruction and encroaching of property which was unlawful, arbitrary and unjustified by military needs.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor considers Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija responsible for war crimes against the Bosnian civilians committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The charges include attacks on the Bosnian civilians and settlements,which resulted in death, severe bodily injuries or severe deterioration of health of many of them, as well as unselective attacks, which caused injuries to the Bosnian civilians.

The first two clauses contained in the indictment charge Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija with crimes against humanity. All criminal offences were allegedly committed on the territory of Sanski Most municipality in the period from 1992 to end 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, when the indictee was member of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's forces.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor introduced the changes after the Trial Chamber of the Bosnian State Court had pointed out that some parts of the indictment were not defined in a clear way.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Dzemila Begic explained that the Prosecution would express itself concerning all other remarks during its closing arguments.

The Prosecution completed its evidence presentation process by introducing the changes in the indictment and presenting additional pieces of material evidence. The defence has also finalised its evidence presentation process by examining witness Zeljko Bajak.

Bajak said he did not hear about the mass murder of the Bosnian civilians in Sanski Most in the period from 1992 to 1995. He also said that there was a check-point at the road leading out of the town, where he and Palija were on duty occasionally, as military policemen "who were exclusively in charge of soldiers, not civilians".

During his testimony, Bajak described Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija as "a big man, somewhat chubby", but he said that he never saw him after the war and he was not sure if he would be able to recognise him.

During his testimony, the witness did not look at the indictee. However, on his way out he looked at him and greeted him, which was noticed by Chairwoman Minka Kreho.

Answering the chairwoman's questions, the witness said that there were no military actions in Sanski Most and that there was some shooting, "but only when people got drunk and celebrated". He also said that he never heard that any Bosnian civilians were murdered, that their houses were set to fire or that anyone was forced to escape from the town.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor is due to present its closing arguments on November 28. According to the current timetable, the defence should present its closing arguments on November 29.

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