Friday, December 7, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia ( December 7,2007) - At a status conference held yesterday before the Bosnian State Court, the Defence teams of Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic have announced that they will invite former genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers who guarded the Omarska concentration camp to testify.

The Trial Chamber of the Bosnian State Court has set the date for the presentation of introductory remarks and the examination of the first witnesses.

"The Defence teams will have an opportunity to present their introductory remarks and evidence presentation plan to the Trial Chamber on Tuesday, December 11," said Trial Chamber chairman Saban Maksumic, adding that the examination of first witnesses might take place on "January 10 or 11, 2008".

Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic are charged with having participated in the rape, murder, torture and beating of Bosnian and Croatian civilians held in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps in 1992,during the early stages of the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic's Defence attorney Jovan Simic said that more than 50 witnesses would be examined, some of whom were "direct participants in some events". He reiterated that the number of witnesses could be smaller if the Bosnian State Prosecutor would revise the indictment.

"I would like to know why the Prosecution sticks to the indictment as it is now, because it is now clear to everybody that the indictees did not have access to food in Omarska. Should the prosecution decide to dismiss that charge of the indictment, we would reduce the number of our witnesses," Simic said.

Simic also said that the Defence witnesses will include former Omarska concentration camp guards.The Defence of Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic will also invite some experts, who will present, as material evidence, "various orders and documents, which will show what Mejakic's competencies were".

The Defence teams of Serbian war criminals Dusan Fustar, Momcilo Gruban and Dusko Knezevic will present the Trial Chamber of the Bosnian State Court with their evidence presentation plans at a later stage.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Peter Kidd pointed out that the Defence's proposals contain general topics and he does not know "what the witnesses will talk about".

"The Defence wants to invite a large number of witnesses, but they do not know what they are going to talk about. I consider that the Prosecution has the right to know what circumstances they will cover in their testimonies, in order to be prepared for cross-examination," Kidd explained.

The trial of Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on Tuesday, December 11.

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