Monday, January 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 28,2008) - At the status conference the Bosnian State Court decided to begin the main trial in the case against Serbian war criminals Mirko (Spiro) Pekez, Mirko (Mile) Pekez and Milorad Savic on February 8, instead of January 31, as planned earlier.

The decision was made because Serbian war criminal Mirko (Mile) Pekez has been unable to follow the trial due to "deafness", according to his attorney Dusko Panic.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Mirko (Spiro) Pekez, Mirko (Mile) Pekez and Milorad Savic with war crime against Bosnian civilians committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The indictment alleges that the three former members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia participated in the capture and mass murder of Bosnian civilians from Ljoljici and Cerkazovici villages in Jajce Municipality" on September 10, 1992.

Zoran Kalaba, recently deceased, was originally Serbian war criminal Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez' Defence attorney. He was replaced by attorney Dusko Panic.

Panic said he has not been able to communicate with his client due to his condition. The only way the two of them can communicate is by exchanging written notes or if the client reads the attorney's lips.

Panic said that his request for a medical examination of his client was rejected. Trial Chamber Chairman said he would personally make sure that this was resolved.

At the status conference the Bosnian State Prosecutor announced that he intends to examine 11 witnesses and a medical court expert and present 63 pieces of material evidence in the upcoming period.

Slavica Cvoro,attorney for Serbian war criminal Mirko (Spiro) Pekez, and Nebojsa Pantic, Defence attorney of Serbian war criminal Milorad Savic, announced that they will examine five witnesses each. Dusko Panic, who represents Serbian war criminal Mirko (Mile) Pekez, was not able to say how many witnesses he will summon.

The eventual extension or termination of custody for the three Serbian war criminals was also discussed at the status conference.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Mirko Lekic said that there were strong reasons for keeping the indictees in custody. The Defence teams responded by arguing that these reasons were no longer justified, as the indictees have never tried to escape or to influence witnesses. They suggested introducing certain restraining measures instead of custody.

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