Friday, February 8, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – Serbian war criminal Momir Nikolic, who has been convicted of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, has testified before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of 11 Serbian war criminals charged with acts of genocide committed in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Following a guilt admission agreement, the ICTY sentenced Serbian war criminal Momir Nikolic to 20 years of imprisonment for crimes committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The Bosnian State Court admitted his statement given in The Hague as Prosecution evidence.

"I explicitly said that I do not want to be a Prosecution witness. I have serious reasons for that. I shall gladly testify as Bosnian State Court witness in order to help unveil the truth," said Serbian war criminal Nikolic. As he is serving his sentence in Finland, he testified via video link.

The Trial Chamber approved his request. Following a brief examination by chairman Judge Hilmo Vucinic, the Defence teams of the 11 Serbian war criminals were given a chance to cross-examine the witness.

In July 1995, Nikolic was a member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS). He said that, on July 13, 1995, he took the Bratunac-Konjevic polje "road" several times and he saw captured Bosnian civilians.

"There were about 30 captives on a meadow in Sandici. I did not stop or talk to anyone. Later on I went in that direction again and I saw many captives walking in columns and I heard calls for surrender," the witness said, adding that he also took the same road on his way to Zvornik in the evening of that day.

"All I saw were soldiers and captives. I did not see anything special in the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica. I did not stop there," Nikolic said, explaining that his "associate", who had been in Kravica, told him about the crime committed in Kravica the following day.

Answering Defence attorneys' questions, Nikolic said that his "associates from Kravica" told him that four members of his paramilitary unit were in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica when the crime was committed.

Prosecutor Ibro Bulic asked the witness if Milovan Matic was one of the four soldiers. Nikolic answered affirmatively, describing him as "a rather fat man with a beard".

Serbian war criminals Milovan Matic, Milos Stupar, Milenko Trifunovic, Petar Mitrovic, Brane Dzinic, Aleksandar Radovanovic, Slobodan Jakovljevic, Branislav Medan, Velibor Maksimovic, Dragisa Zivanovic and Miladin Stevanovic are charged with the mass murder of more than 1,000 Bosnian civilians in Kravica on July 13, 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The trial of 11 Serbian war criminals is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on February 21.

No comments: