Friday, February 22, 2008

ICTY INVESTIGATOR DEAN MANNING TO TESTIFY BEFORE BOSNIAN STATE COURT AT TRIAL OF 11 SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 22,2008) – At the trial of 11 Serbian war criminals,former members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),charged with genocide before the Bosnian State Court, a discussion was held yesterday on a number of procedural issues, as well as on the witnesses who will appear at the Court and those who have refused to testify.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges the 11 Serbian war criminals with the mass murder of around 1,000 Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica on July 13,1995.

It was announced that International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) investigator Dean Manning, who lives in Australia, might be examined on March 12, at midnight,due to the time difference between Bosnia and Australia.

The Defence teams of the 11 indictees charged with genocide committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia,are due to cross-examine Manning, after the Bosnian State Prosecutor has filed a transcript of his testimony at the trial of a convicted Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic, who was sentenced by the ICTY to 15 years' imprisonment for crimes committed in Srebrenica.

"The Australian legal authorities are willing to help us and facilitate a video-conference within their working hours. The time difference is ten hours, and the only way to make this happen is to begin the examination at midnight," Trial Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic said, adding that he will attempt to establish the video-link at "a more adequate time".

The Defence attorneys did not have any problems with "examining this witness at midnight", as his testimony is "in the interest of the Defence".

Following Manning's examination, investigators Richard Batler and Jean Rere Ruez are due to be cross examined by the end of March.

At this hearing, the Trial Chamber informed the Defence teams that two ICTY convicts who are serving their sentences in Norway - Serbian war criminals Dragan Obrenovic, sentenced to 17 years, and Vidoje Blagojevic – have refused to testify in favour of the 11 Serbian war criminals.

"Obrenovic is not willing to testify as he is concerned for the safety of his family, while Blagojevic claims he does not know Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar and has no connection with him at all," Judge Vucinic explained.

At the request of Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar's Defence, the Trial Chamber admitted the transcripts and recordings of the testimonies of Zoran 'Pirocanac' Petrovic and Nikola Gajic in The Hague, who "were also not willing to testify".

Petrovic is a journalist who was with the genocidal Serbian aggressor during the attack on Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. The Defence attorneys said that Gajic was "an eyewitness of the events".

The Bosnian State Prosecutor proposed that the statements given by Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin to investigators prior to being charged be included as material evidence. Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin is currently on trial in The Hague for genocide committed by the Serbian aggressor in Srebrenica.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Ibro Bulic suggested that Alister Graham, the ICTY investigator who examined Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin, be called as a witness to talk about the acceptability of those statements. The Defence teams objected, asking for another chance for cross-examination.

The Prosecution also proposed a list of evidence to refute the Defence's allegations, including a proposal for the examination of two witnesses who would speak about the happenings in Srebrenica of July 13, 1995.

In July 1995 the genocidal Serbian aggressor mass murdered up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica.

The trial of 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on March 12.
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1 comment:

Daniel said...

I wish they pronounce them guilty for Srebrenica genocide! They deserve to rot in hell for what they did to Srebrenica.