Tuesday, February 12, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 12,2008) – Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic has refused to testify at the trial of Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek before the Bosnian State Court, while Serbian war criminal Sredoje Lukic's decision is still awaited.

In his letter to the Bosnian State Court, Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic,who is currently imprisoned and awaiting trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY),has indicated that he does not want to testify as Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek's Defence witness.

Trial Chamber chairman Judge Hilmo Vucinic read yesterday Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic's letter dated January 28, in which the ICTY indictee said that, after consulting his attorney, he does not want to appear as a Prosecution or Defence witness at any trial.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek is charged with having participated, together with the genocidal Serbian paramilitary formation led by Milan Lukic, in commitment of a number of crimes against Bosnian civilians, including deportations, murder and rape in 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Defence has also invited Lukic's cousin Serbian war criminal Sredoje Lukic, who is also charged by the ICTY with war crimes against Bosnian civilians, to testify. He is currently awaiting the start of his trial in The Hague. He has still not responded to the invitation, but Fahrija Karkin said that there were some indications that he might agree to testify.

Serb war criminal Milan Lukic was the leader and Serbian war criminal Sredoje Lukic was a member of a genocidal Serbian paramilitary unit, which unleashed a reign of terror, death, and destruction upon the Bosnian civilians during the 1992-1995Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic are charged by the ICTY with multiple crimes, including murdering approximately 70 Bosnian women, children and elderly men in a house on Pionirska Street in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad by barricading the victims in one room of the house, setting the house on fire and then firing automatic weapons at those people who tried to escape through the windows, killing most of them.

In addition, two Serbian war criminals are charged with murdering approximately 70 Bosnian women, children and elderly in a house in the village of Bikavac, near Visegrad, by forcing the victims into the house, barricading all the exits and throwing in several explosive devices.

Serbian war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic are also accused of troturing Bosnian civilians who were detained by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in the concentration camp at the Uzamnica military barracks in Visegrad.

Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic is separately charged with several other counts of murder, according to which he on multiple occasions led groups of Bosnian civilians to the bank of Drina river near Visegrad where he murdered them. He is also charged with brutally murdering a Bosnian woman in the Potok neighbourhood of Visegrad.

The Defence examined yesterday before the Bosnian Sate Court the convicted Serbian war criminal Mitar Vasiljevic, who is currently serving his 15-year sentence in Gratz in Austria, via video link.

The indictment against Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek indicates that, in spring of 1992 he and Serbian war criminals Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic and two other unnamed Serbian war criminals, murdered at least four Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian village of Sase.

Serbian war criminal Mitar Vasiljevic said he knew Lelek and he used to see him dressed in police uniform during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia. Asked by the Prosecutor during cross-examination if he went to Sase village, Vasiljevic answered affirmatively. She then asked him if it was true that he had drunk a lot at the beginning of the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, as indicated by Lelek during his testimony.

"To tell you the truth – I did drink a lot," Serbian war criminal Vasiljevic responded.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor asked him if was possible that he committed certain crimes while he was drunk, which he could not remember now.

"I do not know what to say. I did not forget. I was not in such condition that I would not know what I was doing," Serbian war criminal Mitar Vasiljevic answered.

During additional examination, Defence attorney asked Serbian war criminal if he might have participated in the murder of four Bosnian civilians, while he was drunk, but Vasiljevic explicitly denied that this was possible.

The Defence has asked for an additional three weeks to collect material evidence. The Prosecution announced that it wanted to present its material evidence and examine three new witnesses.

The next hearing is due on March 10, 2008. If Serbian war criminal Sredoje Lukic agrees to testify by then, he shall be examined via video link from the Hague prison at that hearing.

The Bosnian State Court announced that the two parties might present their closing arguments in late March or early April.

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