Friday, April 4, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 4,2008) - The Defence attorneys of Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar announced a possibility of conducting the cross-examination of Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin, although he has so far refused to testify before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of eleven Serbian war criminal charged with the genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecution considers that the eleven Serbian war criminals are responsible for the mass murder of more than 1,000 Bosnian civilians in the warehouse of the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica village. The indictment alleges that the mass murder was committed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor after the fall of Srebrenica, on July 13, 1995.

Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin, former member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, is charged, together with six other Serbian war criminals, with the genocide committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. He is currently being tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague,the Netherlands.

After the Bosnian State Prosecution presented, as evidence, the statements given by Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin to The Hague Prosecution in 2002, the Defence asked to cross-examine him.

Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar's Defence attorneys, Ozrenka Jaksic and Radivoje Lazarevic said that they were in contact with his Defence attorney and that they "expected to receive a positive response" next week.

The Trial Chamber believes Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin might testify before the Bosnian State Court on April 23.

At the hearing held on April 2, the Defence teams cross-examined Jean Rene Ruez, ICTY investigator, via video link. In an earlier phase of the trial, the Trial Chamber admitted, as Prosecution evidence, a statement he gave at the trial of Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic conducted before the Hague Tribunal in 2003.

Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for "helping and supporting the Srebrenica genocide".

Ruez said that, in July 1995 he took statements from Bosnian civilians who were forced by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to leave Srebrenica. He said that he derived all pieces of information concerning the events at Srebrenica primarily from those statements.

"Our task was to undertake a reconstruction of events on the basis of statements given by genocide survivors and to find the crime scenes described by those persons. It was necessary to discover those locations and the places where victims had been buried, and also to identify the perpetrators of those horrific crimes," Ruez said.

The witness described how "blood traces, body parts and bones" were found in the warehouse in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica. He added that a DNA analysis was not performed in order to determined if those remnants match the body remains discovered in the mass graves in the Srebrenica area.

"I am very sorry for that, as I think that this would have provided the Prosecution with many pieces of evidence," the investigator said.

Ruez also said that he did not know if the Bosnian civilians were ordered to leave Srebrenica but the persons to whom he spoke told him that they "decided to leave on their own."

"The level of animosity between the people in the enclave and its surroundings was so high that these people could know that their destiny would be bad should they be captured by the Serbian army. This is why they decided to leave Srebrenica," Ruez responded to the Prosecutor's additional examination.

At the next hearing, scheduled for April 16, the convicted Serbian war criminal Radislav Krstic, who was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, is due to appear before the Bosnian State Court as Defence witness.

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