Wednesday, May 14, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) - The retrial of the convicted Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija before the Bosnian State Court for war crimes committed in Kljuc municipality,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, has started yesterday with the reading of the indictment and listening to statements given by three witnesses.

The Bosnian State Court announced a first instance verdict against Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija, sentencing him to 26 years imprisonment but the Appellate Chamber revoked the verdict, "partially upholding the appeals filed by the indictee and his Defence attorney," and ordered a retrial.

Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija is charged, as a member of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), with having participated in war crimes in Kljuc municipality, by deporting and murdering a large number of Bosnian civilians from Brkic and Balagica Brdo hamlets.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor did not present its introductory arguments, saying that its arguments presented at the first instance trial were still valid. The Defence also stated that its earlier arguments were valid, but it added that "most of the facts contained in the factual description in the indictment do not refer to Serbian Marko Samardzija".

Three statements given by witnesses in the course of the first instance trial were heard before the Appellate Chamber.

At the audio recording, which was played in the courtroom, Prosecution witness Mujo Canjic said that he saw Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija when Biljani village residents were taken by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to Jezerine hill and that the indictee told the 57 persons to form two lines by the edge of an empty lake basin.

"He told us to take our keys, knives and other things out of our pockets, as we would not need them any more. Marko also told us that we would be taken to the school building," said Canjic.

The indictment alleges that most Bosnian civilians detained by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor were taken to the school and murdered. The bodies of most of them were found in Laniste mass grave.

The statement given by Semso Dzaferovic was also heard in the courtroom. He said that, while he was in the school on July 10, 1992, his brother, sister and her daughter, and his wife and two children, one of whom was a four-month old baby, were murderd by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

"I did not see Marko Samardzija on July 10, 1992," the witness said.

In his statement given to the first instance Chamber, third Prosecution witness Ferid Avdic said that he was 16 in 1992.

"On July 10, 1992 I was detained in the school building, together with my brother and Cehici and Dzaferagici hamlets residents, for a very short time. I saw Marko in front of the school and it seemed to me that he was an authoritative person, as some soldiers were gathered around him," Avdic said.

The retrial of Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on May 16.

No comments: