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Aleksovski Heading For Separate Trial

Tribunal Update 39: Last Week In The Hague (28 July-2 August, 1997)

At first, General Blaskic was separated from this indictment, and now the defence has demanded that the same be done for Aleksovski, the former commander of the camp in Busovaca (central Bosnia) and Mostar (Herzegovina), who was arrested and extradited to The Hague by the Croatian authorities.

During the hearing on 1 August 1997 to consider the preliminary motions filed by the defence, the prosecutor did not oppose the request for a separate trial, due to the fact that the other co-accused (Dario Kordic, Mario Cerkez, Ivan Santic and Pero Skopljak) are not under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, and that the accused Aleksovski has the right to be tried expeditiously.

On the second defence motion, concerning problems with the indictment itself (insufficient particulars, including a lack of precision concerning place, time, persons and manner of execution of the alleged crime), the prosecutor contended that the indictment had provided Aleksovski with sufficient detail to allow him "to prepare his defence adequately."

According to the prosecutor, the indictment is "in compliance with the provisions of the Statue and international law", and "it gives the accused sufficient notice of the nature of the crimes with which he is charged and the factual basis therefore, and concisely describes the underlying conduct and participation of the accused that form the basis of his criminal liability."

The demands filed by the defence will be decided upon by Trial Chamber I composed of Judge Claude Jorda (presiding), Judge Fouad Riad and Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen. Deciding on a similar motion filed by Blaskic's defence, Trial Chamber I had partly accepted its objection concerning the form of the indictment, and ordered the prosecution to complement and specify it in terms of the time and the place of the alleged crimes.

The present indictment against Aleksovski is identical to the original indictment against Blaskic.

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