Briefly Noted

Briefly Noted

Wednesday, 9 November, 2005

Colonel Ton Karremans, the former commander of the United Nations’ Dutch battalion in Srebrenica during the 1995 massacre, is expected to appear as a witness for the defence in the case against Vidoje Blagojevic sometime between June 16 and 22.

Karremans’ troops were charged with protecting the UN “safe area” when Bosnian Serb forces overran it in July 1995, deporting the enclave’s Muslim population and executing approximately 7,000 Muslim men and boys.

Blagojevic headed the Bosnian Serb army’s Bratunac brigade at the time, and is being tried for his alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre.

Blagojevic’s defence lawyer first filed a confidential request in May asking that Karremans appear before the tribunal. Later that month, the judges asked the government of the Netherlands to help contact the witness and solicit his testimony.

Karemanns is likely to be one of the final witnesses called by Blagjoevic’s defence team, which is expected to wrap up its part of the case by June 25.

Scotland’s Lord Bonomy was sworn in as a judge of the tribunal on June 7, taking the place of Richard May, the well-respected British judge forced to resign from the court last month because of ill-health.

Bonomy, 58, has been assigned to the Milosevic trial, which is set to resume on July 5. The case has been in recess since February 25, and when it restarts Milosevic will present his defence. A graduate of Glasgow University, Bonomy has served, among other things, as a solicitor, a criminal prosecutor and a member of Scotland’s supreme court.

Prosecutors in the Pavle Strugar case - the former Yugoslav naval commander on trial for his alleged role in the shelling of Dubrovnik on December 6, 1991 - filed papers on June 7 arguing that they had provided adequate evidence for the tribunal to find the defendant guilty of each of the six counts of war crimes with which he is charged.

Their submissions came in response to a defence motion, made after the prosecution concluded its part of the case, which asked the court to acquit Strugar of all counts against him. The defence had argued that the prosecution had not provided enough evidence to prove Strugar’s guilt.

The prosecution’s extensive reply details the evidence presented to date. Witness testimony is recalled, exhibits are cited and legal issues are explored in detail. Annexes list damaged buildings, historic monuments, works of art and science and map out where in Dubrovnik the destruction occurred.

The tribunal is expected to rule on these motions sometime before the defence part of the case begins on June 28.

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