Briefly Noted

Compiled by IWPR staff in The Hague (TU No 422, 23-Sep-05)

Briefly Noted

Compiled by IWPR staff in The Hague (TU No 422, 23-Sep-05)

Friday, 18 November, 2005

In his first appearance in The Hague, Lukic denied seven charges of crimes against humanity and five charges of violations of the laws or customs of war.


Prosecutor Mark Harmon confirmed he had submitted a request that Lukic should be transferred to the war crimes chamber in Bosnia under the tribunal’s rule 11 bis, which calls for lower- and middle-ranking cases be transferred to local courts.


According to the indictment, Lukic was a member of the paramilitary group known as the “White Eagles” or the “Avengers” led by his cousin Milan Lukic. The group is alleged to have carried out a campaign of terror against Muslims in the Bosnian town of Visegrad between 1992 and 1994.


Lukic - who was indicted seven years ago - surrendered to the authorities in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, earlier this month on his return from Russia, and was transferred to the tribunal’s detention unit in The Hague on September 23.


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The lawyers assigned to help former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic defend himself before the Hague tribunal have urged judges to clarify when they expect to hear testimony from the former United Nations envoy in Bosnia Carl Bildt.


Prosecutors mounting the case against Milosevic succeeded in adding the Swedish politician to their witness list in November 2003. But the following February, it was announced that he would instead be appearing as a court witness.


In a September 16 submission, assigned counsel Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins – who have a strained relationship with their client, who insists on representing himself in court – said they had “been informed” that Milosevic regards Bildt as important to his case.


They also asked judges to clarify how examination of the witness would be organised in the courtroom, and to confirm that the parties would have an opportunity to interview Bildt prior to his testimony.


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