Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Dragomir Milosevic defence; Mandic acquittal

By IWPR reporters in The Hague (TU No 511, 20-July-07)
By IWPR
The trial chamber hearing the case of former Bosnian Serb Army, VRS, General Dragomir Milosevic this week ordered the defence to wrap up its case by the end of August.



The trial started in January this year, and the defence began presenting their evidence on May 24.



In their July 17 scheduling order, the judges told both parties to prepare closing arguments for October 8 and 9.



Milosevic took over command of the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in August 1994 and remained in charge until November 1995, when the war ended.



He is charged with continuing a campaign of shelling and sniping in Sarajevo with the primary aim being to terrorise and kill the city’s civilian population.



The attacks, which continued for months, killed hundreds of men and women of all ages and wounded thousands.



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The Bosnian war crimes chamber this week acquitted the highest-ranking Bosnian Serb official indicted by this court so far.



On July 18, Momcilo Mandic, one of the closest aides of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, was acquitted of war crimes charges, because “the prosecution did not prove the indictee's guilt beyond reasonable doubt", said presiding judge Davorin Jukic, reading the judgment.



Mandic was indicted by the Bosnian court a year ago for "war crimes against civilians and crimes against humanity”.



Prosecutors alleged that in April 1992, Mandic led an attack on the police academy in Sarajevo together with Bosnian Serb military and paramilitary units.



The indictment further charged Mandic with organising and maintaining detention centres for non-Serbs around Sarajevo between May and December 1992, while he served as justice minister in the Bosnian Serb government.



Although he was acquitted of war crimes charges, Mandic will remain in prison where he is serving a nine-year sentence for financial embezzlement in support of war crimes suspects, including Karadzic.