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

Furundzija Trial: End Already In Sight

Tribunal Update 81: Last Week in The Hague (15-20 June 1998)

The prosecutor summoned only six witnesses, including the victim of the rape during which the accused was allegedly present but which he did not prevent (witness "A"), who testified in a closed session. Witness "D"--the eyewitness of sexual violence to which "A" was subjected on 15 May 1993 at the headquarters of the special military police of the HVO (also known as the "Jokers"), one of whose commanders was the accused--also testified behind closed doors.

For its part, the defense summoned only one witness last week, who also testified in a closed session. The defense has one more witness who was scheduled to appear on Monday, before the closing arguments. Since all

major witnesses of both sides have given their statements in the hearings closed to the public, the trial chamber's judgment will be the only basis for conclusions on how convincing the arguments of the defense and the prosecution have been. Those who had hoped for more openness regarding the case can find consolation only in the fact--following the secret indictment and the virtually closed-session trial--that at least the judgment will be public.

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