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Karadzic Gets Subpoena for Bosnian Serb General

Convicted of genocide in December, General Zdravko Tolimir declined to appear voluntarily as defence witness for wartime president.
By Rachel Irwin
  • Judges have granted Radovan Karadzic’s request to subpoena Zdravko Tolimir. (Photo: iCTY)
    Judges have granted Radovan Karadzic’s request to subpoena Zdravko Tolimir. (Photo: iCTY)

Judges have granted Radovan Karadzic’s request to subpoena a convicted senior Bosnian Serb army officer to testify about events in Srebrenica in 1995.

The officer, General Zdravko Tolimir, was assistant commander for intelligence and security in the Bosnian Serb army, or VRS. In December 2012, he was convicted of genocide and sentenced to life in prison. (For more, see Genocide Conviction for Serb General Tolimir.)

Tolimir declined to testify voluntarily on behalf of Karadzic, who was his superior as wartime Bosnian Serb president.

In his subpoena request, Karadzic said he expected the witness to testify that he never informed the accused that “prisoners from Srebrenica would be, were being, or had been executed”, and that there was “no plan or expectation that Bosnian Muslims would be forcibly transferred or harmed in any way”.

Karadzic faces genocide charges in relation to the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, during which more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered after Bosnian Serb forces captured the town.

Judges ruled that the “information sought from Tolimir pertains to clearly identified issues that are relevant to the accused’s case”. That information, especially in relation to an encrypted communications logbook, is “not obtainable through other means”, they said.

A date for Tolimir’s testimony has not yet been set.

Rachel Irwin is IWPR’s Senior Reporter in The Hague.

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