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Keraterm Camp Commander In Dock

Tribunal Update 183 Last Week in The Hague (July 3-8, 2000)

Sikirica, who was arrested on June 25 in Prijedor by S-For commandos, was wearing a cast on his left arm and a bandage on his nose - evidence of the "minor injuries" he sustained during his arrest. Neither Sikirica nor his temporary defence counsel, Veselin Londrovic, lodged any objections to the circumstances of the arrest.

Sikirica is accused, as former commander of the Keraterm detention camp, of two counts of genocide, three of crimes against humanity and two of violations of the laws and customs of war.

Of those indicted alongside Sikirica for crimes at Keraterm, Zoran Zigic, Dragan Kolundzija and Damir Dosen are also in custody at The Hague. Zigic, who was in prison in Bosnia for murder, surrendered voluntarily. Kolundzija and Dosen, both guard shift commanders at the camp, were arrested by S-For troops. Dragan Fustar, brothers Nenad and Predrag Banovic, and Dusan Knezevic are still at large.

Soon after Sikirica's arrest, Chief Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, said she would seek to have the accused tried alongside Kolundzija and Dosen, whose trial is scheduled to begin on November 6. Lead prosecutor in all the Prijedor cases, Brenda Hollis, said, however, prosecutors could not guarantee being ready for that date because the charges of genocide against Sikirica greatly increased the volume of material evidence her team needs to present.

Judge Richard May asked prosecutors and defence lawyers to do all they could to speed-up the pre-trial phase to enable the case to go ahead on schedule. A conference on the status of the procedure against the three detainees will be held in September.

The arrest of any of the remaining fugitives could also delay proceedings. Hollis called on Fustar, the Banovic brothers and Knezevic to surrender as soon as possible. Normally, detainees have to wait up to two years for their trials to get underway.

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