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Krajisnik Case - Judges sets 'target date' for trial.

Tribunal Update 192 Last Week in The Hague (September 25-30, 2000)

At his initial appearance on April 7, Krajisnik pleaded not guilty to all nine counts listed in the indictment, including genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and violations of the laws or customs of war (see Tribunal Update No. 171).

During last week's status conference, prosecutor Brenda Holis said that the prosecution had contacted 86 potential witnesses, of which 78 had confirmed their intention to testify.

Holis said six witnesses had withdrawn because they feared they might be targeted.

The prosecutor said they intended to summon additional witnesses from Bosnia and 15 "international witnesses" - experts, United Nations representatives and members of other organisations working in the region during the period covered by the indictment against Krajisnik (July 1991- December 1992).

Holis said the prosecution had as many as 104,000 "potentially relevant documents" in its databank. She said the prosecution was now sifting through the database to collate the most important documents for the trial.

At the last status conference, Holis estimated the prosecution case would take one year to present, if the court sat five days a week for six hours a day.

Krajisnik's defence counsel Goran Neskovic could not confirm the defence would be ready for May 28. Neskovic said this would largely depend on the prosecution because once their case was prepared the defence would require additional time to prepare their response.

Status conferences also provide an opportunity for the accused to comment on their medical and psychological state and conditions of detention. Generally such declarations are in public, but at the previous status conference and during last week's hearing the judges ruled Krajisnik's comments should be heard in private. No explanation was provided for this departure from normal practice.

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