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

Other News

By IWPR staff in The Hague (TU No 494, 23-Mar-07)
By IWPR
The judges were accompanied by representatives of both the prosecution and defence.



Milosevic succeeded general Stanislav Galic as the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, SRK, of the Bosnian Serb army in August 1994 until November 1995. He is charged with murder, terror and attacks on civilians in relation to a campaign of sniping and shelling attacks on the city of Sarajevo. It is alleged that as a result of this campaign thousands of civilians of all ages were killed and wounded.



Galic has been sentenced on appeal to life imprisonment for his role in the siege.



Milosevic’s trial began on January 11 and is currently in the prosecution phase.



***



The Hague tribunal this week dismissed a joint appeal by three Croatian army generals accused of crimes allegedly committed in the 1995 Operation Storm, in which their lawyers challenged the tribunal’s jurisdiction to try this case.



Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac are due to go on trial on May 7 this year for their alleged role in murders and persecution of Serbs in the Krajina region in southern Croatia in the summer of 1995.



The defence teams of the three indicted generals challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal arguing that there was no armed conflict in Krajina once Operation Storm was completed.



They claimed any crimes which might have occurred after Operation Storm officially ended should be prosecuted by the Croatian judiciary, because the tribunal has jurisdiction to try only individuals suspected of committing crimes during an armed conflict.



However, in their 26-page ruling this week, the judges rejected all the defence arguments, saying previous cases tried at the tribunal had established the court does have jurisdiction to hear this case.



***



NATO troops deployed in Bosnia searched the Sarajevo apartment of Slobodan Zupljanin, who is suspected of helping his relative - the war crimes fugitive Stojan Zupljanin - escape justice.



This raid was conducted just a few weeks after Bosnian special police searched several buildings in Banja Luka also belonging to Slobodan Zupljanin.



Details of the operation in Sarajevo were not made public.



Stojan Zupljanin is one of the four most wanted Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitives indicted for genocide, along with Radovan Karadzic, and Bosnian Serb Army generals Ratko Mladic and Zdravko Tolimir.



His indictment remained sealed until 2001, and he has been on the run ever since.



***



Judges in the case of six former Serbian officials charged with responsibility for the forcible expulsion of Kosovo Albanians during the 1998 to 1999 conflict have granted a prosecution request for additional time to call three more witnesses.



Prosecutors in the trial of former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, former deputy Yugoslav prime minister Nikola Sainovic, former Yugoslav army chief of staff Dragoljub Ojdanic and police and army officers Vladimir Lazarevic, Sreten Lukic and Nebojsa Pavkovic were due to conclude their case on March 23.



But on March 21, they made a request to add three witnesses to their list, which judges agreed to the following day.



The witnesses are Former NATO commander Wesley Clark, Zoran Lilic, a former Yugoslav president, and Shaun Burns, former United Nations mission chief in Kosovo.



The trial chamber has so far heard from 111 prosecution witnesses in the trial, which began on July 10, 2006.



Prosecutors now have until mid-May to present the additional testimonies.



The decision on whether or not to allow Clark to testify is pending, and will be rendered by the appeals chamber in April.



A defence request to extend the deadline of June 15 for the submission of their witness and exhibit lists was refused by judges. Their case is scheduled to begin at the end of June.