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

Perisic Prosecutors Asked to Cut Indictment

By Katherine Boyle in The Hague (TU No 478, 24-Nov-06)
Currently Perisic, the most senior VJ officer between 1993 and 1998, is charged with 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Srebrenica.

According to the indictment, he aided and abetted the shelling of civilian areas in Sarjaevo and in Zagreb. Additionally, he allegedly knew that the massacre at Srebrenica in July 1995 was going to take place yet did nothing to stop it or prevent his subordinates from killing Bosnian Muslim men and boys at the enclave.

Perisic is charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility, which covers his own alleged actions, and command responsibility – that is crimes his subordinates are accused of committing.

The trial chamber asked that the number of counts in the indictment be reduced or that prosecutors remove some of the sites where the alleged crimes were committed.

Prosecutors could save some time by charging Perisic either on an individual or a command basis, but the way to shorten the trial the most is to leave out charges from Sarajevo, Zagreb or Srebrenica.

In the past, the tribunal has struggled to shorten the length of its war crimes trials, many of which have lasted for years. Amending the indictment would allow a more expedient case, but could leave some victims feeling that justice has not been done.

Perisic was transferred to the tribunal in March 2005 and was granted provisional release in June 2005.

Katherine Boyle is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

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