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

RS Detainee to Testify for Krajisnik

TU No 444, 17-Mar-06
The trial chamber ordered that the requested witness, Milovan Bjelica, be brought to The Hague under conditions of “temporary transfer”, and that while he was in the United Nations detention facility he would be “protected from interference by other persons” also being kept there.

Bjelica, once chairman of the Pale municipal assembly, Republika Srpska’s capital, was removed from office in March 2003 due to his links with another tribunal indictee, Radovan Karadzic.

Just over a year later, he was detained by NATO peacekeeping troops on suspicion of “engaging in activities contrary to the Dayton agreement”.

Bjelica’s testimony is due to begin on March 23.

Krajisnik, who was a senior figure in the Bosnian Serb parliament, is charged with two counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and one of violations of the laws or customs of war for his alleged involvement in a joint criminal enterprise to expel thousands of Muslims and Croats from Bosnia in 1991 and 1992.

Meanwhile, Krajisnik’s lawyers have expressed concern that two other witnesses due to appear in court this month may be too ill to travel. The defence are apparently continuing to “monitor” the situation. Krajisnik himself is expected to take the stand at the beginning of April.

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