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

Vinko Pandurevic and Milorad Trbic (IT-05-86-I)

Current Status: Defendants Awaiting Trial in ICTY Dentention Center, Scheveningen
By IWPR
The Accused Vinko Pandurevic was born in Sokolac, Bosnia and Hercegovina, on June 25, 1959, and is of Serb ethnicity. He was commander of the First Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, VRS, at the time when the unit was involved in operations against Srebrenica and the refugee column moving along the Bratunac-Milici (Operation Krivaja 95). The unit was also involved in the killing of thousands of Bosnian Muslim civilians in the aftermath of Operation Krivaja 95. Pandurevic turned himself in, and was transferred to tribunal custody on March 23, 2005.

Milorad Trbic was born in Ponijevo, Zenica, Bosnia and Hercegovina on February 22, 1958. He was security officer in the Zvornik Brigade and held the rank of Reserve Captain as well as being assistant to fellow indictee Drago Nikolic when the unit was involved in the offensive in the Srebrenica enclave, the fighting along the Bratunac-Milici road, and the subsequent criminal operations. He was transferred to tribunal custody on April 7, 2005.

The Indictment Vinko Pandurevic was indicted (confidentially) on October 27, 1999, and the indictment was unsealed on December 7, 2001. He was charged with Genocide (Articles 4(3)(a), and 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal) or alternately Conspiracy to Commit Genocide (Articles 4(3)(e), 7(1), and 7(3), along with Crimes Against Humanity (5 Counts, Extermination, Murder, Persecutions, Deportation, and Inhumane Acts (Articles, 5(a, b, h, d, i), 7(1), and 7(3)). Furthermore, he is charged with a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War (Murder (Article 3, 7(1), and 7(3)).


Milorad Trbic was indicted on March 29, 2005. The indictment consisted of two charges, of Murder as a Violation of the Laws or Customs of War (Articles 3, 7(1), and 7(3) and as Crime Against Humanity (Articles 5(a), 7(1), and 7(3)).


Proceedings The latest indictment against both defendants was confirmed on March 29, 2005.


Initial Appearances: Pandurevic first appeared on March 31, 2005, where he asked to delay entering a plea. He made a further appearance on May 3 and pleaded “not guilty” to all charges. Trbic first appeared on April 13, 2005, and failed to enter a plea. He appeared again on May 11 and entered a plea of “not guilty”.


Factual Allegation In its indictment, the Office of The Prosecutor, OTP, alleges that Pandurevic is guilty of the commission of genocide, along with a host of other associated crimes. The prosecutor claims that Pandurevic had knowledge of, and actively participated in, the commission of the Srebrenica genocide against the Bosnian Muslim civilian population. Furthermore, because of his position as CO of the Zvornik Brigade, and thus his responsibility for the actions of his subordinates, Pandurevic is held liable for the opportunistic killings of Bosnian Muslim civilians, and other crimes committed by members of his command, whether on orders or not. Specifically mentioned in the indictment is the involvement of Zvornik Brigade at the massacre at Orahovac, as well as the actions of the Engineering Company of the Zvornik Brigade and their role in burying victims of the genocide at Orahovac, Branjevo Military Farm, and Kozluk.


The prosecution claims that Trbic, as assistant to Drago Nikolic, was intimately involved in the process of transfer, detention, and execution of Muslim men and boys as they entered the Zvornik Brigade zone of responsibility. In addition, the prosecution makes the case that Trbic personally executed Bosnian Muslim prisoners at the Grbavci school, and at the execution site in a nearby field, and was present at the Petkovici School, organising the execution operations at the nearby dam. Trbic is also accused of having been present at the Kozluk execution site.


Relevant Issues Absence from the Battle Zone: In the indictment against Dragan Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff and Executive Officer of the Zvornik Brigade, the prosecution alleges that Obrenovic served as the acting commander of the Brigade from July 6 to midday on July 15 because Pandurevic was absent from the Brigade’s zone of responsibility. During this period, the massacre at Orahovac, for which Pandurevic is charged, took place. It will be interesting to see how the prosecution attempts to show Pandurevic’s reponsibility for a crime at a time when he was apparently not in command of his unit.


Court Composition Trial Chamber II


Pre-Trial Judge Judge Jean Claude Antonetti


Court Documents:


Amended Indictment


Indictment