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8 January 2008
News

Bjelic et al Plead Not Guilty

BIRN BiH

Former members of the Territorial Defence (TO) of BiH indicted for war crimes committed in the Vlasenica area have pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Ferid Hodzic and Veiz Bjelic, appearing before the Court of BiH in Sarajevo,have pleaded not guilty to prosecution charges of war crimes committed against civilians and prisoners of war in Vlasenica between 1992 and 1993.

It is alleged that, between May 1992 and the end of January 1993, Ferid Hodzic, former commander of TO in Vlasenica,ordered the detention of a group of Serbian civilians from the Rovasi hamlet in"premises normally used for keeping of cattle", where they were held and maltreated for seven months.

Veiz Bjelic, a former member of the TO Vlasenica and prison guard in Rovasi hamlet from June 1992 to January 1993, is charged with the rape of one female prisoner and with assisting others inflicting bodily harm to the detainees.

The start of the trial for Hodzic and Bjelic should be no later than three months after this plea hearing.

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