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12 September 2007
News

Bozic et al: Indictees Fail to Appear in the Court

BIRN BiH
Four indictees charged with crimes committed in Bratunac in 1995 are among the hunger strikers boycotting the Court of BiH.

The trial of Zdravko Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic, charged with crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Bratunac and Srebrenica, has been postponed after the indictees refused to attend a hearing.

The presiding judge Stanisa Gluhajic said that they received an official note from the court police indicating that "the indictees do not wish to attend the hearing as they have begun a hunger strike".

Bozic, Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic, all former members of Military police with Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade of Republika Srpska Army (VRS), are charged with having participated in "the capture and inhumane treatment, killing and forcible deportation of Bosniaks after the fall of the protected enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995".

The four indictees have started a hunger strike together with other detainees in Kula prison in Eastern Sarajevo. The strike began on September 10.

The Prosecution objected to the postponement of the hearing, saying that the indictees were properly summoned and that they have refused to appear at the hearing.

The defence teams of the four indictees objected against the possible continuation of the hearing, citing criminal code regulations which establish that "the presence of the indictees at a hearing must be ensured".

The defence also said that the official note submitted by the court police "does not indicate whether the indictees refused to be brought to the hearing by the police or if they simply did not want to come".

After a short break, the Trial Chamber decided to hold the hearing scheduled for 19 September "whether the indictees decide to appear or not".
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