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23 August 2007
News

Bozic: Prosecution motion rejected

BIRN BiH
Trial chamber refuses a proposal to include Hague tribunal witness statements, as the defence would not be able to conduct cross-examination.

Judges in the trial of Zdravko Bozic et al have refused a prosecution request to include statements given before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as material evidence - as there would be no chance of cross-examination.

The prosecution wanted to include transcripts of the testimony of Lt. Van Duijn, a member of the Dutch Battalion, given at the ICTY trial of Vidoje Blagojevic.

Blagojevic, a former commander of Bratunac Brigade with Republika Srpska Army (VRS), was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Prosecutor Kwai Hong Ip proposed that the transcript of Lt. Van Duijn's statement be read in the courtroom. He explained that Van Duijn does not wish to appear before the Court of BiH nor does he want to testify via video-link.

Justifying its decision to reject the prosecution's motion, the trial chamber explained that, under the circumstances, the defence would not have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic are charged with having participated, as members of the military police squad within the VRS Bratunac Brigade, in a "broad and
systematic attack" on Bosniak civilians after the fall of the "protected enclave" of Srebrenica.

The trial is set to continue on 29 August, when a protected witness will testify.
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