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23 March 2009
News

Trbic: Pandurevic Refuses to Testify

BIRN BiH

The Defence of Milorad Trbic will propose that transcripts of Vinko Pandurevic's testimony be included as evidence, after the ICTY indictee refused to appear before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vinko Pandurevic, former Commander of the Zvornik Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, has refused to testify in favour of Milorad Trbic, who is charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica. Trbic's Defence attorney has proposed that a transcript of Pandurevic's testimony at the Hague be admitted as evidence.

Pandurevic, who is charged before the Hague Tribunal along with six other former officers of the Republika Srpska Army and Police, with crimes committed in Srebrenica, testified as a Defence witness at his own trial a short time ago.

The Defence of Trbic will ask the Hague Trial Chamber to provide it with a transcript and audio recording of Pandurevic's testimony.

"We do not object to the introduction of his transcript. We believe that it would be needless to request that this witness be cross-examined, considering the fact that he will probably not agree to be cross-examined," Prosecutor Kwai Hong Ip said.

At this hearing Bruce Bursik testified as a Defence witness. The former investigator with the Hague Prosecution told the Court that his first contact with Milorad Trbic was in 2004, adding that he did not know where Trbic was at the time.

Bursik was invited to testify about the period that passed between Trbic's arrival at The Hague, which, according to his Defence took place in October 2003, and his handover to the Tribunal in April 2005.
 
"I cannot tell you where he was accommodated. We were not allowed to know that. I am not sure, but I think that the Chief of the Witness Section has that information," Bursik said, adding that he "did not participate in the arrangements pertaining to Trbic's accommodation".

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina considers Trbic responsible for participation in genocide committed in Srebrenica in July 1995, when several thousand Bosniaks were killed. The indictment alleges that the indictee was assistant commander for security with the VRS Zvornik Brigade at that time.

On Monday, March 30 another status conference will be held as part of this trial.
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