Jezik / Language:
30 October 2007

Trbic Trial Date Set


The Court of BiH has confirmed that another trial for genocide will start in the first week of November.

The trial of Milorad Trbic, indicted for genocide committed against Bosniaks in the Srebrenica region in July 1995, will begin on Thursday, November 8, 2007. At this hearing, the Prosecution will read the indictment and present its introductory arguments.

"Before we start with examination of the first witnesses, another brief status conference will be held on November 26," Trial Chamber Chairman Davorin Jukic said.

The Prosecution of BiH charges Trbic with having participated, as assistant commander for security of the Zvornik Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army (VRS), in genocide against Bosniaks in the UN protected enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995.

According to the indictment, which was originally filed in The Hague and then admitted in Sarajevo, Trbic is considered responsible for managing the Military Police Squad of the Zvornik Brigade from July 11 to November 1, 1995.

In this capacity, he "controlled the evacuation of Bosniak civilians from the enclave" on July 13 and 14. He was allegedly involved in the organisation of transport, and the detention and guarding of male Bosniaks from Srebrenica who were driven by buses and trucks from Bratunac to detention centres in Zvornik.

The indictment further alleges that Trbic, together with other members of VRS and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, "participated in the execution of more than 7,000 male Bosniaks" at the stadium in Bratunac on July 13, 1995 and in the courtyard of the school in Grbavci on July 14.

In addition, Trbic is charged with having "enabled, coordinated and participated in the communication between the VRS officers who conducted the arrests, detention, transport, execution and burial of male Bosniaks from Srebrenica, who were capable of performing military service". He also enabled monitoring of the re-burial of the remains exhumed from the primary mass graves undertaken in the period from August 1 to November 1, 1995.

"The Prosecution has recommended that 127 witnesses, including some who have already testified in The Hague, be invited. We would like to examine a total of 54 witnesses. We have also got the statements that the remaining 76 witnesses gave before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). We intend to present 500 pieces of material evidence, or 1,000 pieces in the two languages," said Prosecutor Kwai Hong Ip.

Ip reiterated that 20 Prosecution witnesses could be considered as the "key witnesses". It is planned that the direct examination of some witnesses may last for up to five hours.

"We may decide to give up the examination of some witnesses, if the Trial Chamber decides to admit their statements given before the ICTY and the facts determined in the course of some other trials," Ip said.

Defence attorney Milan Trbojevic was not able to comment on the prosecution's proposals because, as he said, he was in an "awkward position".

"I have not seen the documents. I ran through the indictment and, therefore, I cannot pronounce upon the Prosecution's suggestions," said Trbojevic, who replaced attorney Borislav Jamina.

At the status conference, the Trial Chamber itself was not able to pronounce upon the Prosecution's proposal to admit ICTY records and the facts determined by the tribunal's verdicts, because "the prosecution has still not submitted its proposals".

The public was excluded from the status conference during a discussion on the eventual introduction of protection measures for Prosecution witnesses.

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