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10 June 2015
News

Bjelica and Tripkovic Trial Postponed Due to Poor Health of Witness

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The trial of Zoran Bjelica and Novica Tripkovic has been postponed due to the poor health of a state prosecution witness.
Zoran Bjelica and Novica Tripkovic, former members of the Bosnian Serb Army, have been charged with participating in the murder and torture of Bosniak civilians detained in the Miladin Radojevic school building in Kalinovik in August 1992.

Marinko Bjelica was originally charged along with Bjelica and Tripkovic, but the case against him was separated due to his poor health.

At today’s hearing, prosecutor Cazim Hasanspahic said a protected witness known as S.H. was receiving daily medical therapy and that her health deteriorated right before the hearing.

“She responded to the invitation, but she can’t enter the courtroom. She wasn’t able to respond to questions regarding protective measures either,” he said.

The chamber determined that S.H. couldn’t be forced to enter the courtroom, and ordered the prosecution to express its opinion regarding S.H.’s examination at the next hearing. The trial chamber also ordered a medical court expert to examine the health of another protected prosecution witness.  

The examination of two prosecution witnesses was postponed due to their poor health. In the meantime, Zoran Bjelica’s defense presented its evidence.

At this hearing, Novica Tripkovic’s defense informed the court that an ambulance had visited the defendant prior to the hearing and that he didn’t feel well.

The trial will continue on Monday, June 29.
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