Jezik / Language:
3 July 2008

Bastah et al: Crimes based on ethnicity

The State Prosecution intends to prove that crimes against civilians in the Vlasenica area was exclusively based on ethnicity.
By examining 90 witnesses, the State Prosecution will try to prove that the "ethnic affiliation" was the cause of the crimes against civilians in the Vlasenica area, which are charged upon Predrag Bastah and Goran Viskovic.

"We are talking about severe crimes, which targeted Bosniaks and the other non-Serbian population only. From May to September 1992 all Bosniaks were deported from that area, murdered or detained," Prosecutor Sanja Jukic said, presenting her introductory arguments.

The indictment alleges that, from April to September 1992 Bastah and Viskovic participated in "a joint plan, with an aim of achieving a common goal," by committing murder, unlawful detention, mental and sexual mistreatment and torture and forced disappearances of civilians from Vlasenica area.

Originally the Prosecution charged Veljko Basic with the same crimes under the same indictment.

However, responding to a motion filed by the Defence and considering the findings of medical court experts, the Trial Chamber decided to separate the cases, because the indictee is not capable of following the trial.

The indictment alleges that Basic was manager of "Susica" detention camp and had control over the lives and bodies of more than 1,000 civilians, who were forcibly detained in it from May 31 to the end of September 1992. The detainees were held in inhumane conditions and physically abused on a daily basis.

"Prosecution witnesses will confirm that there was no active resistance. They will also speak about the establishment of 'Susica' detention camp, in which more than 2,000 persons were detained at some point," Jukic said, adding that all crimes were committed on "a discriminatory basis."

The indictment alleges that Bastah was member of reserve police forces with the Public Safety Station in Vlasenica and Viskovic was member of the Republika Srpska Army.

The Defence of the two indictees will present their introductory arguments after the State Prosecution has completed presenting evidence.

The examination of the first Prosecution witnesses is due to take place on Thursday, July 10.
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