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22 June 2009
News

Bastah et al: Preparations for "civil war"

BIRN BiH
The Defence of Goran Viskovic presents ten pieces of material evidence in an attempt to prove "the activities conducted by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina" in Vlasenica. 
The Defence of Goran Viskovic, who is charged, along with Predrag Bastah, with crimes committed in Vlasenica, presented ten more pieces of material evidence, seeking to prove the existence of an armed conflict between the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, in this part of eastern Bosnia during the course of 1992.

The indictment alleges that Viskovic and Bastah participated in the capture, detention, deportation and murder of Bosniaks from Vlasenica during 1992, when they were members of military and police structures of Republika Srpska.

Defence attorney Rade Golic presented several documents issued by the Territorial Defence, TO, Staff in Tuzla in the summer of 1992, by which he sought to prove "the organizational structure of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina" on the territory of Vlasenica.

"These documents are relevant as they prove the existence of a civil war and preparations of the parties to take part in the war, which consisted of arming themselves," Golic said, adding that the documents showed that there were 1,715 members of the Bosnian Army in Vlasenica at that time. 

The Defence presented several documents pertaining to Veiz Bjelic, including data taken from his military records and an application form for membership in the Croatian Party of Rights, HSP.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina disputed these pieces of evidence, claiming that they were "not relevant for this trial". 

"We are still considering the possibility of calling Veiz Bjelic to testify during the course of additional evidence presentation," Defence attorney Golic said.

Bjelic, a former member of the TO in Vlasenica, was sentenced to six years'
imprisonment, after having reached a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, pertaining to war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war committed in Vlasenica during the course of
1992 and 1993. 

The two witnesses, who were due to be examined by the Defence at this hearing, failed to appear, because, according to attorney Todor Todorovic, "they received a cable inviting them to a hearing on July 6". They will be examined at a future hearing. 

The trial is due to continue on July 2.

 

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