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22 December 2015
News

Bosniak Commander Oric’s Trial Set for January

Jasmina Djikoli BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The trial of Bosniak wartime commander Naser Oric for crimes against Serb prisoners of war in the Srebrenica and Bratunac areas will begin on January 26 next year.
The Bosnian state court on Tuesday set the date for the start of Oric’s trial in Sarajevo after the Hague Tribunal rejected a request from his defence to stop the proceedings against him.

Oric’s defence claimed that he had already been tried for and acquitted of the same crimes in The Hague.

But the UN court said the indictment filed in Bosnia and Herzegovina was significantly different from the charges of which he was acquitted at the Hague Tribunal.

It said the Hague Tribunal acquitted Oric of of command responsibility for murder of one person at the police station in Srebrenica and six more people in the local municipality building.

The Bosnian indictment charges Oric and Bosnian Army soldier Sabahudin Muhic with killing three Serb captives in the villages of Zalazje, Lolici and Kunjerac in 1992.

Oric’s lawyer Lejla Covic said she would ask the Hague Tribunal to give her the possibility to file an appeal against its decision not to countermand the trial in Sarajevo.

But judge Saban Maksumic said that if an appeal was allowed, Bosnian court would take that into account. “For the time being, the trial’s start date remains unchanged,” Maksumic said.

Oric and Muhic pleaded not guilty in October this year.

The former Srebrenica commander’s indictment drew criticism from both Serb victims of the war – who claimed the charges were too modest – and from Bosniak victims of Serb crimes.

He is seen as a hero by some Bosniaks for his role in combatting Serb forces in the years before the 1995 Srebrenica massacres.
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