Jezik / Language:
14 March 2007

Jankovic: Trial to Begin on March 26

The first trial for crimes committed against civilians on the territory of Zvornik municipality to be held before the Court of BiH will begin at the end of March.

The main hearing at the trial of Zoran Jankovic, a former member of Army of Republika Srpska who is charged with crimes against humanity, will begin on March 26, 2007.

In accordance with the Trial Chamber's decision, the Prosecution will read the indictment on March 26 and both sides will have an opportunity to present their opening statements.

The Prosecution believes that Jankovic, jointly with members of paramilitary formations, took part in attacks on Bosniak civilians on the territory of Zvornik and Kalesij from April to end of June of 1992.

According to the indictment, on April 29, 1992 Jankovic, jointly with one more person and members of paramilitary formations, detained a group of Bosniaks who were hiding in the territory of Snagovo village, Zvornik municipality.

They escorted all detained persons to the town of Rasidov Han, where they killed 36 people and wounded three others. It is further stated in the indictment that, in order to hide the crime, the perpetrators burnt the bodies of all murdered persons on the same day.

Prosecutor Mirsad Strika announced that he will call 17 witnesses and one court expert and that he will need 11 days to question all of them.

Ex officio defence attorney Dragoslav Peric said that the defence plans to call "around ten witnesses", but that the planned number could change depending on the "strength of Prosecution's evidence".

The Defence also agreed to accept parts of verdicts passed down before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as facts that have already been determined.

The verdicts in question are those passed down for Dusko Tadic (20 years), Dragan Nikolic (20), Goran Jelisic (40), Ranko Cesic (18), Mitar Vasiljevic (15), Miroslav Deronjic (ten) and Biljana Plavsic (11). It was proven in the listed verdicts that in 1992 an extensive and systematic attack took place on the territory of North-Eastern Bosnia.

The Defence also announced that, during presentation of evidence, it will attempt to offer an alibi for the defendant for the dates mentioned in the indictment.

This is the second status conference to be held in this case, because Judge Zorica Gogala, the previous chairwoman of the Trial Chamber in this case, has left the Court of BiH and has been replaced by Judge Minka Kreho.
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