Jezik / Language:
14 January 2008

Lelek: Another Invitation for ICTY Indictees

Zeljko Lelek's defence has asked the Court for help in contacting ICTY indictees who are considered to be witnesses.
Fahrija Karkin, ex-officio attorney of war crimes indictee Zeljko Lelek, has asked the Court to intervene in order to help the Defence establish contacts with Sredoje and Milan Lukic, both International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indictees.

At the beginning of the evidence presentation process, Karkin announced his intention to invite Milan and Sredoje Lukic to testify. They are currently held in the detention unit in Scheveningen in The Hague, where they are waiting for their trial to start.

Karkin also said he intends to invite Mitar Vasiljevic, who was sentenced by the ICTY in 2004 to 15 years' imprisonment for crimes in Visegrad. Although the defence evidence presentation process has nearly ended, the defence has still not received any response from Milan and Sredoje Lukic.

"I am in contact with their defence attorneys and I was told that they were willing to testify," Karkin told the Trial Chamber, adding that the two indictees have neither confirmed nor denied their wish to testify so far.

Karkin asked the Court of BiH to intervene and schedule a video conference between him and the Lukics. The court will render a decision concerning this request at a later stage.

Karkin believes that Vasiljevic is willing to testify and he asked the court to set a date for a video conference call to the prison in Austria where Vasiljevic is serving his sentence. A decision on this request will also be made at a later stage.

Lelek is charged with having participated, together with members of the paramilitary group led by Milan Lukic, in a range of crimes, including murder, maltreatment and rape committed in the course of 1992. Sredoje Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic also took part in the operations conducted by that group.

Lelek's defence denies that he was a member of Milan Lukic's paramilitary group, or that the indictee committed the crimes charged upon him.

Witnesses Mirko Pecikoza, Zoran Gacic and Miladin Nikolic said they knew Lelek and that they saw him during the war. To the best of their knowledge, he was member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The three witnesses said that Lelek was not a member of Lukic's unit.

Asked by Prosecutor Bozidarka Dodik if they knew who were the members of that unit, all three of them said they did not know.

Lelek said he wanted the court to send a new invitation to the witnesses, who failed to answer the earlier summons. The court approved the request. The indictee also asked the court to consider visiting Visegrad in order to make a reconstruction of events.

However, the Trial Chamber asked that this request be explained and considered at a later stage.

The next hearing is due on January 21.
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