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19 November 2009

Pelemis and Peric: Custody Termination Motion

BIRN BiH
The Defence of indictee Momir Pelemis files a motion, calling on the Court to terminate custody of his indictee for the sake of "his poor health and easier post-surgery recovery".
"There are objective, moral, humane and legal reasons to fulfill our request and order prohibiting measures against Pelemis instead of the current custody measure. (...) The fact is that he underwent surgery on October 10. He is now in the Kula Penal and Correctional Facility, but he does not have adequate conditions for recovery following the appendix surgery he had to undergo," Milos Peric, Defence attorney of the first indictee, said.

The State Prosecution objected to the Defence's motion, claiming the indictee?s health was not a reason for which his custody should be terminated, proposing to the Court to order a medical examination of the indictee in order to determine his state of health or "transfer him to Kosevo Hospital until he has fully recovered".

The Court will render its decision concerning the motion at a later stage.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Pelemis and Slavko Peric with the murder of more than 1,200 Bosniaks committed at Branjevo military farm in Zvornik Municipality. The men had previously been detained in Pilica Center and Kula school building in Pilica.

The indictment alleges that Pelemis performed the function of Deputy Commander and Chief of Headquarters of the First Battalion with the Zvornik Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army, while Peric was Assistant Commander for Security with the same Brigade.

Pelemis and Peric have been held in custody since November 10 last year.

Trial Chamber Chairman Ljubomir Kitic said that he visited indictee Pelemis, together with a legal advisor, in the Kula Facility on November 16 this year. He said that during the course of the visit the first indictee described the surgery and the way the wound looked, but he "did not express any dissatisfaction with the treatment".

"Pelemis was ordered into custody due to a possibility that he might seek to influence witnesses. The surgery can therefore not represent a basis for terminating his custody. The Prosecution agrees that he should get the best possible care, but such care can only be provided in the hospital in which the surgery was undertaken," Prosecutor Dubravko Campara said.

The next hearing is due to take place on November 30 this year.
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