Jezik / Language:
13 October 2011

Planincic et al: Threats to Protected Witness

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina requests an extension of custody for the three indictees, who are charged with crimes in the Kotor-Varos area, due to a possibility that witnesses may be influenced, because a
protected witness received threats.

The Defence of Fikret Planincic, Rasim Lisancic and Sead Menzil said that the Prosecutor's allegations were unfounded, proposing to the Court to order prohibiting measures instead of custody. The Court will render its decision at a later stage.

"Witness M-1 received serious threats after having given a statement to the Prosecution. He was threatened five times. We have therefore opened an investigation in order to identify the perpetrator," Prosecutor Dragan Corlija explained.

Mirza Kovac, Defence attorney of Planincic, said that all three indictees were under custody when the witness received those threats.

"Neither the indictees nor their families know who witness M-1 is or when he gave his statement. The question therefore arises as to how they could influence the witness," Kovac said, adding that the Defence had not even received the witness' statement.

Lisancic's Defence attorney Izet Bazdarevic said that the Prosecution had no evidence that his client had tried to influence the witness. Adil Draganovic, Defence attorney of the third indictee, gave similar arguments. Also, the Defence teams pointed to the indictees' bad financial situation.

Prosecutor Corlija replied by saying that the witness received those threats while the indictees were still at liberty, but the Prosecution had not mentioned it before, because the witness was not under protection measures at that time.

The indictment alleges that Planincic, Lisancic and Menzil, former members of the Territorial Defence in Kotor-Varos, are charged with having participated in an attack against the Serb civilian population in Serdari village.

It further alleges that 16 Serb civilians were killed in that attack. Some of them were killed from firearms in front of or inside the residential buildings, where they lived, while many persons were wounded.

Planincic, Lisancic and Menzil have been held in custody since May this year.


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