Jezik / Language:
17 May 2007

Simsic: Retrial Delayed Until Further Notice

Process delayed until the Hague tribunal submits additional documents to the Court of BiH.
Boban Simsic's defence attorney Veljko Civsa has asked the trial chamber to accept as evidence part of
a verdict handed down to Mitar Vasiljevic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2004.

Vasiljevic, sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for crimes committed in Visegrad, had testified via video-link during the first instance process, and the appeal judges listened to the testimony again during the on-going retrial.

This witness denied allegations in the indictment and statements by some witnesses that he had been with he indictee in the Hasan Veletovac school on an undefined date in the second half of June 1992. They allegedly forced a Bosniak woman to take her clothes off in front of all prisoners and then beat her up. The first instance trial chamber has cleared Simsic of this charge.

"This part of the verdict indicates that Vasiljevic was in a hospital in Uzice in the period from 15 to 28 June 1992," the defence attorney said while explaining why he has asked the chamber to take this verdict into consideration before they reach a final decision.

"These facts do not directly concern the criminal responsibility or irresponsibility of the indictee," trial chamber chairman Judge Azra Miletic said while rejecting Civsa's request.

The defence team then asked the chamber to obtain from the ICTY wintess statements given at the trial of Vasiljevic that concern his health condition and hospitalisation. The prosecution has objected.

"I do not know what the defence wants to prove by this," Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said.

"Your indictment is based on false testimonies of witnesses and we want to prove that," Civsa  replied.

The appeal chamber has accepted the suggestion made by the defence and it will subsequently send a request to the ICTY to submit the documents to the Court of BiH.

In January this year the Appeal Chamber revoked the first instance verdict in the case of Boban Simsic due to, as explained, "wrongly determined facts".

The retrial's continuation date will be determined later on.
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