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19 January 2016
News

Trial for Rogatica Crimes Postponed Due to Poor Health of Defendant

Jasmina Djikoli BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The trial of eight former members of the Bosnian Serb Army charged with crimes against humanity in the Rogatica area in 1992 has been postponed, due to the poor health of one of the defendants.

Former Bosnian Serb soldiers Radomir Markovic, Mile Kusic, Dragan Bozovic, Sasa Perkovic, Radomir Gluhovic, Pero Radovic Ilija Vukasinovic and Milos Vukasinovic have been charged with participating in attacks and killings targeted at the non-Serb civilian population, within a widespread and systematic attack conducted from April to September 1992.

The defendants also allegedly searched and pillaged houses in the villages of Karacici, Vragolovi and Golubovici on September 18, 1992.

During the search of Karacici, the defendants allegedly found 20 Bosniak civilians hiding in a garage. According to the indictment, the defendants beat the civilians with rifle butts and then pushed them into a nearby barn, where they were killed. The shooting caused a fire which burned the bodies, the indictment alleges. The prosecution claims the defendants acted in collaboration with other unidentified perpetrators.

According to the charges, at the time Markovic was the commander of the Socicka Company of the Rogaticka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, while the other defendants were members of that unit.

At today’s hearing, defendant Radomir Markovic said he was experiencing pain and was unable to sit in the courtroom. The trial chamber then decided to postpone the trial by seven days.

“The witness who was scheduled to testify at this hearing has come. However, we shall ask him to come again next Tuesday,” trial chamber chair Zeljka Marenic said.

So far the state prosecution has examined ten witnesses and one court expert and has also read a statement given by a deceased witness.

A witness will testify in Markovic’s defense at the next hearing, scheduled for January 26.

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