Jezik / Language:
10 January 2007

Vukovic trial postponed by hunger strike

Foca rape accused has joined the group of war crimes indictees who began a hunger strike this week.
The start of the main hearing against Radmilo Vukovic, a former member of Army of Republika Srpska who is charged with war crime of rape committed in Foca, has been postponed after the indictee did not turn up in court.

Defence attorney Vojo Radovic told the Trial Chamber that Vukovic has refused to appear at the hearing because he has joined the group of indictees who are on hunger strike and that any future decisions will be in accordance with the decisions of other strikers.
The Trial Chamber announced that yesterday, January 9, the judges were informed of the strike conducted by Correctional Facility Kula detainees and that the indictees are "physically and psychologically" unfit to attend hearings.
The beginning of the main hearing against Vukovic was postponed until January 19 by when, as Judge Davorin Jukic said, the court hopes that the issue will be resolved. The judge also noted that Vukovic's decision to stay away from court was not in the indictee's best interests.
The Prosecution has charged Vukovic with the physical and psychological abuse of protected witness A.  It is stated in the indictment that the indictee raped her on multiple occasions during June and August 1992 in Miljevina, Foca municipality, after which she gave birth to a child.
According to available data, more than 20 war crimes indictees are involved in the hunger strike and are refusing to attend hearings.
The main reason for the strike is the Bosnian court's use of the criminal code of BIH instead of the criminal code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), which was in effect at the time when the crimes were committed and which allows for less severe punishment for acts of war crime.
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