THE HAGUE | 08.04.2012.
Next Week at the Tribunal


Only the trial of the former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic will continue next week at the Tribunal. Amor Masovic, director of the BH Institute for Missing Persons, will testify on Tuesday. Two protected witnesses will follow, and then the court will hear American Serb Tomislav Premovic and Tomasz Blasczyk, an investigator working for the OTP

Easter Monday is a holiday at the Tribunal, but only one trial will continue next week: former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic is due back in court on Tuesday. He faces charges of double genocide and other crimes against non-Serbs during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which began exactly 20 years ago. The trial is now in the last stage of the prosecution case. The court is hearing evidence of genocide in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.

The first witness to take the stand next week will be Amor Masovic, director of the BH Institute for Missing Persons. He has taken part in the exhumations of mass graves all over BH, and has already testified at other trials before the Tribunal. In a bid to discredit the findings of the exhumations, Karadzic has described the BH Institute for Missing Persons several times as a 'biased body', run by 'one of the warring factions'. When Karadzic cross-examined Thomas Parsons from the International Commission for Missing Persons recently, he often quoted the purported recent statements by Masovic, claiming they contain new figures for Srebrenica victims. The accused and the prosecution witness will likely engage in a lively and interesting debate in the cross-examination. After Masovic completes his evidence, the prosecution is expected to call two protected witnesses, KDZ-084 and KDZ-071. If there is any time left, the next witnesses will be American Serb Tom Premovic and Tomasz Blaszczyk, an OTP investigator. On 13 July 1995, while the VRS Srebrenica operation was at its height, Premovic and two other American Serbs were visiting Karadzic's office in Pale. Premovic was there when the RS president spoke on the phone with his military commanders in the field..

As for the rest of the ongoing trials, the trial of former Serbian State Security Service chiefs, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, has been adjourned for April, to allow the defense of the second accused to prepare its last witnesses. At the trial of the former top Bosnian Serb officials, Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, the closing arguments have been scheduled for 21 May. At the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, the parties will present their closing arguments on 21 and 22 August. The appellate hearing in the case of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac will be held on 14 May. Gotovina and Markac were found guilty of crimes in Operation Storm and sentenced to 24 and 18 years in prison respectively. An appellate hearing has yet to be scheduled in the case of the former Chiefof the Yugoslav Army General Staff, Momcilo Perisic, who was sentenced by the Trial Chamber to 27 years in prison. The Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj and former Herceg Bosna leaders are awaitng their judgments. The outcome of one trial is as yet unclear: former KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj are currently being retried for the crimes against Albanian, Serbian and Roma civilians in Kosovo. The prosecution has called most of its witnesses but has not rested its case.

The remaining two trials are yet to open: the trial of former commander of the Bosnian Serb army Ratko Mladic has been scheduled to start on 14 May, and the former Krajina Serb leader Goran Hadzic will face the court on 16 October.