DEN HAAG | 12.06.2016.
Next Week at the Tribunal

MLADIC’S FINAL DEFENSE WITNESS TO TESTIFY

In October 2012, Russian colonel Andrei Demurenko was Radovan Karadzic’s first defense witness. Now, Demurenko returns to court as the last witness in Ratko Mladic’s defense case

After the testimony of Russian colonel Andrei Demurenko, former chief of UNPROFOR Staff in the Sarajevo Sector, who is due to testify this week, Ratko Mladic’s defense will rest its case.

The defense will try to contest the allegation that Mladic’s troops were to blame for the second Markale town market massacre. A total of 47 Sarajevo citizens were killed and 37 were injured in the incident, which took place on 28 August 1995. After the massacre, Demurenko conducted an investigation in which he established that the fatal shells couldn’t have been fired from the Serb positions. The Russian colonel already testified about his conclusions in the cases against the war-time commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Dragomir Milosevic and the former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic. Demurenko, however, failed to convince the judges that his findings on the origin of fatal shells were reliable. Mladic’s defense is likely hoping that in his third attempt Demurenko will fare better.

On Tuesday, Mladic will appear in court for the first time after 5 May 2016 when the defense demography expert Svetlana Radovanovic completed her evidence. In the first five and a half months this year the Trial Chamber was in session for just 12 working days. During that time, the defense called a total of six witnesses. The parties will deliver their closing arguments at the trial of the former VRS Main Staff commander in the fall of 2016. The judgment is expected to be delivered in November 2017. Mladic is on trial for genocide and other crimes committed by the troops under his command in the BH war.

Mladic’s final defense witness will also be the last witness to appear before the Tribunal. The re-trial of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic will be conducted before the so-called Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.