THE HAGUE | 29.03.2012.

STANISIC AND SIMATOVIC TRIAL ADJOURNED FOR A MONTH

The trial of the former chiefs of the Serbian State Security Service will be adjourned until the end of April 2012. In May 2012, the defense of the second accused Franko Simatovic will bring his case to its end. The parties were ordered to be ready to submit their final briefs before the beginning of Tribunal’s summer recess in late July 2012, although the deadline is tentative

The trial of two former chiefs of the Serbian State Security Service, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, was adjourned today. It will continue on 1 May 2012 with the evidence of new defense witnesses called by the second accused. The break in the trial was ordered after Simatovic’s defense filed a motion seeking additional time to prepare for the continuation of his defense case.

Yesterday and today, Judge Orie’s Trial Chamber held a hearing to deal with a lot of administrative issues that have accumulated during the trial, such as dealing with the existing exhibits and admission of new documents.

The presiding judge ordered the parties to be ready to submit their final briefs in July 2012, before the Tribunal’s three-week summer recess, because the defense case – and the trial –is now in the final stage. The deadline is tentative and will depend on the actual resting of Simatovic’s defense.

Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic are charged with murder, persecution, deportation and forcible transfer of non-Serb civilians during the wars in Croatia and BH. The crimes were committed by the police and paramilitary units under their control. The indictment alleges that the crimes were committed from 1991 to 1995 as part of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at ethnically cleansing large parts of Croatia and BH.

Both accused have filed motions asking to be granted provisional release in order to be able to spend the break in Serbia. Now it’s Serbia’s turn to respond to the request for guarantees covering Stanisic’s and Simatovic’s stay in the Serbian territory. Serbia must also guarantee it would make sure they return to the Tribunal’s detention unit. Such guarantees are one of conditions for provisional release.