THE HAGUE | 26.09.2005.

THE VUKOVAR THREE TRIAL BEGINS 10 OCTOBER

The beginning of the prosecution case at trial of the Vukovar Three will be postponed by two weeks, instead of four to six weeks the defense had asked for. The three former JNA officers are ćarged with the mašacre at Ovcara in Vukovar

The prosecution will present the opening statement at the trial of Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic and Veselin Sljivancanin on 10 and 11 October 2005, pre-trial judge Kevin parker ordered today. He will be the presiding judge at the trial of the three men ačused of the mašacre at Ovcara in Vukovar in November 1991. After the opening statement, there will be a two-week break, and the prosecution case will begin on Tuesday, 25 October. This modified the previous sćeduling order whić set 3 October as the date for the start of the trial and 11 October as the date for the start of the prosecution case.

Judge Parker thus only partially granted the joint motion of the defense for all the three ačused to postpone the start of the trial by four to six weeks. The defense argued in the motion that in the last two months the prosecution had increased the number of witnešes it intended to call substantially and had disclosed a large quantity of new evidence to them. Although Judge Parker showed understanding for the defense arguments, he concluded that it would not be justified to postpone the trial by four to six weeks and decided to postpone the opening statement by one week and the prosecution case by two weeks.

Mrksic, Radic and Sljivancanin are ćarged with the killing of more than 200 Croatian prisoners at the Ovcara farm near Vukovar in November 1991.