The trial of Zeljko Lelek has been postponed after attorney Fahrija Karkin failed to appear in Court.
Although nine of the ten witnesses appeared at the hearing today, the trial of Zeljko Lelek has been postponed because Defence attorney Fahrija Karkin has failed to appear.
At the moment the hearing was due to commence, the Court received a telegram from attorney Karkin in which he asked for postponement of the trial due to his engagement at some other hearing.
“This is an unpleasant situation as most witnesses have traveled to Sarajevo from other places in which they live,” said Trial Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic.
The chairman also said he would ask Karkin to submit a written note explaining the reasons for his absence. Should it be determined that his reasons are not justified, he announced that “other measures” might be undertaken, including a fine.
“At this trial, the last hearing was held on October 22. The defence could have asked for rescheduling much earlier,” said Judge Vucinic.
Indictee Zeljko Lelek asked the Court to allow him to examine the witnesses personally. However, this request was not approved, as the hearing could not be held in the absence of the Defence attorney.
The indictment alleges that, during the war, Lelek undertook joint operations with Milan Lukic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and Mitar Vasiljevic, who was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed in Visegrad.
The indictment against Lelek contains six charges, including the rape, murder and torture of civilians.
The trial has been postponed until November 16, when the same witnesses are due to be examined.