Uncategorized @bs

Stankovic: Trial without an indictee

13. October 2006.00:00
The public had the opportunity to be present at one of the hearings at the trial of Radovan Stankovic - but not to see the indictee in the courtroom.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

After the trial had been going on behind closed doors for many months, on October 12 the trial chamber decided to allow the public to be present at one of the hearings of Radovan Stankovic, who is charged with crimes committed in Foca.

Although it was expected that Nera Zivlak Radulovic – a court-appointed expert in the field of neuropsychology – would appear in the courtroom as a defence witness, that did not happen. The doctor was supposed to give her professional opinion on the psychological state of the indictee, who has not been present at the trial for a long time period now. As she did not show up, the trial chamber ordered that her hearing would be postponed until Monday October 16, when she will have to appear in the courtroom at the order of the court.

The defence proposed that the indictee’s mental state be examined at the clinic in Sokolac, instead of under witness testimony.

Prosecutor Behaija Krnjic objected to this proposal and said that an expert should be questioned at the main hearing.

“I believe that the behaviour of indictee Stankovic is not a consequence of psychological state, but instead of his position towards the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Krnjic concluded.

“The trial chamber also wants to ask some questions of the expert,” said the chairman of the trial chamber, Davorin Jukic.

Stankovic is charged that he, as member of the Miljevina battalion within the Foca tactics brigade, committed a crime against humanity against civilians from the territory of municipality Foca, by encouraging and assisting in detention, torture, rape and murder of civilians of non-Serb nationality, in the period from April 1992 to February 1993.

Stankovic was arrested by SFOR on July 9, 2002, after which he was transferred to a detention unit in The Hague. At the beginning of September 2005 the case was forwarded to the court here, and the indictment was adjusted and confirmed by the Bosnian court in December of last year.

The trial was supposed to start in March of this year, but was postponed multiple times due to the allegedly inappropriate behaviour of the indictee in the courtroom.

Citing a desire to protect the witnesses, in March the trial chamber made a decision to completely close the trial to the public, which has caused a series of negative reactions in the public.

The media has received information about the trial only from time to time, including the one that at one point of the trial indictee Stankovic refused to come to the courtroom and the trial chamber allowed him to monitor the trial via video records.

According to announcements, the next hearing scheduled for Monday, October 16, may also be open to the public.

This post is also available in: Bosnian