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Kravica: Defence Witnesses Fail to Appear

4. October 2007.00:00
Of five witnesses invited by the Defence seven days ago, only one has appeared at the hearing.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Only one of the five Defence witnesses invited to appear at the trial of 11 men accused of genocide after the fall of Srebrenica has appeared in Court.

Witness Milunka Nikolic has tried to provide an alibi for six indictees for the night of 13 July 1995.

She claims that, on that night all Special Police members “were in the headquarters in Resagici after bringing Krsto Dragicevic’s body in”. Dragicevic was their colleague who had allegedly been killed by Bosniaks detained in the hangar in Kravica.

“All boys were there that night. Cop, Mirko, Aco, Snajka, Pero, Velja, Kele, Jelko, Zeljko…,” the witness listed, at the request of  Prosecutor Ibro Bulic, the nicknames of all Special Police members whom she claims to have seen that night.

Milenko ‘Cop’ Trifunovic, Petar ‘Pera’ Mitrovic, Aleksandar ‘Aco’ Radovanovic, Velibor ‘Velja’ Maksimovic, Dragisa ‘Kele’ Zivanovic and Slobodan Jakovljevic, known as ‘Snajka’ are among the 11 Special Police and Republika Srpska Army members whom the Prosecution charges with having executed about 1,000 Bosniaks in the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravice in the evening hours on 13 July 1995.

The witness, who is a former cook in the Special Police headquarters, claims that they all remained in the headquarters that night guarding Krsto Dragicevic’s body and that, on 14 July they “guarded the coffin the whole day” in the church house in Skelani.

Nikolic has also said that they all attended the funeral and saluted him with a salvo on 15 July.

Other witnesses, who were announced earlier, have failed to appear in the courtroom. The attorneys have consequently given up the examination of some of them. They all belonged to the group of joint witnesses invited by seven defence teams.

It has been said that Jelko Ivanic and Stanojka Bogdanovic have decided not to testify for private reasons. Therefore, the Defence teams have announced that they are giving up on these witnesses.

Protected witness “A” has again failed to appear. The witness was due to appear also on 13 September, but decided not to come due to alleged threats. The Defence teams have also “temporarily given up” the examination of this witness, but they have announced that they intend to invite him at a later stage of the process.

Witness Nikola Gajic, claimed by the Defence to be “an eyewitness of the events”, has informed the Court that he does not wish to testify.

“We cannot force, apprehend or fine him as he is currently in Serbia,” Trial Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic explained.

Radivoje Lazarevic, one of  Milos Stupar’s Defence attorneys, has said that he does not give up on this witness and that he shall try to get in contact with him.

At the next hearing, scheduled on 10 October, the Defence teams of Aleksandar Radovanovic and Slobodan Jakovljevic are due to examine six joint witnesses.

This post is also available in: Bosnian