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Kujundzic: Witness examination postponed

22. August 2008.00:00
Following the Trial Chamber's intervention, the Prosecution postpones the examination of witness Mirsad Tokaca.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Due to the fact that the Prosecution was not able to examine its witness Mirsad Tokaca in the manner requested by the Trial Chamber, it decided to postpone his examination. The new date will be set at a later stage.

Mirsad Tokaca, who introduced himself as “war crimes investigator”, is president of the Research and Documentation Centre, RDC, from Sarajevo. This NGO was behind the project on “Population loss in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1991 to 1992”. The Prosecution invited him to testify at the trial of Predrag Kujundzic. The indictment alleges that Kujundzic was commander of “Predini vukovi” (“Predo’s Wolves”) Paramilitary Unit. He is charged with crimes in the Doboj area. 

The Defence objected Tokaca’s examination in the first place, claiming that he could not be considered as a representative of some formal authority and adding that it was not clear how the RDC obtained the data that Tokaca was going to present in the courtroom. 

The Chamber rejected the Defence’s objection, adding that it would treat the evidence “in the same way as all other pieces of evidence”, after the completion of his examination. 

The Prosecution tried to examine Tokaca by asking him about the broad context of the war and number of victims in Doboj area, but the Chamber intervened. 

“The factual description contained in the indictment does not cover the entire area of Doboj municipality. It mentions specific locations and we therefore have to concentrate on concrete names and data,” Trial Chamber Chairman Saban Maksumic said.

The database compiled by the RDC, on the basis of collected documents and research activities, contains names of individual persons and information about how those persons died during the course of the war. 

The Chamber allowed the Prosecution to prepare the witness again and examine him in a different way, which will be adjusted to the Court’s proposal.

The Chamber mentioned that protected Prosecution witness 14 refused to cooperate and receive the summons. It informed the Prosecution that it might issue an apprehension order, unless the Prosecution decided not to examine this witness at all. 

The Chamber asked the Prosecution to provide it with the recent documents that would show whether protected witness 18 was capable of appearing in the courtroom. The Prosecution filed a motion, asking to read the witness’ statement in the courtroom, as he was allegedly not able to appear before the court due to health reasons.

The next hearing is due on August 25.

This post is also available in: Bosnian