Vukovic and Tomic: Retrial Begins

19. September 2011.13:03
The retrial of Radomir Vukovic and Zoran Tomic, who are charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica in July 1995, begins with presentation of introductory arguments by the State Prosecution and Defence.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Presenting his introductory arguments before the Appellate Chamber, State Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said that he would prove that indictees Vukovic and Tomic knew about “the ultimate plan for extermination of Bosniaks in Srebrenica”.

The Defence of the two former members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska, MUP RS, objected to the State Prosecution’s allegation, adding that “no evidence” that would confirm the allegations “exists”.

“I would like to say that I deny the indictment as a whole, as well as all pieces of evidence presented by the Prosecution. I am saying that the Prosecution’s evidence does not confirm the allegations contained in the indictment. You too will ascertain that,” said Petko Pavlovic, Defence attorney of indictee Tomic.

In April 2010 the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed down a first instance verdict, determining that Vukovic and Tomic, former members of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici with MUP of RS, participated in the murder of about 1,000 Bosniak captives in the Agricultural Cooperative premises in Kravica on July 13, 1995.

Vukovic and Tomic were sentenced to 31 years imprisonment by the first instance verdict.

Upholding the appeals filed by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Defence of the indictees, in June this year the Appellate Chamber revoked the first instance verdict due to substantive violations of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina and ordered a retrial.

Among other things, in their introductory statements the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Defence teams mentioned a statement given by protected witness D5.

While Prosecutor Bulic said that the witness “reliably testified about the indictees’ guilt”, the Defence teams pointed out that the witness was unreliable, adding that the Court should not trust him.

Following the presentation of introductory arguments, the Appellate Chamber held a status conference about the way in which the retrial would be conducted.

Appellate Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic said that all pieces of evidence presented at the first instance trial would be admitted at the retrial, but he said the only piece of evidence that would be publicly reproduced was witness D5’s statement.

“The Chamber will assess the remaining pieces of evidence and familiarize itself with them. As far as additional evidence is concerned, I want the Defence teams to submit their proposals of new witnesses within the next three days. A decision will be rendered after that,” Vucinic said.

The hearing of witness D5’s statement, given during the course of the first instance trial, will begin on October 3.

Denis Džidić

This post is also available in: Bosnian