Ivanovic: Proposal for Butler’s Testimony Declined

27. February 2012.11:57
At a status conference held as part of the trial of Zeljko Ivanovic, who is charged with genocide in Srebrenica, the Trial Chamber renders a decision to decline a Prosecution's proposal for the examination of Richard Butler, US military expert witness and former ICTY investigator.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Trial Chamber Chairman Darko Samardzic said that the circumstances about which Butler was supposed to speak before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had already been determined by facts.

“All of the things related to Srebrenica genocide, described in Richard Butler’s report, have been determined by facts. Witnesses have already testified about those circumstances during this trial. Hence, we consider that Butler’s testimony is not necessary and that we will not determine any new facts by examining him,” Samardzic explained.

Butler’s testimony has been awaited for since November last year. At a last hearing held on February 16 it was said that the United States of America, allowed Butler’s examination, but he was not able to testify prior to March 19.

Zeljko Ivanovic, known as Arkan, former member of the Second Special Police Squad with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska, MUP of RS from Sekovici, is charged with having participated, in July 1995, in escorting a convoy of Srebrenica residents from Sandici to the Agricultural Co-operative warehouse in Kravica, Bratunac municipality, knowing that they would be executed.

According to the charges, after having detained those people, Ivanovic and other members of the Second Squad “stood in a semi-circle” and started shooting at the prisoners, who were inside the warehouse.

Ivanovic has been held in custody since March 2009. His trial began in August that same year.

Following the Trial Chamber’s decision not to examine Butler, the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution and Defence was completed. However, Samardzic said that, in case there was a need to examine some other witnesses, they would be invited to testify at the next hearing.

In case no additional witnesses are invited, the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is due to present its closing statement on March 15 this year.

Dragana Erjavec

This post is also available in: Bosnian