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Expert at Stanisic and Milosevic Trial Challenges Forensic Findings of State Prosecution Expert

28. October 2015.00:00
A defense expert testifying at the trial of Ostoja Stanisic and Marko Milosevic said no date or place of birth was indicated for most of the identified victims in the case. Stanisic and Milosevic have been charged with genocide in Srebrenica.

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Stanisic and Milosevic have been charged with the murder of about 1000 Srebrenica residents on a dam near Petkovci on July 14 and 15, 1995.

According to the charges, at the time Stanisic was the commander of the Sixth Battalion of the Zvornicka Brigade with the Bosnian Serb Army, while Milosevic was his deputy. The indictment alleges that the Sixth Battalion Command was situated in Petkovci.

Testifying at today’s hearing on behalf of the defense, Svetlana Radovanovic criticized findings made by state prosecution witness Rifat Kesetovic regarding victims found in a mass grave near Petkovci and secondary graves in Zvornik.

Radovanovic said Kesetovic officially identified 732 victims. She said 469 of the victims were found in the primary mass grave and 263 others were found in the secondary grave. Radovanovic said reports on the death of 18 persons indicated that they were killed in Petkovci on July 14 or 15, 1995, while no such data was included for the other persons.

Radovanovic said the cause of death of more than 80 percent of the identified victims had not been indicated. She also said that according to documentation from the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at least ten of the identified victims were killed from 1992 to 1994.

Prosecutor Predrag Tomic asked Radovanovic whether such conclusions could be made only on the basis of death certificates. Radovanovic said this was official data. Tomic said Kesetovic explained the problems related to the dates of death.

Tomic asked Radovanovic whether she knew what had happened to her findings in other cases. The defense objected and the trial chamber accepted the objection, and said that was an issue for the court to consider. Tomic objected to Radovanovic’s findings, because he believed she wasn’t competent enough to deal with DNA identification.

The trial will continue on November 11.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian