Four men charged with crimes against humanity have appeared before the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo.
The Court of BiH in Sarajevo has started one more trial for crimes committed in July 1995 after the fall of the protected enclave of Srebrenica.
The Prosecution charges Zdravko Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic - former members of the Military Police of Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army - to have taken part in murders, forcible transfer and imprisonment of Bosniaks during July 1995 after the fall of Srebrenica.
"The Prosecution claims that the four accused took part in a military operation which was performed in an illegal way in the enclave of Srebrenica during July 1995", said Prosecutor Kwao Hong Ip.
"The indictees are individually responsible for the committed crimes. They are also considered responsible for not preventing crimes or protecting civilians."
The Prosecution announced that it will "present evidence showing that there was a plan for an attack at Srebrenica" aimed at Bosniak civilians living in that area.
"The witnesses will speak about the conditions in Potocari and in the buildings in Bratunac and the village of Orahovci, in which a group of them were detained. The Prosecution will also call some former colleagues of the indictees who will speak about the tasks of their squad. We shall also call some eye-witnesses of the events in which the accused took part," said Ip.
The indictment alleges that, on 13 and 14 July, Bozic, Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic were guarding the elementary school Vuk Karadzic in Bratunac, in which 2,000-3,000 men were detained and "tortured and beaten up".
The four are accused of "maltreatment, beating up and cruelly treated the detained civilians" in Grbavica school in Orahovac, municipality of Zvornik on 14 July 1995. According the allegations in the indictment, some 1,000 to 2,500 men were detained in the school.
At today's hearing, introductory arguments were given by defence teams of the four accused. They argued that the indictment, which was confirmed by the Court of BiH on 22 December 2006, contains "general formulations" and calls upon a law which "was not in effect at the time when the crimes were committed".
"The indictment does not give any concrete facts for which the accused are charged with, but it keep repeating the actions. It is not disputable that Bozic was a members of the Military Police in Bratunac, but that itself does not mean he committed some crime," said Dragica Glusac, defence attorney of the accused Zdravko Bozic.
Blagojevic's defence team said that it considers the Prosecution to have "a great advantage as they have been preparing for this for 17 years".
"We need additional resources to prepare ourselves properly and to prove the innocence of our client. The defence will insist on certain legal issues during its evidence process and will invite court experts who will speak about the inadequate application of law in this case," explained attorney Miroslav Ristic.
Stanko Petrovic, Zaric's attorney, pointed out that he "fully disputes" the prosecution's allegations and said that he would use "mostly the prosecution's evidence" during his own evidence process.
"If I did not have the indictment in front of me today I would think that this trial is against some generals, like [Ratko] Mladic or [Radovan] Karadzic, and not against police officers. I can not understand how someone can be responsible for other people's mistakes when he was not a commander," said Petrovic.
Danilo Mrkaljevic, Zivanovic's attorney, said he would prove the innocence of his client.
"I will prove that the prosecutor's office influenced some witnesses. I am glad I shall be able to prove that my client is innocent, and that he only was performing a military task," said attorney Mrkaljevic.
All four are indicted for being "deliberate participants in a joint criminal activity".
The first Prosecution witnesses will be examined on 11 May.