News 08 May 12

Brammertz Praises Cooperation with Bosnia

The cooperation between the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, and the Bosnian judiciary is successful, says the ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz during his visit to Bosnia.

Denis Dzidic

Chief Prosecutor Brammertz met the Bosniak member of the Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, in preparation for the ICTY’s regular report to the UN Security Council, and expressed continued support for war crimes prosecutions.

Bosnia’s Court and prosecution have come under fire in recent months after the two leading Bosnian Serb parties filed a motion to abolish the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Prosecutor's Office claiming they were “anti-Serb”.

However, the majority of parliamentarians did not back this proposal.

According to the Bosnian Presidency press release, during the meeting Brammertz and Izetbegovic discussed the forthcoming Ratko Mladic’s trial and the current trial of the former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic.

Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war.  His trial is due to start on May 16.

After two years, the ICTY prosecution has just completed the presentation of its case against Radovan Karadzic, who is charged with many of the same crimes as Mladic.  The defence will start presenting its evidence in October.

Izetbegovic, as member of the Bosnian presidency, asked Brammertz for a more careful consideration toward the items of victims which have been found in mass graves in Bosnia and which the ICTY now possesses.

 “The things that happened in the past, when a number of those items was destroyed, must not happen again”, said Izetbegovic.

In May 2009, a story broke out that personal belongings of Srebrenica's victims, taken by ICTY investigators from the mass graves located in 1996 and 1997, were later destroyed.

The relatives of those massacred in 1995 were dismayed by the reports that their loved ones’ possessions had been destroyed without their permission.

Brammertz also met representatives of the Court and Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  During his two day visit to Bosnia he will attend the opening of a witness protection centre in the District Court of Eastern Sarajevo in Republika Srpska. 




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