The trial of Najdan Mladjenovic and Savo Zivkovic, who are charged with crimes in Bratunac in May 1992, is due to begin on October 30 before the Sarajevo-based Bosnian State Court.
At a status conference, the presiding judge, Zeljka Marenic, said that the prosecution had filed a proposal, along with the indictment, to examine 31 witnesses and two court experts, but that she has been subsequently informed that “the situation is somewhat different”.
“We submitted a list of witnesses. We have given up the examination of nine witnesses and one court expert in order to make the proceedings more efficient,” the prosecutor, Ozrenka Neskovic, explained.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Mladjenovic and Zivkovic with having committed and assisted in the persecution of non-Serb civilians on national, ethnic and religious grounds by unlawfully depriving them of liberty, physically and mentally abusing them and destroying their property in the Bratunac area in May 1992.
According to the charges, Mladjenovic was the commander of the Territorial Defence in Bratunac and Zivkovic was member of that unit.
The defence could not specify how many witnesses they would examine.
Acting on behalf of Mladjenovic, the defence lawyer, Dejan Bogdanovic, said that he would propose the examination of at least seven witnesses, while Zivkovic’s lawyer, Nenad Grubez, said that he would call between five and ten witnesses.
Bogdanovic also requested to be appointed as a reserve defence attorney for Mladjenovic, because his main defence attorney, Miodrag Stojanovic, is currently defending the former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, at the trial before the Hague Tribunal.
The court will render a decision at a later stage.
Mladjenovic was arrested in May and Zivkovic in June this year and they have been in custody ever since.