The trial of eight Bosniaks charged with war crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians and prisoners of war in the Sarajevo suburb of Hadzici will begin on April 19.
At a status conference before the trial for the crimes committed in the longest running prison camp in the Bosnian war, the prosecution announced that in the course of the evidence hearing it would examine 273 witnesses and enter 1,739 exhibits into evidence.
Marjan Pogacnik, an international prosecutor working for the Bosnian prosecution, said that the large number of witnesses is necessary because the indictment covers a period between May 1992 and January 1996, mentions three detention facilities, and the crime was committed in a large geographic area.
“I ask this court to accept this number of witnesses, because they are necessary in order to prove the counts of the indictment,” explained prosecutor Pogacnik.
The defence teams objected to the number of witnesses announced by the prosecution saying that the trial would last for years.
“We believe that the same effect could be achieved with a third of the witnesses, so we ask the court to order the prosecution to make this case more efficient,” said Vasvija Vidovic, one of the defence lawyers.
The court accepted this request and ordered the prosecution to reduce the number of witnesses by half.
Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember are charged with crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians and prisoners of war in the Silos camp and other detention centres in the territory of the municipality of Hadzici, between 1992 and 1996.
The indictment says that Djelilovic was the president of the Crisis Headquarters and War Presidency of Hadzici, Fadil Covic head of the police station in Hadzici and member of the Crisis Headquarters, and Mirsad Sabic commander of Pazaric police station.
Becir Hujic and Halid Covic were wardens of the Silos camp. Serif Mesanovic was one of the deputy wardens of the Silos camp and a warden in the warehouse in the Krupa army barracks, while Nermin Kalember was a guard in Silos.
The trial is set to start on April 19.
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