Reports in Case : Mrksic et al. - "Vukovar Hospital"
Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic, Veselin Sljivancanin
THE VUKOVAR THREE TO BE TRIED BEGINNING OF 2005
The definitive date will depend on how fast pre-trial proceedings go (the final version of the indictment has yet to be issued) and on the changes among Tribunal judges expected at the end of this year.
OVCARA TRIAL TO BEGIN IN FIRST HALF OF 2005
Prosecutors will call witnesses who have testified at the Ovcara trial in Belgrade to testify at the trial of JNA officers charged with the same crime before the Tribunal.
VUKOVAR THREE CASE TO BE DEFERRED TO CROATIA?
At a status conference today, the prosecution announced its intention to submit an application next week for the deferral of the Vukovar Three case. The prosecutor did not specify which courts would be hearing the case, but the defense indicated it would be Croatian courts
WILL THE VUKOVAR TRIAL BE HELD IN ZAGREB OR IN BELGRADE?
Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte submitted a formal application for the referral of the case of the former JNA officers, charged with the massacre Vukovar area, to the courts in Croatia or Serbia-Montenegro. Del Ponte notes that both states are ready and able to try them in accordance with international standards. The main difference lies in the maximum sentence that can be imposed if they are convicted: in Croatia it is 20 years and in Serbia and Monte Negro 40 years in prison.
BATTLE FOR VUKOVAR
At the hearing on the prosecutors’ application to refer the “Vukovar Three” case to the judiciary of Croatia or Serbia and Montenegro possible advantages and flaws of trials in Belgrade and Zagreb were discussed. How to establish balance between the victims’ interests and the rights of the accused?
THE “VUKOVAR THREE” TO BE TRIED IN THE HAGUE
Quoting unspecified "potential difficulties" that might occur if the case is referred to SCG or Croatia, and the importance given to the case of the three former JNA officers charged with the massacre in Vukovar by the UN Security Council, the prosecution seeks to withdraw its application to refer the case to local courts
'THE VUKOVAR THREE" REMAIN IN THE HAGUE
The referral bench decides that the Vukovar Three case "is not an obvious case for referral" to national courts in Croatia or SCS and grants Carla del Ponte's request. The judges support the decision by noting the high rank of the accused, seriousness of the crime and feelings the Vukovar case generates in the region
“VUKOVAR THREE” SEEK A POSTPONEMENT
The defense counsel of the former JNA officers charged with the crimes against prisoners in Vukovar asks for more time to prepare the defense and proposes that the trial date set for October be postponed
THE VUKOVAR THREE TRIAL BEGINS 10 OCTOBER
The beginning of the prosecution case at trial of the Vukovar Three will be postponed by two weeks, instead of four to six weeks the defense had asked for. The three former JNA officers are ćarged with the mašacre at Ovcara in Vukovar
THE VUKOVAR THREE TRIAL SET TO BEGIN
Ten years after the issuing of the indictment, the three former JNA officers charged with the massacre in Ovcara near Vukovar will go on trial. The prosecution case is expected to take about 25 weeks
PROSECUTION REDUCES ITS CASE AGAINST THE VUKOVAR THREE
At the last pre-trial conference, prosecutor Marks Moore announced that the prosecution would try to complete the presentation of its evidence against Mrksic, Radic and Sljivancanin by the end of January 2006. Dr. Vesna Bosanac will be called as the first prosecution witness
MILITARY PRECISION OF THE OPERATION AT OVCARA IN VUKOVAR
In his opening statement at the trial of the Vukovar Three, the prosecutor notes that the selection of the people from the Vukovar hospital, their transportation, provisional detention, execution and burial in a mass grave were an "operation that required military precision". Sljivancanin and Radic deny any responsibility for the crime at Ovcara and put their trust in "truth and justice". The presentation of evidence will begin on 25 October
RED CROSS AS "TARGET" FOR PLANES AND TANKS
Dr. Vesna Bosanac, testifying as the first prosecution witness at the Vukovar Three trial, said she had marked the hospital building in Vukovar with a large Red Cross sign. As the people complained later, this made it "a great target for the planes, tanks and cannon" of the JNA
MRKSIC DID NOT KNOW DETAILS ABOUT THE AGREEMENT TO EVACUATE THE HOSPITAL
As Dr. Vesna Bosanac testifies, the accused Mile Mrksic did not oppose the evacuation of the Vukovar hospital, but ostensibly did not know how it was supposed to be done, in accordance with an agreement signed the day before by the representatives of the JNA and the Croatian authorities
DR BOSANAC’S FOUR MEETINGS WITH MAJOR SLJIVANCANIN
In the continuation of the trial of the Vukovar Three, Dr Vesna Bosanac described her four meetings with “arrogant and strict” Major Veselin Sljivancanin.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Miroslav Radic's defense lawyer accused Dr. Vesna Bosanac of misrepresenting the situation in the hospital and the town to the international community in the appeals she was sending to its representatives, all this in collusion with the Vukovar defense commanders. The question is: did Dr. Bosanac state to the OTP investigators that something had happened "in November" or "by November"
The defense counsel for the Vukovar Three claim that after the JNA entered Vukovar, members of the National Guard Corps (ZNG) took shelter in the hospital, disguised as doctors or put on bandages and splints to look as if they had been wounded. Nurse Binazija Kolesar finds it "hard to believe", although she cannot deny with certainty that there were no such cases
COMRADE MRKSIC IN VUKOVAR HOSPITAL
Protected witness claims that on 20 November 1991 she saw an officer in the Vukovar hospital who was addressed by a doctor escorting him as "Comrade Mrksic". The defense indicates it will prove Colonel Mile Mrksic, who commanded the Vukovar operation conducted by the JNA, was not in the hospital at all that day
TESTIMONY BASED ON A BOOK AND TV FOOTAGE
Did the witness personally saw the conversation between Major Sljivancanin and a "man in white", or did she in fact see it on TV and read about it in the book entitled This is My Country?
SOLDIERS' ROUNDS IN THE VUKOVAR HOSPITAL
Yet another witness testifies about a soldier or a doctor from the Military Medical Academy who examined the patients in the Vukovar hospital on 20 November 1991, singling out those whom he found were not "really" wounded or sick
DEFENCE: VUKOVAR HOSPITAL WAS LEGITIMATE TARGET
The defense counsel for the Vukovar Three contend that the hospital was a legitimate military target because, they claim, fire was opened on the JNA planes from its roof and members of the police and National Guard Corps were hiding in the hospital. The red cross put on the hospital and in its yard was small and could not be seen from the left bank of the Danube, where the JNA artillery was positioned
DR NJAVRO: SLJIVANCANIN ISSUED ORDERS, RADIC MALTREATED PEOPLE
Dr. Juraj Njavro claims the accused Major Sljivancanin was in command of the soldiers and Territorial Defense troops who came to the Vukovar hospital. He identified Captain Radic as the man who made the selection of the wounded and the sick
FROM VUKOVAR HOSPITAL TO PRISON IN SREMSKA MITROVICA
Dr. Juraj Njavro concludes his examination-in-chief with a recounting of his journey from Vukovar to Zagreb via prison in Sremska Mitrovica, at the trial of the former JNA officers charged with the massacre at Ovcara
DEAD MEN WALKING
Prosecution witness at the Vukovar Three trial claims the accused Mrksic and Sljivancanin ordered the murder of the people from the Vukovar hospital and that Radic referred to the wounded people being carried out of the hospital by JNA soldiers as "dead men"; they were still alive at the time
UNIDENTIFIED ACQUAINTANCE OF JOURNALIST-OFFICER
The defense of three former JNA officers charged with the massacre at Ovcara near Vukovar challenges the credibility of the protected prosecution witness, noting his memory is short and he recollected some things at a later stage
CIVILIANS WERE "EVACUATED" TO PRISON
According to testimony of Sarlota Foro at the Vukovar Three trial, about 120 civilians from Mitnica, a Vukovar suburb, were "evacuated" to prison in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia, on 18 November 1991. They were supposed to have gone to parts of Croatia not affected by war
COUNTERING IMAGE WITH IMAGE
The prosecution and defense are trying to prove different things using the same footage of negotiations and the surrender of ZNG troops in the Mitnica suburb
SLJIVANCANIN AND LAWS OF PHYSICS
Previous prosecution witnesses claimed that Major Sljivancanin had called and chaired the meeting with the hospital staff in the morning of 20 November 1991. Now witness Zvezdana Polovina testifies she saw the major in the hospital yard at the time. The defense notes their client is "not a man defying the laws of physics". The prosecutor says that in the yard, Sljivancanin "was calming down women, in order for the men to be separated and later killed at Ovcara"
PROSECUTION WITNESS "UNAVAILABLE"
The prosecution wanted to call an additional witness to rebut parts of the defence case in the Vukovar Three trial, but after over a month of scheduling and rescheduling of his evidence, the Trial Chamber concluded that he was "unavailable for testimony". The closing arguments are scheduled for 28 February, and 1 and 2 March 2007
CLOSING ARGUMENTS AT THE OVCARA MASSACRE TRIAL
At the Ovcara massacre trial, the prosecution delivered today its closing argument. Colonel Mile Mrksic "had enough forces and resources to take measures and solve any situation that might have occurred" in his area of responsibility. Major Veselin Sljivancanin "had total control over the evacuation of the Vukovar hospital and the separation of the patients and the injured”. Captain Miroslav Radic controlled the Territorial Defense troops and "Seselj's men”. The parties will present their recommendations for the sentencing tomorrow
PROSECUTION CALLS FOR LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR THE VUKOVAR THREE
The prosecution wants Mile Mrksic, Veselin Sljivancanin and Miroslav Radic to be sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 264 persons at Ovcara farm
FINAL REBUTTAL OF PROSECUTION CASE
After the prosecution called for a life imprisonment for the Vukovar Three, the defense counsel of Mile Mrksic and Miroslav Radic presented their closing arguments, denying all allegations made by the prosecution and calling for the acquittal of the former JNA officers charged with the Ovcara massacre
OVCARA MASSACRE TRIAL ENDS
Veselin Sljivancanin’s defense counsel calls on the Trial Chamber to acquit the former JNA major. The three defendants address the judges denying they participated in the massacre. They all feel sorry for the victims
PROSECUTION FILES NOTICE OF APPEAL AGAINST MRKSIC AND SLJIVANCANIN JUDGMENT
Noting errors of fact and law in the first-instance judgment, the prosecution asks the Appeals Chamber to find Mrksic and Sljivancanin guilty of crimes against humanity and impose a harsher judgment. The prosecution will not appeal against the acquittal of Miroslav Radic
PROSECUTOR: MINIMUM OF 30 YEARS FOR MRKSIC AND SLJIVANCANIN
At the appellate hearing in the Ovcara case the prosecution has asked the Appeals Chamber to find Mile Mrksic and Veselin Sljivancanin guilty of crimes against humanity and to be sentenced to at least 30 years in prison
SLJIVANCANIN’S SENTENCE INCREASED TO 17 YEARS
The Appeals Chamber found Veselin Sljivancanin guilty of aiding and abetting murder, with a majority of votes, and imposed a new sentence of 17 years in prison. The Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber’s sentence of 20 years for Mile Mrksic
VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN TO CALL FOR A REVIEW OF HIS JUDGMENT?
Veselin Sljivancanin’s defense has indicated it would ‘very likely’ submit a request for a review of the judgment in which the Appeals Chamber found the former security chief in the JNA Guards Brigade guilty of aiding and abetting murder at Ovcara and sentenced him to 17 years
SLJIVANCANIN CALLS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF JUDGMENT
Veselin Sljivancanin’s defense has filed a motion for the reconsideration of the appellate judgment sentencing the former security chief in the JNA Guards Brigade to 17 years. When the Appeals Chamber convicted Sljivancanin of aiding and abetting murder, his defense contends, it in effect made a new first-instance verdict and the accused has the right to appeal
END TO VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN’S CASE?
The Appeals Chamber dismissed the latest motion of former JNA officer Veselin Sljivancanin, in which he asked for a reconsideration of the decision to reject his motion seeking reconsideration of his final judgment. Will the defense bring Veselin Sljivancanin’s case before the European Court of Human Rights?
NEW FACTS IN THE SLJIVANCANIN CASE?
The Appeals Chamber heard the evidence of Miodrag Panic, chief of staff in the JNA Guards Brigade to see if the information Panic had was a ‘new fact’. If the Chamber decides it is, Veselin Sljivancanin’s final judgment may be reviewed
SLJIVANCANIN’S JUDGMENT WILL BE REVIEWED
The Appeals Chamber has partially granted Veselin Sljivancanin’s motion for a review of the judgment in which he was found guilty of aiding and abetting murder and sentenced to 17 years in prison. The Chamber considers the testimony of Miodrag Panic, heard in June, a ‘new fact’ which was not known to the judges when the final judgment was handed down
REVIEW HEARING IN SLJIVANCANIN CASE SCHEDULED FOR 12 OCTOBER
The Appeals Chamber has scheduled a hearing on the review of Sljivancanin’s judgment for 12 October 2010. Sljivancanin was sentenced to 17 years in prison for aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners in Ovcara. The Appeals Chamber will hear the evidence of Reynaud Theunens, prosecution military expert, and then the two parties will have 30 minutes for their closing arguments
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE REVIEW OF SLJIVANCANIN’S JUDGMENT
Prosecution military expert Reynaud Theunens was questioned today at the hearing on the review of Veselin Sljivancanin’s judgment. Theunens contends that under the doctrine of the former Yugoslav armed forces, Mile Mrksic had to have informed his chief of security that the military police had withdrawn from the hangar at the Ovcara farm. ‘Mrksic didn’t tell me anything’, maintains Sljivancanin
SLJIVANCANIN’S SENTENCE REDUCED TO 10 YEARS
The Appeals Chamber granted the defense’s motion to review the appellate judgment of former JNA major Veselin Sljivancanin. The Appeals Chamber vacated his conviction for aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners of war at the Ovcara farm, quashed the sentence of 17 years in prison and imposed the sentence of ten years’ imprisonment for aiding and abetting torture