Reports in Case : Blagojevic & Jokic
Vidoje Blagojevic, Dragan Jokic
A SUSPECT SPEAKS OUT
Although the prosecutor warned Krsto Simic that as a suspect he had the right to remain silent, he decided to speak out about what he did eight and a half years ago in the Srebrenica area.
UNWILLING WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
Former bodyguard of the accused Vidoje Blagojevic remembers little or nothing of the events in Srebrenica in July 1995. Compliments of the prosecution to the Republika Srpska authorities
WITNESSES FROM THE "OTHER SIDE"
While only the victims of the crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995 testified for the prosecution at the trial of General Krstic, most of the prosecution witnesses at the trial of Colonel Blagojevic and Major Jokic were members of the Republika Srpska army and police
SECOND HALF TO BEGIN AT THE SECOND SREBRENICA TRIAL
The defense case for the Tribunal’s second Srebrenica trial is set to begin next week and continue until the end of July. Blagojevic and Jokic are acquitted on some counts alleging their individual responsibility for crimes committed there.
DEFENCE OPENS IN THE SREBRENICA CASE
In his opening statement, defense counsel for Vidoje Blagojevic announced that he will try to prove that the accused "did not participate, directly or indirectly, in any crime" committed before, in the course of, or after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave.
SHAME AND SUFFERING
The first defense witness at the trial of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic, former VRS commanders accused of the massacre in Srebrenica, denies that there were any forced transfers of civilians from Potocari but does not challenge the fact that several thousand Bosniak men were killed in July 1995.
“WRONG MAN IN THE WRONG PLACE”
Testifying as a defense witness, former president of the Bratunac municipal Government Srbislav Davidovic claims that the accused, Vidoje Blagojevic, did not have anything to do with events in Srebrenica in July 1995.
PAINTING THE PENITENT BLACK
The defense of Vidoje Blagojevic, former VRS Bratunac Brigade commander, is doing its best to impeach Momir Nikolic and challenge some of the facts he admitted and plead guilty to; Nikolic expressed his repentance and accepted responsibility for the massacre in Srebrenica
THE DEFENCE VERSION OF THE KRAVICA MASSACRE
At the trial of the former commanders of the VRS Bratunac and Zvornik brigades, accused of the Srebrenica massacre, the defense presented its version of events in the co-op warehouse in the village of Kravica on 13 July 1995.
JUST PASSING BY GENOCIDE
Ten former soldiers and commanders of the Bratunac Brigade called by Vidoje Blagojevic's defense over the past two weeks all told the same story, albeit from different angles: they did not take part in the "active attack" on Srebrenica; they were "just passing by" in Potocari; they were not there on official business; and they did not take any part in the separation of men from women and children, let alone in the capture and execution of Bosniaks.
DUTCH DIESEL FOR DEPORTATION
Witness Dragoslav Trisic, former assistant to the Bratunac Brigade commander for logistics, claims the "fuel for the entire transportation of Muslims" from Potocari on 12 and 13 July 1995 "was provided by the UNPROFOR Dutch Battalion."
"EVERYTHING NORMAL IN BRATUNAC"
At the trial of Vidoje Blagojevic, defense witness Ljubomir Beatovic claims that "nothing special" happened in Bratunac before Srebrenica fell on 11 July or after. "Only 13 July was a bit tiring"
TRIBUNAL CALLS KARREMANS TO TESTIFY
At the request of Vidoje Blagojevic's defense, the Tribunal calls Ton Karremans, the former commander of the UNPROFOR Dutch Battalion, to testify at the Srebrenica trial. The Netherlands is requested to provide "cooperation and assistance" to establish contact with the retired colonel.
GENERAL MLADIC UNDERESTIMATED THE RISKS IN OPERATION STORM
Three weeks before the launch of Operation Storm, General Mladic received precise information about the times and directions of the impending Croatian attack on Krajina. But rather than prepare for the defense of Republika Srpska’s western borders, he scolded the "messenger" who brought the news.
GUILTY OF COMPLICITY OR AIDING THE SREBRENICA GENOCIDE?
Judges in the case of Vidoje Blagojevic hear the prosecution’s motion requesting a change in the charges. Prosecutors want the former commander of the VRS Bratunac Brigade charged with aiding and abetting genocide instead of complicity in genocide.
KILLING WHILE ON LEAVE
Petar Salapura, former intelligence chief in the VRS Main Staff, testifies that members of the 10th Commando Detachment were officially on leave when they executed 1,200 Bosniak prisoners at the Branjevo farm in July 1995. OTP investigators interviewed Salapura in 2001 or 2002--not about events in Srebrenica in July 1995, but about Alija Izetbegovic and Naser Oric.
AN INVESTIGATION WAS LEGALLY POSSIBLE…BUT COULD NOT BE CARRIED OUT IN PRACTICE
Former military prosecutor Predrag Drinic, a defense witness, notes that in the prevailing atmosphere in Srebrenica in 1995 and 1996, it would have been "extremely risky" to launch an investigation into the Srebrenica massacre.
"NO NEED" TO AMEND INDICTMENT
The Trial Chamber hearing the case of Vidoje Blagojevic, accused of crimes in Srebrenica, dismisses a prosecution motion to amend the indictment so that he is charged not with “complicity,” but with “aiding and abetting” genocide.
THE ACCUSED DOING HIMSELF MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Vidoje Blagojevic, former commander of the Bratunac Brigade who is accused of crimes in Srebrenica, demands to testify at his own trial
QUESTIONABLE METHODS, UNQUESTIONABLE VICTIMS
During the cross-examination of Svetlana Radovanovic, prosecutors try to show that the defense expert challenges not only the report filed by the prosecution expert, but the number of people who disappeared and died in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.
CHINESE JUDGE CAUTIONS AMERICAN LAWYERS
On the eve of the testimony of Dutch officer Ton Karremans, commander of the Dutch "blue helmets" in Srebrenica in 1995, the Trial Chamber cautions both the prosecution and the defense to abide by the rules of proper conduct in Tribunal courtrooms.
A SECRET OPERATION, CONCEIVED BY A SICK MIND
This is how Dragan Jokic's defense counsel described the massacre in Srebrenica. The former chief of engineers in the VRS Zvornik Brigade is charged with crimes there. The defense claims it will prove the engineer chief could not have issued orders to an engineer company involved in digging and tampering with mass graves in the Srebrenica region.
AN OFFICER'S LOG WRITTEN IN A TEMPER
The prosecution puts some unpleasant questions to witness Ljubo Bojanovic about a "trivial note" in the duty officer's log of the Zvornik Brigade, jotted down in July 1995
THE TRUTH CANNOT BE TOLD PUBLICLY YET
At the trial of Dragan Jokic, charged with the crimes in Srebrenica, witness Tanacko Tanic said that it was not advisable, even now, to testify about the mass executions of Bosniak prisoners in July 1995
PROSECUTION RECOMMENDS SENTENCES FOR BLAGOJEVIC AND JOKIC
Prosecutors seek 32 years in prison for Vidoje Blagojevic and between 15 and 20 for Dragan Jokic
THE ACCUSED "FOLLOWED THE ILL INTENTS" OF GENERAL MLADIC
During closing arguments at the trial of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic, prosecutors claim to have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the responsibility of the two former Bosnian Serb Army officers for the Srebrenica massacre in the summer of 1995.
FOR KARNAVAS, ATTACK IS THE BEST DEFENSE
The defense counsel for Vidoje Blagojevic, charged with the massacres in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995, calls for his client to be acquitted. In his closing argument, Karnavas levels severe accusations against the prosecution.
JOKIC'S DEFENSE CALLS FOR ACQUITTAL
The chief engineer of the Zvornik Brigade "was involved" in the VRS’ Srebrenica operation "mostly as a common soldier," Dragan Jokic’s defense claims in closing arguments
TRIBUNAL RENDERS SECOND JUDGMENT FOR SREBRENICA GENOCIDE
Vidoje Blagojevic was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Dragan Jokic to 9 for the crimes committed in July 1995; as stated in the judgment, these are among the “darkest days in modern European history”, committed with a “level of brutality and depravity not previously seen”. The Trial Chamber found that the accused “did not play a major role” in the Srebrenica crimes, which were planned and committed by “officers from the VRS Main Staff and Republika Srpska MUP.”
APPELLATE PROCEEDINGS IN BLAGOJEVIC AND JOKIC CASE
Both the prosecutor and the defense of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic filed appeals against the sentences to 9 and 18 years in prison. The appellate briefs are now being amended
BLAGOJEVIC CALLS FOR RETRIAL AND REVIEW OF JUDGMENT
Former commander of the VRS Bratunac Brigade claims that during his trial before the Tribunal his ‘fundamental human rights were jeopardized’. He is calling for a review of the judgment delivered by the Appeals Chamber sentencing him to fifteen years in prison on charges of aiding and abetting of the genocide in Srebrenica
VIDOJE BLAGOJEVIC RELEASED FROM PRISON
Former commander of the VRS Bratunac Brigade is granted early release after serving two thirds of his 15-year sentence for aiding and abetting the genocide in Srebrenica