Reports in Case : Oric
NASER ORIC'S DEFENCE
In its pre-trial brief, Naser Oric's defence submits that this is "the first time in history that a representative of a people under siege and facing genocide has been indicted by an international tribunal for crimes allegedly committed against the besieging foe.”
NASER ORIC TO BE TRIED IN EARLY OCTOBER
The trial of the former BH Army commander in the Srebrenica region will start on 5 October, the pre-trial judge announced today. Oric has been charged with murders and cruel treatment of Serb civilians in the police station in Srebrenica and for destruction and plunder of Serb villages in the municipalities of Bratunac, Srebrenica and Skelani in 1992 and 1993
NASER ORIC READY FOR TRIAL
Pre-trial conference in the case of Naser Oric, former BH Army commander in the Srebrenica region, whose trial is set to begin on Wednesday, 6 October 2004. The prosecution is granted leave to amend the indictment yet again.
NASER ORIC TRIAL BEGINS TOMORROW
Apart from survivors and eye-witnesses to the crimes which Oric, former BH Army commander in the Srebrenica area, is charged, the prosecution will call people who fought side by side with Oric as well as representatives from the international community who negotiated with him in 1993. The defense calls "this is a unique case in history that a representative of a people under siege… is tried for alleged crimes against the enemy besieging them."
THE FOUR RIDERS OF THE APOCALYPSE
Naser Oric's defense notes that in order to understand events in Srebrenica, one needs to comprehend four crucial words: genocide, siege, starvation and sickness. Was Oric accused of "stealing TV sets"?
“WARLORD,” NOT WARRIOR
In his opening statement at the beginning of Naser Oric’s trial, the prosecutor describes the accused as "a warlord”--a supreme military leader who also holds civilian power and who is “accountable to no one"
ORIC'S DEFENSE CHALLENGES DOCUMENTS' AUTHENTICITY
The prosecution tenders 263 documents seized at BH Army 2nd Corps headquarters and others obtained from different sources, including authorities in Republika Srpska. The defense objects to having them admitted into evidence and expresses concern about the "dubious sources" of the prosecution’s documents.
WHAT IS IN HANDWRITING?
The prosecution calls a handwriting expert to prove the authenticity of Naser Oric's signature on documents it is tendering into evidence
THOSE THAT REMAINED WERE EITHER KILLED OR BURNED
Court hears first testimony of Naser Oric’s specific crimes. A witness from the Serb village of Jezestica testifies about two attacks on the village, the burning of houses and the killing of civilians. The defense tries to prove the attacks were not on unarmed civilians.
MILITARY ATTACKS OR FORAGING FOR FOOD?
Prosecutors are trying to prove that Naser Oric is criminally responsible for the plunder and destruction of property in the Serb villages around Srebrenica and Bratunac. Miladin Simic testifies that some of the houses in the village of Jezestica were burned and the cattle stolen.
A CLASH BETWEEN TWO ARMIES OR A MASSACRE OF CIVILIANS?
Naser Oric's defense is trying to prove there was fierce fighting between Serb and Muslim forces on 7 January 1993 in Kravica and the Serb villages around it in the Srebrenica area that resulted in casualties; it is challenging the prosecution's argument that forces under the accused’s command attacked undefended villages and massacred civilians.
KRAVICA: "EVERYTHING THAT COULD BURN WAS BURNED"
Naser Oric trial hears first testimony about the attack on the village of Kravica on 7 January 1993.
FIGHTERS OR CIVILIANS?
Although Naser Oric isn’t charged with the deaths of those killed during attacks by his forces, the prosecution claims the victims were civilians, while the defense is trying to prove that the majority of the casualties were fighters from the VRS Bratunac Brigade killed in action.
PLUNDER OR HUNGER?
According to Naser Oric’s defense, the motive behind the attacks on Serb villages in the Bratunac and Srebrenica areas in June 1992 was "desperate civilians' hunger." Stanisa Stevanovic testifies about those attacks today.
DEFENCE AGREES WITH PROSECUTION EXPERT
According to British expert Andrew Gow, and by extension, the prosecutor who has called him to testify, the conflict in BH broke out when the Serb side set out to draw new borders through ethnic cleansing. Gow testified about the development of the conflict in which the crimes that Naser Oric is charged with were committed
A witness from Bjelovac, whose children were taken prisoner by the Bosniak soldiers says, “I told Oric once, ‘What kind of a commander are you, you’ve captured a six-month old baby!’ And he said that all those who found themselves on the frontline were fighters as far as he was concerned.”
AN INCIDENT IN COURTROOM
Provoked by the testimony of Nikola Popovic whom he considers responsible for the killing of two thousand people in Kravica in July 1995, accused Naser Oric shouted that he did not want “a criminal to testify” against him. Presiding Judge Agius threatened that he would have Oric handcuffed and removed from the courtroom
CAN DOCUMENTS FROM BANJA LUKA BE TRUSTED?
Naser Oric’s defense challenges the authenticity and reliability of documents obtained by the OTP from a “problematic source” – the Republika Srpska authorities
“DENTIST’S OFFICE” AT THE SREBRENICA POLICE STATION
Nedeljko Radic, a Serb from the village of Milici in Srebrenica area, described his encounters with Naser Oric in the Srebrenica SUP building where he had been detained and abused in the fall of 1992
NIGHTLY VISITS TO “CHETNIKS” IN THE SREBRENICA PRISON
At the trial of Naser Oric, witness from the village of Cosici describes abuse he was subjected to as a detainee in January 1993 in the SUP building and at other locations in Srebrenica
“YOUR GUYS ARRESTED OURS, SO WE HAVE TO ARREST YOU”
At the trial of Naser Oric, protected witness C7 described how he had been liberated from detention in Srebrenica by “Philippe Morillon’s blue helmets”
WITNESS FOR BOTH SIDES
Troops commanded by Naser Oric attacked the Serb villages in the Srebrenica area to get “arms and ammunition”, while civilians looking for food “plundered, ransacked and burned the houses,” prosecution witness Nedret Mujkanovic claims
WHY BURN A HOUSE THAT HAS BEEN LOOTED?
After explaining first that the Muslim refugees living in Srebrenica enclave burned houses in Serb villages “because they were afraid they would be moved there”, Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic later agreed to the suggestion put forward by the presiding judge that they in fact did that “for the same reason Serbs did it” – to prevent the owners from returning to their homes
GENERAL MORILLON’S FAILED ESCAPE BID FROM SREBRENICA
British colonel Pyers William Tucker testified today about a failed escape bid of General Morillon from Srebrenica in March 1993, his decision to stay with the refugees and why the general could not convince “colonel” Oric to stop the fighting
BRANDY AND CIGARS FOR GENERAL MORILLON
"In Srebrenica, the law of the jungle rules”, British colonel Pyers William Tucker wrote in his notebook in March 1993 during his stay in Srebrenica. The witness described the humanitarian airdrops and distribution as “the fight for survival.”
HAKIJA’S TROOPS, ZULFO’S TROOPS, NASER’S TROOPS
Were units under Naser Oric’s command “teams for the salvation of the people” or military formations?
PROSECUTOR GIVES UP ON "NON-COOPERATIVE WITNESS"
Former president of the Srebrenica municipality was supposed to testify at the trial of Naser Oric this week but after the prosecutors realized in the course of two days of proofing that Ibran Mustafic did not want to cooperate with them, they decided not to call that witness
NASER ORIC AND GENEVA CONVENTIONS
Testimony of Enver Hogic who, as the head of the legal department of the BH Army 2nd Corps that Naser Oric’s troops were part of, advised commanding officers on the application and respect of the international laws of war. Did Hogic’s advice ever reach Srebrenica?
PROSECUTION RESTS AT NASER ORIC TRIAL
After 101 trial days, during which 50 witnesses were heard, the prosecution rested its case at the trial of former BH Army commander in the Srebrenica region. Oric is charged with destruction and plunder of Serb villages and abuse and murder of detainees in late 1992 and early 1993
SHOULD NASER ORIC'S TRIAL CONTINUE?
"In eight months, the prosecution has failed to prove any of the counts of the indictment", claims defense counsel John Jones. He is asking the prosecution to drop the entire case. In that case, the defense would not have to present its case at all
"EVIDENCE AGAINST ORIC SUFFICIENT"
Prosecution today argued before the Trial Chamber that enough evidence had been presented about the attacks on Serb villages and abuse in the Srebrenica police station; the trial should thus continue with Naser Oric's defense case
ORIC ACQUITTED OF CHARGES OF PLUNDER BUT NOT MURDER AND DESTRUCTION
The trial of Naser Oric will continue on only four instead of the initial six counts charging him with the crimes committed by the forces under his command in the Srebrenica area in late 1992 and early 1993
NASER ORIC'S CASE BEGINS
The Trial Chamber dismisses the defense motion to suspend the trial until the Appeals Chamber has ruled on the restrictions imposed on the presentation of the defense case. The Chamber also indicates which elements need not be proven by the defense
SCAVENGERS FROM SREBRENICA
Sead Bekric, testifying as Naser Oric's defense witness, described how he "desperately searched for food" with the civilians in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993
RESTRICTIONS ON ORIC'S DEFENCE LIFTED
Appeals Chamber grants in part the appeal filed by Naser Oric's defense against the decision of the Trial Chamber to restrict the number of witnesses and time allotted to the defense for its case
NO ONE COULD STOP THE ‘TORBARI’
There was no substantial difference between civilians and fighter as they searched for food, Naser Oric's defense witness claims
FIGHTERS UNDER PRESSURE FROM CIVILIANS
BH Army units in Srebrenica did not coordinate the "torbari" as they foraged for food, but they did attack Kravica "under pressure from civilians," Kada Hotic claims, testifying as Naser Oric's defense witness
POTS AND PANS AS WEAPONS
In the spring of 1992, Muslims from Srebrenica did nothing but defend themselves against the attacks by Serb forces, Naser Oric's defense is trying to prove. Civilians and poorly armed volunteers managed to make the Serb forces retreat from the village of Rakovici by "banging on pots and pans"
THE TORBARI: CIVILIANS OR FIGHTERS?
"It was hard to distinguish fighters from civilians" in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993, Naser Oric's defense witnesses claim
The report of the Srebrenica Armed Forces Command about the structure of their units in 1992 and 1993 was «a reflection of their wishes, not of the actual situation», as Naser Oric's defense witness testified
THE SURPRISE FACTOR IN KRAVICA
The Serb forces, which vastly outnumbered the Bosniak attackers and were much better armed, were nevertheless overwhelmed in the surprise attack on Kravica, claims witness Buric, testifying in defense of Naser Oric. Buric participated in the attack on Kravica on 7 January 1993
"THE SREBRENICA CHRONICLE"
Nesib Buric quotes from Ivo Andric's Travnik Chronicle to contest the allegations made in the «Srebrenica chronicles» from 1992 and 1993. One of them was written by the accused Naser Oric, the prosecution alleges
ONLY AN ATOMIC BOMB WAS MISSING
Hazim Malagic, Naser Oric's defence witness, describes the balance of power in the Srebrenica area in 1992
EVERYONE WAS A LEADER, NO ONE WAS A COMMANDER
Naser Oric’s defense witness claims that the accused merely “led” his group of fighters, not “commanded” them
MIDDLE AGES IN THE 20TH CENTURY
Dr. Simon Mardel testifies about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Srebrenica in early 1993
DID THE PROSECUTION CONCEAL EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE IN ORIC CASE?
Heated debate on the motion filed by Naser Oric's defense, accusing the prosecution of having concealed the existence of evidence that might exculpate or mitigate the responsibility of the accused
PROSECUTION ADMITS IT MADE A MISTAKE, DEFENCE CALLS FOR “SANCTIONS”
Naser Oric's defense finds "astonishing" the failure of the prosecution to run an investigation of the confession made by Slobodan Misic in an interview to the Vranjske novine newspaper in November 1997 that he had killed between 70 and 80 Muslim civilians
ORIC'S DEFENCE DAMAGE CONTROL
Naser Oric's defense will be given an opportunity to recall some prosecution witnesses and cross-examine them again, in light of new evidence that came to light after the defense found among the prosecution documents an interview with Slobodan Misic, a Serb volunteer. The prosecution was ordered to disclose all materials in its possession that might be of use to the defense
MAKE-SHIFT ARMY WITHOUT A COMMANDER
During Mustafa Sacirovic's examination-in-chief, Naser Oric's defense recapitulated most of its main arguments. From the beginning of their case, the defense has been trying to prove that in 1992 and 1993 the Serb forces controlled the situation in the Podrinje area, committing crimes against civilians, while the military structure in the Srebrenica enclave was a make-shift one, with no unified command and communication among the armed Muslim groups
TYSON VS. FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD
Testifying as Naser Oric's defense witness, former UN observer confirms defense argument about the superiority of Serb forces over powerless Muslim troops and about the crimes committed against civilians in Podrinje
DESTRUCTION WAS RESULT OF "NECESSITY"
Protected defense witness claims that there was a strong VRS presence in all the Serb villages around Konjevic Polje and that the destruction of civilian buildings Naser Oric is charged with was the destruction of legitimate military targets
WHAT WERE PROSECUTION WITNESSES DOING IN SREBRENICA IN JULY 1995?
The defense claims that one fifth of the witnesses called by the prosecution in the case against Naser Oric participated in the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995
DO THOSE WHO RELAY INFORMATION NEED TO BE COURIERS?
Fighters who relayed information from one armed group to another cannot be considered couriers, in the opinion of protected witness testifying in Naser Oric's defense. The witness thus corroborates the defense argument that there was no organized military structure in the Muslim forces in the Podrinje area
"SETTING THE STAGE FOR GENOCIDE"
Naser Oric's defense witness, former Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, now special adviser to the UN Secretary-General, accuses the international community it did nothing to prevent the genocide in Srebrenica
DESTRUCTION RESULT OF "MILITARY NECESSITY"
Naser Oric's defense is trying to prove that the destruction of villages in the wider Srebrenica area in the attacks by Muslim forces was the result of "military necessity". A defense witness claims many of the villages sustained additional damage in counter-attacks launched by Serb forces
ORIC WAS HATED AS MILOSEVIC'S BODYGUARD
A defense witness claims Oric never had a command role in Srebrenica. He was merely a "coordinator" who incurred the hatred of Srebrenica Muslims because of his pre-war job in the security of the former Serbian president
DISORGANIZED DEFENCE IN SREBRENICA
American officer in the UNPROFOR advance team did not see Naser Oric in Srebrenica in March 1993
HARSHER SENTENCE OR ACQUITTAL FOR ORIC
At the appellate hearing today in the Naser Oric case, the defense argued he should be acquitted. Oric was sentenced to two years in prison for crimes against Serb prisoners in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993. According to the prosecution, Oric should receive a harsher sentence
FINAL JUDGMENT FOR NASER ORIC
The final judgment in the appellate proceedings in the Naser Oric case will be delivered on 3 July 2008. Oric was sentenced to two years in prison by the Trial Chamber for crimes against Serbian prisoners in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993
NASER ORIC'S CONVICTION REVERSED
According to the Appeals Chamber, the conviction of the former BH Army commander in the Srebrenica area for the crimes committed by his subordinates failed to meet two legal elements required to hold somebody criminally responsible under command responsibility. ‘That's fate', Oric commented on the three years he spent in detention
REQUEST TO TERMINATE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ORIC
Naser Oric's defense has called on the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals to order the termination of the proceedings against the war-time commander in the BH Army. The charges against him were brought before the State Court in Sarajevo
CHINESE JUDGE TO RULE ON ORIC’S MOTION
Chinese judge Liu Daqun will rule on Naser Oric’s motion in which he asked the Tribunal to order the BH State Court in Sarajevo to terminate the proceedings against the former BH Army commander in Srebrenica for war crimes
THE HAGUE: ORIC CAN STAND TRIAL IN SARAJEVO
Liu Daqun, a judge of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, has rejected Naser Oric’s motion in which he petitioned the Mechanism to order the BH State Court to terminate the war crime proceedings him. Oric was the BH Army commander in Srebrenica during the war. The Chinese judge is not convinced that the BH State Court would try Oric for the same crimes that he has already been tried by the Tribunal