At the pre-trial conference in the case against General Dragomir Milosevic, on the eve of the trial, the parties were told that the prosecution case should end by April and the trial by the summer recess, in mid-July

Dragomir Milosevic in the courtroomDragomir Milosevic in the courtroom

The second ICTY trial of the shelling of Sarajevo and the sniper campaign targeting civilians starts tomorrow and should end before the summer recess in July 2007. The parties were told this at the pre-trial conference today in the case against General Dragomir Milosevic, former commander of the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. The seven counts of the indictment charge him with crimes against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war for the artillery and sniper attacks terrorizing Sarajevo and its inhabitants from August 1994 until November 1995.

The Trial Chamber hearing the case consists of Judge Robinson, from Jamaica, and two ad litem judges, Harhoff from Denmark and Mindua from Kongo. The judges allowed the prosecution to call no more than 104 witnesses. The prosecution was given 180 hours to hear them. The defense will have the same amount of time to cross-examine the witnesses. The prosecution case should thus end by April. The defense will then have nine weeks – 45 trial days – for its case. According to Judge Robinson, this is “a relatively narrow case which may be completed within the time parameters set by the Trial Chamber”.

In the first ICTY trial for the artillery and sniper campaign to terrorize the Sarajevans in the period between September 1992 and August 1994, General Stanislav Galic was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Trial Chamber. His trial lasted two years. His case was concluded on 30 November 2006, when the Appeals Chamber sentenced him to life in prison.

The trial of General Milosevic, who succeeded General Galic as the commander of the VRS Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in August 1994 will start tomorrow afternoon with the prosecutor’s opening statement.