If the Trial Chamber orders the indictment for Operation Storm to be reduced, the prosecution will comply with the order by downsizing geographical and time frame of the indictment against Gotovina, Cermak and Markac by one third

Alan Tieger, prosecutor in the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac caseAlan Tieger, prosecutor in the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac case

Today, the prosecution "respectfully declined" the Trial Chamber's call to cut down the indictment against Croatian generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac. The Operation Storm indictment, claims the prosecution, is already focused on the most important criminal charges and the Trial Chamber's request for its reduction infringes the prosecutorial independence. Any further curs in the indictment would limit the ability of the prosecution to prove the criminal responsibility of the accused.

However, the prosecution will agree to cut down the indictment if ordered to do so by the Chamber. It will then reduce the number of crime locations for which the evidence will be called and the time frame for the charges. As stated in the response to the Chamber, the prosecution will reduce the number of municipalities mentioned in the indictment from 20 to 14 and will not call evidence on crimes committed in Kijevo, Lovinac, Polaca, Smiljcici, Titova Korenica and Udbina. The geographical frame of the indictment will thus be reduced by approximately one third. As for the time frame, the prosecution will cut it down by one third too, by dropping the charges related to the crimes committed in October and November 1995.

This proposal for the reduction in terms of geography and time is based on "the understanding that the prosecution will be permitted to present evidence related to the pattern, intent and knowledge of the accused", the prosecution notes in its response. This evidence would be related to some of the crimes committed in the locations and in the period not contained in the indictment reduced in size in accordance with an order of the Trial Chamber.