MLADIC STILL FACES SAME CHARGES
Judge Orie's Trial Chamber has dismissed the defense’s motion to acquit Ratko Mladic of genocide and other crimes against non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the Trial Chamber, the prosecution has called enough evidence to support all 11 counts in the indictment
‘The Chamber considers that the Accused has a case to answer on all counts of the Indictment’, presiding judge Orie said in the conclusion of the decision on the defense counsels’ motion to acquit Ratko Mladic on the counts of genocide and other crimes in six municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and in Srebrenica in 1995. Mladic’s defense had presented its submissions in line with Rule 98bis. The rule allows the defense to call for Mladic's acquittal on those counts in the indictment for which, in its view, the prosecution had not called evidence capable of supporting a conviction.
In a detailed analysis of the evidence called in support of the counts in the indictment contested by the defense, the Trial Chamber notes that the prosecution has called evidence on murders, rapes, detention and abuse of non-Serbs, which were all aimed at expelling them from municipalities that belonged to the Bosnian Serbs, according to their leadership. The presiding judge quoted specifically just some of the evidence: testimony of witnesses on the murders of the detainees in prison camps such as Keraterm in Prijedor, Susica near Vlasenica and the Correctional and Penal Facility (KP Dom) in Foca and the killings of non-Serb men in the Kljuc region. The judge also mentioned the evidence of female witnesses about mass rapes and sexual slavery in Foca and the evidence about inhumane treatment of prisoners in the prison camps of Keraterm, Omarska and Manjaca.
In reference to the evidence on the Srebrenica genocide, the Trial Chamber recalled the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic. By his own admission, Erdemovic and other members of the VRS 10th Sabotage Detachment took part in the mass execution of 1,000 or 1,200 Srebrenica Muslims at the Branjevo Farm near Zvornik. The Trial Chamber also highlighted the fact that many execution survivors had testified about mass murders. The decision referred to the evidence of two survivors whose identity is protected.
Mladic is charged with crimes that are allegedly part of four joint criminal enterprises. The first was allegedly aimed at the permanent elimination of Muslims and Croats from parts of BH that belonged to Bosnian Serbs, in their view. This joint criminal enterprise was implemented through a campaign of widespread crimes. In the municipalities of Foca, Kljuc, Kotor Varos, Prijedor, Sanski Most and Vlasenica those crimes reached the scale of genocide. The goal of the third joint criminal enterprise was to eliminate Muslims from Srebrenica. The genocide was to be implemented by killing local men and expelling women and children. The Trial Chamber concluded that the prosecution had called enough evidence to support the allegation about theexistence of all the elements of the joint criminal enterprises and Mladic’s involvements in them: a shared goal, the involvement of several persons in its implementation, and thesignificant contribution of the accused. The prosecution called evidence on Mladic’s ties with other members of the joint criminal enterprises, primarily the Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic. The court also heard evidence about Mladic's knowledge of the crimes which had been, were being or would be committed.
The second and fourth joint criminal enterprises comprise the artillery and sniper terror campaign against the residents of Sarajevo during the entire war in BH and to an operation when UN staff were taken hostage. In its motion to acquit Mladic, the defense didn’t contest the evidence on those joint criminal enterprises and the Trial Chamber didn’t consider them in much detail in its decision.
The judges concluded that Ratko Mladic had a case to answer. At the end of the hearing, there was a discussion about the preparations for the evidence of first witnesses, scheduled for 13 May 2014. The pre-defense conference will be held on 12 May.
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