Former security officer in the VRS Zvornik Brigade will enter his plea within 30 days, after he consults his counsel of choice. He is charged with genocide and other war crimes in Srebrenica. Prosecutor announces there will be a motion for the joinder of several “Srebrenica indictments” – with a total of eight accused - which would then constitute a single case and all the accused would be tried together

Drago Nikolic in the courtroomDrago Nikolic in the courtroom

Drago Nikolic, former security officer in the VRS Zvornik Brigade, did not enter his plea on the counts of the indictment today at his initial appearance before the Tribunal. He is charged with genocide and other war crimes committed in July 1995 in Srebrenica. Nikolic’s temporary counsel informed the judge that the accused wished to consult his counsel of choice before entering his plea. The accused is yet to appoint his defense counsel and the entering of plea has thus been postponed by 30 days.

Nikolic surrendered voluntarily to the Tribunal last week. When he was asked for his personal details today, he stated that his place of residence was Banja Koviljaca in the Republic of Serbia.

At the end of the initial appearance which lasted five minutes, the prosecutor noted that several persons had been indicted for the same crimes and that the prosecution would be seeking the joinder of indictments so that they can be tried together. The persons indicted for the events in Srebrenica in July 1995, apart from Drago Nikolic, are the former commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Vinko Pandurevic, who is expected to surrender voluntarily to the Tribunal today, and former members of the VRS Main Staff Milan Gvero and Radivoje Miletic and the former chief of security in the VRS Main Staff Ljubomir Beara – they are all in the UN Detention Unit. Three other persons indicted for the crimes in Srebrenica – former Mladic’s assistant Zdravko Tolimir, security officer in the Drina Corps Vujadin Popovic, and the commander of the RS police units involved in the Srebrenica operation Ljubisa Borovcanin remain out of the reach of the Tribunal.