Former security officer in the VRS Zvornik Brigade pleads not guilty to any of the five counts of the indictment, charging him with genocide and other crimes committed in July 1995 in Srebrenica. The prosecution is drafting an application for joinder of all the Srebrenica indictments into a single case so that the eight persons already in detention and General Tolimir, who is yet to be arrested and transferred, could be tried together

Drago Nikolic in the courtroomDrago Nikolic in the courtroom

Drago Nikolic, former security officer of the VRS Zvornik Brigade, pleaded not guilty on any of the five counts of the indictment today before Chinese judge Liu Daqun. He is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war committed in July 1995 in Srebrenica. Nikolic surrendered to the ICTY voluntarily last month. At his initial appearance, he decided to postpone entering his plea by 30 days.

Drago Nikolic follows in the footsteps of his assistant, Milorad Trbic, and six other officers of the Bosnian Serb military and police awaiting trial in the UN Detention Unit who have pleaded not guilty. Those are: former members of the VRS Main Staff Milan Gvero and Radivoje Miletic, former security chief in the Main Staff Ljubomir Beara, commander of the Zvornik Brigade Vinko Pandurevic, security chief in the Drina Corps Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Borovcanin, commander of the RS police forces participating in the Srebrenica operation. General Zdravko Tolimir has been charged with the same crimes, but he is still at large as a fugitive from justice.

The prosecutor announced today that he would soon be filing an application for the joinder of all the Srebrenica indictments, in order to try the eight or nine accused together.