The Trial Chamber dismisses the defense motion to suspend the trial until the Appeals Chamber has ruled on the restrictions imposed on the presentation of the defense case. The Chamber also indicates which elements need not be proven by the defense

Edina Becirevic, defense witness for Naser OricEdina Becirevic, defense witness for Naser Oric

Naser Oric's defense began its case today, after the Trial Chamber dismissed its motion to stay the trial until the Appeals Chamber ruled on the defense appeal against the decision setting time limits for the defense case. Instead of 8 months in which the defense intended to call 72 witnesses, the Chamber allotted it 9 weeks and allowed it to call 30 witnesses. The Trial Chamber also dismissed the alternative motion filed by the defense for the two weeks that remain until the summer recess (in which Oric's lawyers planned to call four witnesses) not to be counted.

As it ordered Oric's defense to complete its case by 30 September 2005, the Chamber instructed the defense lawyers that they need not present any evidence about the "historical context' of the conflict in BH, that Srebrenica was besieged by a far superior Serb force, that tens of thousands of Bosniaks ethnically cleansed from that part of Bosnia had found refuge there and that hunger, poverty, sickness and despair were rampant in the town. There is no need to do that because the defense has already cross-examined prosecution witnesses about those elements at length. Instead, the Chamber noted, the defense should concentrate on presenting evidence about whether the accused Oric had effective command and control over the various armed forces active in Srebrenica in late 1992 and early 1993.

The first defense witness was Edina Becirevic, a journalist from Sarajevo. Since 2003, she has been the coordinator of Naser Oric's defense investigation team. She testified about the sources and ways in which the documents to be used by the defense during its case were gathered. Her testimony lasted about 30 minutes, including the cross-examination.