Ivica Rajic is scheduled to appear before the court tomorrow and to enter his plea, this time on the basis of the plea agreement he made with the prosecution. Rajic is a former HVO commander charged with the crimes in Stupni Do and Vares

Ivica Rajic in the courtroomIvica Rajic in the courtroom

Ivica Rajic, former JNA captain who commanded the 2nd HVO Operational Group during the war in Bosnia will enter his plea for the third time tomorrow, it was announced today at the Tribunal. This time he will do so on the basis of the plea agreement he made with the Office of the Prosecutor in the meantime.

The original indictment against Rajic was issued in August 1995. It alleged, very concisely, that in October 1993, HVO forces under his command attacked the village of Stupni Do near Vares, killing at least 16 Bosniaks. After his arrest in Croatia and 2003, and subsequent surrender to the Tribunal, Rajic pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Half a year later, the prosecution obtained new information about the events in the Vares area and amended the indictment against Rajic. The number of victims in Stupni Do went up to 37 and Rajic was charged with cruel treatment of victims, including rapes and burning, and the abuse of about 250 Bosniak prisoners in Vares in October 1993. In late January last year, Rajic pleaded not guilty to the ten counts of the amended indictment.

In the meantime, the prosecution filed the application for the referral of the case against Ivica Rajic to the courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This apparently prompted the accused to make a plea agreement with the prosecution.

Ivica Rajic will be given his third opportunity to enter his plea on Wednesday, 26 October, at 3 p.m.