Fighters who relayed information from one armed group to another cannot be considered couriers, in the opinion of protected witness testifying in Naser Oric's defense. The witness thus corroborates the defense argument that there was no organized military structure in the Muslim forces in the Podrinje area

The prosecution in the Oric trialThe prosecution in the Oric trial

"Were news relayed among Muslim fighters in the Srebrenica area in 1992 by couriers or ordinary fighters?" This seemingly immaterial question was asked by both parties, in an attempt to get an answer from protected witness D-005 that would tend to corroborate their case.

The existence of couriers would indicate that there existed a military structure and an elaborate system of communications among Muslim armed groups and that it was possible to exercise control from a single center. The prosecution has been trying to prove that – and the defense disprove – since the very beginning of the Naser Oric trial.

When the prosecutor was asking him questions, witness D-005 claimed that in the area of Konjevic Polje where the group he belonged to fought, the information among the Muslim forces was relayed in a haphazard way, mostly in crisis situations during attacks by Serb forces. He claimed that the fighters who pulled out from the front lines and went to seek help from other groups could not be considered couriers. "So, there is a difference between people seeking help and those relaying information as couriers, prosecutor Patricia Sellers asked and the protected defense witness confirmed it.

Corroborating the defense argument about the insignificant role the accused played in the Bratunac-Srebrenica region, the witness claimed that he had first heard of Naser Oric in 1994, although he had come to Srebrenica in 1993. He said that until the end of the war in BH he had not known of any other Muslim armed groups apart from a few such groups in Konjevic Polje.

The testimony of protected witness D-005 ended today and the defense managed to introduce its next witness before the adjournment. He is Mirsad Mustafic, member of the Srebrenica Territorial Defense, headquartered in Tuzla. He will be examined by the defense and the prosecution tomorrow.