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Protected witnesses open new war crime cases

28. April 2012. | 08:49

Source: Tanjug

Serbian Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric announced on Friday that several new cases would be launched thanks to good cooperation between the Prosecutor's Office and protected witnesses.

Serbian Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric announced on Friday that several new cases would be launched thanks to good cooperation between the Prosecutor's Office and protected witnesses.

The cooperation between the prosecutor and protected witnesses who contribute to solving cases by their statements is exceptionally important in the prosecution of war crimes, Vekaric said during a debate on war crime trials in Serbia in 2011 organised by the Humanitarian Law Centre. He added that several new cases with up to 200 victims would be opened thanks to the cooperation.

Reflecting on regional cooperation, Vekaric said that it is making progress every year although politicised cases come up from time to time, such as those of the Dobrovoljacka Street and the Tuzla Convoy from 1992, when massacres against retreating members of the former Yugoslav People's Army were performed in Sarajevo and Tuzla.

Vekaric noted that the Prosecutor's Office would resolve the problem of 1,500 verdicts which Croatian courts pronounced against Serbs in absentia and which contain numerous violations of proceedings.

He recalled that the Serbian local judiciary has a total of seven cases against Croatian citizens and that one of them covers 44 indictees.

Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre Natasa Kandic presented the NGO's report as regards war crimes trials in 2011and noted that the War Crimes Prosecutor's Office pressed charges against nine suspects which is much less than in the previous years.

On this occasion, Vekaric replied that the Prosecutor's Office is striving to quality rather than quantity of indictments in its work, and recalled that the number of verdicts asserts this point, because 15 out of 17 suspects were sentenced, while two were acquitted.


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