Two Bosnian Serb paramilitaries to be tried jointly at UN war crimes tribunal
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has decided that, in the interest of justice, two Bosnian Serb paramilitaries charged with multiple crimes – and whose cases are factually very closely related – will be tried jointly.
Last Friday, the Tribunal decided to revoke the referral of the Sredoje Lukic case to Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus clearing the way for it to be tried jointly in The Hague with the case of Milan Lukic, who would be “perhaps the most significant paramilitary leader tried by the Tribunal to date,” according to an ICTY press release.
In deciding to try the two men jointly, the Tribunal’s referral bench noted that “separate trials would have risked increasing the trauma for witnesses, who would have had to testify twice.”
According to the indictment, Milan Lukic was the leader of the “White Eagles” or “Avengers.” The Tribunal said the group comprised Bosnian Serb paramilitaries in Višegrad who worked with local police and military units in “exacting a reign of terror” on the local Bosnian Muslim population during the 1992-1995 conflict. Sredoje Lukic, Milan Lukic's cousin, was a member of the unit.
Both men are charged with multiple crimes, including the murder of several dozen Bosnian Muslim women, children and elderly men in and around the town of Višegrad.
The Tribunal has to date referred a total of eight cases involving 13 persons to courts in the former Yugoslavia, mostly to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Meanwhile, the Tribunal today announced the donation of some 300 computers and related equipment to the Kosovo Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, for distribution to schools throughout the province.
The donation is part of the Tribunal Asset Disposal Unit’s ongoing project to supply its replaced office equipment to agencies which may benefit from it in the former Yugoslavia.