The trial of Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic, previously acquitted of war crimes against Serb civilians in 1992 in the Bratunac and Srebrenica areas, began in Sarajevo again today.
Prosecutor of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, Miroslav Janjic, asked the Court Appellate Panel that all the evidence presented by the witnesses in this case be re-examined, but the Appellate Panel rejected this motion on the grounds that it was not the practice of the Court and that all the evidence has been examined and the witnesses already heard.
Only evidence from Radivoje Ostojic and a protected witness known as “O1” are to be re-heard, because in these two cases the criminal proceedings were violated due to an improper presentation of the evidence.
On June 8, the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) overturned the first-instance acquittal of Orić and Muhić for crimes against Serbs in Srebrenica in 1992, and ordered a retrial.
Oric and Muhic are accused of killing three of the captured Serbs – Slobodan Ilic, Milutin Milosevic and Mitar Savic in Zalazje, Lolici and Kunjerac.
The trial in this case began in January 2016, and after the closing arguments of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH on August 29 last year, it ended with the closing arguments of the defense on September 12.
Trial Chamber Chairman Saban Maksumic stated in the grounds for the acquittal that the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the indictees Orić and Muhić killed three Serb prisoners in the towns of Zalazje, Lolici and Kunjerac.
He added that the key element of all counts of the indictment was the testimony of the protected witness “O1”, which, according to the Council’s assessment, was not credible.
A new hearing is scheduled for September 17, when Ostojic will be heard, and on September 24, a hearing will be held for the protected witness “O1”.