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ZELJKO IVANOVIC PLEADS NOT GUILTY

June 30, 2009


Building of the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina where Srebrenica Genocide trial is currently being held in front of the international judges (meet them here).

At the plea hearing before the Section I for War Crimes of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [www.sudbih.gov.ba] in the Željko Ivanović case, the Accused Ivanović pleaded not guilty. Željko Ivanović is charged with the criminal offence of Genocide.
As alleged in the Indictment [download here], the Accused Ivanović in July 1995 as a member of the 2nd Šekovići Special Police Detachment in July 1995, together with other members of the Detachment, with a view to entirely destroying a group of Bosniaks from the UN Safe Area of Srebrenica, participated in killing at least 1,000 Bosniaks in the warehouse of the Kravica Farming Cooperative, Bratunac Municipality.

Factual grounds of the Indictment:

As alleged in the Indictment, there is grounded suspicion that as a member of the Special Police Unit of the 2nd Šekovići Detachment, RS MoI, during the period from 10 to 19 July 1995, with the intent to exterminate, in part, a group of Bosniak people, the accused Željko Ivanović participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of forcibly transferring around 40 thousand civilians from the UN Safe Area of Srebrenica and execute more than 7,000 Bosniaks. According to the Indictment, on 12 July 1995 the accused Ivanović participated in the search of Bosniak villages around Potočari aiming to expel them to the territories controlled by the Army of RBiH. On 13 July 1995, as further alleged in the Indictment, the accused Ivanović participated in in ensuring that the road is passable in order to carry out an unobstructed transport of Bosniak population by trucks and buses; he opened and closed the road for traffic in accordance with the plan and thus decisively contributed to the execution of the plan to forcibly transfer Bosniak people. On the same day, the accused Ivanović allegedly participated in the capturing of thousands of Bosniak men who were trying to escape from the UN Safe Area. As alleged in the Indictment, the accused Ivanović participated in escorting a column of over one thousand of captured Bosniaks from the village of Sandići to the warehouse of the Kravica Farming Cooperative, knowing that they would be executed. After detaining the captured Bosniaks in the warehouse, the 2nd Detachment members started killing the captured Bosniaks by firing from automatic weapons and by throwing hand grenades. The Accused Ivanović allegedly got out of the semicircle formation from which the prisoners were fired at, and together with several other members of the 2nd Detachment he went around the warehouse intending to prevent a possible escape of prisoners through windows at the rear side of the warehouse. According to the Indictment, at the same time other members of the 2nd Detachment, while firing from their submachine-guns, automatic rifles and throwing hand grenades from the front part of the warehouse, killed the most of over one thousand of captured Bosniak men

Counts of the indictment:

Željko Ivanović is charged with the criminal offense of Genocide in violation of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH) in conjunction with Article 180 (1) of CC BiH.

Course of the proceedings:

The Court confirmed the Indictment on 4 June 2009 [read here].
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