Home > srebrenica massacre > DESTRUCTION OF MATERIAL EVIDENCE CALLS FOR A NEW LAWSUIT

DESTRUCTION OF MATERIAL EVIDENCE CALLS FOR A NEW LAWSUIT

July 25, 2009


PHOTO: A forensic expert holds an old 100 German marks banknote found with remains of massacre victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide in a mass grave near the village of Kamenica July 10, 2009.

In May 2009, we reported that the U.N.-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) deliberately destroyed material recovered from mass graves of Srebrenica genocide (background). The destroyed material consisted of approximately 1000 pieces of identification, photographs and articles of clothing belonging to the victims found in the mass graves.

Now, local associations of Srebrenica genocide survivors plan to launch a lawsuit against the Office of the Prosecutor.

Hajra Catic – president of the NGO Women of Srebrenica (Žene Srebrenice) – told BIRN:

“They must have contacted the families of the people whose remains were found. They should not have destroyed the personal documents, because they could have been used as evidence in other trials.”

According to Amir Ahmić, the Bosnian liaison officer for the ICTY, “the destruction was done during the term of [former] chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. Nobody outside the tribunal knew about it. I personally consider that they should have informed the victims’ families prior to conducting some kind of a selection.”

HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT: Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages from 1992-1995. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 people, summarily executed at least 8,372 boys, men, and elderly, and then dumped them into mass graves.

Read more by visiting BIRN: www.bim.ba/en/176/10/21188/

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