Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 16 February 1998
ERDEMOVIC CASE: SENTENCING HEARING POSTPONED
The sentencing hearing in the ERDEMOVIC case, initially scheduled on Friday 20 February 1998 at 9 a.m., has been rescheduled in order to allow time for the Sentencing Judgment to be translated and made available at the same time in English and in French. The Decision will now be handed down on Thursday 5 March at 9 AM.
OF MILAN SIMIC AND MIROSLAV TADIC
ON TUESDAY 17 FEBRUARY
Provisions have already been made by the Registry in case
the number of prisoners exceeds the number of cells
Milan SIMIC and Miroslav TADIC, the two indicted persons who voluntarily and unconditionally turned themselves in on Saturday 14 February, will appear on Tuesday 17 February 1998, at 2.30 PM, before a Trial Chamber in order to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to each count they are charged with in the indictment (see below).
This hearing, called Initial Appearance hearing, will be held before Trial Chamber I presided over by Judge Claude Jorda.
The accused will be assisted collectively by Igor Pantelic, a lawyer from Belgrade, and Borislav Pisarevic, a lawyer from Bosanski Samac.
NO SHORTAGE OF DETENTION SPACE
The surrender of Milan SIMIC and Miroslav TADIC brings the number of accused in custody to 22. Measures have already been taken in order to increase the capacity of the ICTY’s Detention Unit (24 cells at present).
BACKGROUND ON THE INDICTMENT AND THE ACCUSED
Milan SIMIC and Miroslav TADIC were indicted on 21 July 1995, along with four other individuals who are still at large, for their alleged involvement in the “campaign of terror” undertaken in 1992 against the Bosnian Croats and Muslim population of the municipality of Bosanski Samac by Serb military and paramilitary forces from Bosnia and elsewhere.
The indictment alleges that “in 1991, almost 17,000 Bosnian Croats and Muslims, of a total population of about 33,000 lived in the municipality of Bosanski Samac. By May 1995, fewer than 300 of the Bosnian Croat and Muslim residents remained. (....) Because of its location at the northwestern edge of the “Posavina Corridor”, control of Bosanski Samac was important to Serb efforts
to create a Serb-controlled land bridge between Serbia and the Krajina Serbs in Croatia and western Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Milan SIMIC, born in 1958, trained as an economist, was a member of the Fourth Detachment, and after 17 April 1992 became Chairman of the Executive Board of the Bosanski Samac Assembly.
Miroslav TADIC (also known as Miro Brko), born in 1937, from Odzak municipality, formerly a teacher, ran the cafe “AS” in Bosanski Samac and served as Simo Zaric’s deputy in connection with the Fourth Detachment (a Serb territorial defense unit). After 17 April 1992, Miroslav Tadic became chairman of the Bosanski Samac “Exchange Commission.”
Deportation and Transfer
From about 17 April 1992 through at least 4 September 1992, (....) Miroslav TADIC participated in the planning of, and preparation for, the unlawful deportation and forcible transfer of hundreds of Bosnian Croat and Muslim residents, including women, children and the elderly, from their homes in the Bosanski Samac municipality to other countries or to other parts of the Republic of
Bosnia and Herzegovina not controlled by Serb forces. By these actions (...) Miroslav TADIC planned, instigated, ordered or committed:
Count 1: a Grave Breach of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (hereafter Grave Breach) recognised by Article 2(g)(unlawful deportation or transfer) of the Tribunal Statute;
Count 2: a Crime against Humanity recognised by Article 5(d)(deportation) of the Tribunal Statute. (....)
Beating of Muhamed Bicic
On an occasion sometime between about 1 June and 30 June 1992, in the hallway of the gymnasium of the Bosanski [amac primary school, Milan SIMIC and several others kicked Muhamed Bi~i} and beat him repeatedly with iron bars and chair legs. By these actions, Milan SIMICcommitted or otherwise aided and abetted:
Count 24: a Grave Breach recognised by Article 2(c) (willfully causing great suffering) of the Tribunal Statute;
Count 25: a Violation of the laws or Customs of War recognised by Article 3 of the Tribunal Statute and Article 3(1)(a)(cruel treatment) of the Geneva Conventions;
Count 26: a Crime against Humanity recognised by Article 5(i)(inhumane acts) of the Tribunal Statute.