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The Hague, 29 May 1996
Drazen Erdemovic indicted; first appearance on Friday 31 May 1996
The International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today issues an indictment against Drazen ERDEMOVIC on charges of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war committed during the Bosnian Serb take-over of Srebrenica in July 1995.
In the Tribunal's custody since the end of March, Drazen ERDEMOVIC is the first alleged participant in the mass-killings at or around Srebrenica in July 1995 to have to stand trial.
ERDEMOVIC will make his first appearance before Trial Chamber I on Friday 31 May 1996 at 9 a.m. when he will be asked to enter a plea.
Drazen ERDEMOVIC was born on 25 November 1971. He served as a soldier in the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the Bosnian Serb army during that unit's participation in the Bosnian Serb take-over of the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995.
D. ERDEMOVIC was arrested in the FRY on 2 March 1996 and is under investigation for "the criminal act of war crime against the civilian population" under the Yugoslav Criminal Code.
D. ERDEMOVIC was transferred from the FRY to the International Tribunal's Detention Centre at the Hague on 30 March 1996 at the request of the Prosecutor, who sought to question him as a witness in connection with his ongoing investigations into the alleged massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims following the Bosnian Serb take-over of Srebrenica.
On Wednesday 29 May 1996, Trial Chamber II granted a request for deferral of ERDEMOVIC's case before the criminal courts of FRY to the Tribunal.
THE CRIMES ALLEGED IN THE INDICTMENT
ERDEMOVIC is charged with participating in the summary execution of hundreds of unarmed Bosnian Muslim male civilians at Pilica collective farm, near Zvornik, on or about 16 July 1995.
According to the indictment, busloads of Muslim men from Srebrenica, who had surrendered to Bosnian Serb military and police personnel after the take-over of Srebrenica, were transferred to Pilica on or about 16 July 1995. They disembarked in groups of about 10 and were taken by members of the 10th Sabotage Unit to a field adjacent to farm buildings. There, they were lined up in rows and summarily executed.
Drazen ERDEMOVIC is charged with individual criminal responsibility for his participation in the murder of hundreds of these men, aged between 17 and 60 years of age.
ERDEMOVIC is charged with one count of crimes against humanity (murder) under Article 5 (a) of the Statute, and one count of violations of the laws and customs of war (murder), under Article 3 of the Statute.
The indictment against ERDEMOVIC and the supporting material was reviewed by Judge Rustam SIDHWA, and on Wednesday 29 May 1996, he confirmed the indictment and signed a warrant of arrest against the accused.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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