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Initial Appearance of Simo Zaric on Thursday 26 February.

Press Release REGISTRY

Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 25 February 1998
Initial Appearance of Simo Zaric on Thursday 26 February


The Accused Simo ZARIC who turned himself in on Tuesday 24 February 1998 will appear on Thursday 26 February at 2.30 PM before a Trial Chamber in order to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on each of the counts in the indictment issued against him (see below).

This hearing, called Initial Appearance hearing, will be held before Trial Chamber I consisting of Judge Claude Jorda (presiding), Judge Riad and Judge Rodrigues. The hearing is public.

The Accused will be assisted by Mr Borislav Pisarevic, a lawyer from Bosanski Samac.

The Prosecution Bench will be led by Nancy Paterson, Trial Attorney.


Simo ZARIC was indicted on 21 July 1995, together with Milan SIMIC and Miroslav TADIC (who voluntarily surrendered 14 February 1998) and three 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.

The accused

Simo ZARIC, a/k/a Solaja, born 25 July 1948, from Donja Dubica, Odzak municipality, was a former police chief of Bosanski Samac and State Security Service (SDB) agent who, from 1 January 1992 through at least 31 August 1992, organised and supervised a Serb territorial defence unit known at first as the Fourth Detachment and later renamed the 5th Battalion of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.

The charges

Counts 1-2

Deportation and Transfer

From about 17 April 1992 through at least 4 September 1992, Simo ZARIC (....) 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 Simo ZARIC (...) 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. (....)


As indicated in the latest ICTY Update, a hearing has been scheduled on FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY at 2.30 p.m. in the KOVACEVIC CASE.

During this Motion hearing, held before Trial Chamber II-bis consisting of Judge May, presiding, Judge Vohrah and Judge Mumba, the Parties will argue on the Prosecutor’s Motion to amend the indictment against the Accused.

This Motion was filed on 28 January 1998. The Defence responded on 20 February. Both documents are confidential but the Motion hearing will be public.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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