|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 12 December 2005
The trial of Milan Martic will start at the Tribunal tomorrow at 2.15 p.m. with the opening statement of the Prosecutor.
Martic is charged with the extermination or murder of hundreds of Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb civilians in large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the period between August 1991 and December 1995. He is also charged with the crimes of persecutions, imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, deportation, forcible transfer, plunder of public or private
property, wanton destruction and unlawful attacks on civilians allegedly committed in the same period.
Martic held various leadership positions in the so-called “Serbian Autonomous District (SAO) Krajina”, which was later re-named “Republic of Serbian Krajina” (RSK) from 4 January 1991 until August 1995. As such, Martic allegedly participated in a joint criminal enterprise as a co-perpetrator.
According to the indictment, the purpose of this joint criminal enterprise was the forcible removal of a majority of the Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory of Croatia and large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to make them part of a new Serb-dominated state.
Specifically this occurred in the SAO Krajina and in the Autonomous Region of Krajina (ARK) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular in Bosanski Novi, Bosanska Gradiška, Prnjavor, and Sipovo. He is also charged with planning and ordering shelling attacks on the Croatian capital, Zagreb, in May 1995.
The indictment alleges that Martic was responsible for the creation, financing, supply, training and direction of “Martic's Police” and the Territorial Defence forces (TO) of the SAO Krajina and subsequently the RSK. He also allegedly participated in the creation, training and direction of special police forces of the Serbian State Security Service. All of these police forces were
created and supported to assist in the execution of the joint criminal enterprise, according to the indictment.
The initial indictment against Martic was confirmed on 25 July 1995 and he was transferred into the Tribunal's custody on 15 May 2002. He entered a plea of not guilty to all counts in the indictment at his initial appearance on 21 May 2002 and to additional counts on the amended indictment on 28 January 2003.
Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 persons for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 88 persons have concluded. Six indicted persons remain at large.
The indictment can be found on the Tribunal's website at www.un.org/icty/indictment/english/mar-2ai030909e.htm.
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website.