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Aleksovski case - Trial will begin on Tuesday 6 January 1998.

Press Release CHAMBERS

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

The Hague, 10 December 1997
Aleksovski case - Trial will begin on Tuesday 6 January 1998.

Following the closed Status conference held on Tuesday 9 December, Trial Chamber I-bis (consisting of Judge Rodrigues, presiding, Judge Vohrah and Judge Nieto Navia) set the date for the trial of Defendant Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI.

The trial will begin on Tuesday 6 January 1998 at 10 a.m.

The Judges will continue to hear this case on Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 January 1998. They will then adjourn in order to allow other cases to be heard and will resume at a date to be set at the end of the first week of the trial.

Background on the case

Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI is one of the five accused named in the indictment "Kordi} and others" issued by the Tribunal on 10 November 1995.

The indictment:

The indictment "Kordi} and Others" arose out of the investigation into "the persecution on political, racial and religious grounds of the Bosnian Muslim population" of the Lasva Valley area (Central Bosnia) between May 1992 and May 1993. The charges against General Bla{ki}, one of the six accused in the indictment, were amended and are now contained in a separate indictment.

According to the indictment, Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI, born on 8 January 1960 in Pakrac (Croatia), became in January 1993 the commander of the detention facility at Kaonik, near Busova~a, prior to becoming, in May 1993, the Head of the District HVO "Heliodrom" prison in Mostar.

The indictment alleges that "Many of the detainees under his control were subjected to inhumane treatment, including, but not limited to, excessive and cruel interrogation, physical and psychological harm, forced labour (digging trenches), in hazardous circumstances, being used as human shields and some were murdered or otherwise killed."

ALEKSOVSKI is charged with Grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and a Violation of the law or customs of war, for the unlawful treatment of Bosnian Muslim detainees in his capacity as a commander of the detention facility at Kaonik.

The proceedings to date:

Arrested by the Croatian police on 8 June 1996 in Split, the accused was turned over to the Tribunal on 28 April 1997.

On 29 April 1997, Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI entered a plea of not-guilty.

Since then, various motions filed by the parties were disposed of by the Trial Chamber which among others rejected a Defence Motion alleging defects in the form of the indictment (Decision of 25 September 1997) and granted a Defence Request for the Defendant to be tried separatly from his co-accused (Decision of 25 September 1997).

Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI is assisted by Mr Goran MIKULICIC, a lawyer from Zagreb, who was assigned to him by the Registry of the Tribunal.

If you represent a media organisation and wish to attend the beginning of the trial please fill out the accreditation-form below and fax it back to the Press and Information Office before 1 january 1998.

6 JANUARY 1998


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