At the trial of two former Bosnian Serb police officials, Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, the prosecution and the defense will present their closing arguments next week. Franko Simatovic’s last defense witness will complete his evidence at the trial of the two Serbian State Security Service chiefs. There will be an appellate status conference in the proceedings against RS military and police officers convicted of crimes in Srebrenica and Zepa
In this week which will be shorter than usual, the first to return to court will be Mico Stanisic, the first Bosnian Serb police minister, and Stojan Zupljanin, former chief of the Banja Luka Security Services Center. In mid-March 2012, the court heard the last witness at the trial for crimes against Croats and Muslims in 20 municipalities throughout BH in 1992. Next week, the prosecution and the defense will deliver their closing arguments. The prosecution has a total of six hours, and the defense lawyers representing the two former RS police officials have a total of six hours; they will have to agree how to split the allotted time.
Since the beginning of the trial in September 2009, the court has heard the evidence of 147 witnesses. The prosecution called 127 witnesses, Stanisic’s defense called seven and Zupljanin’s defense ten witnesses. The Trial Chamber called three witnesses.
At the trial of the two former Serbian State Security Service chiefs, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, who are charged with crimes committed by the police and paramilitaries under their control in the wars in Croatia and BH, the last witness of the second accused will continue his evidence. Radivoje Micic, an operative in the counter-intelligence group, was part of a group set up to counter the espionage efforts of the American intelligence services. Until the spring of 1992, Franko Simatovic headed the group, which was nicknamed the American group. Simatovic went on to become the deputy chief of the Second Administration in the Serbian State Security Service, and finally an advisor to the service chief, the first accused Jovica Stanisic.
After Micic completes his evidence, a witness who has already completed his testimony is expected to be recalled for additional cross-examination. The prosecution then may call rebuttal evidence.
On Thursday, there will be an appellate status conference in the case against the Bosnian Serb military and police officers for crimes in Srebrenica and Zepa. The Trial Chamber sentenced Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara to life, while Drago Nikolic, Vinko Pandurevic, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero received sentences ranging from 35 to five years in prison. All of the accused except Borovcanin appealed against the judgment. Borovcanin’s 17-year prison sentence was thus confirmed.