Army chief vs. ex-NGO head trial starts

Dikovic (R) arrives at the court on Wednesday (Tanjug)

Army chief vs. ex-NGO head trial starts

BELGRADE -- The trial opened in the First Basic Court in Belgrade on Wednesday in the case of a lawsuit filed by Ljubisa Dikovic against Natasa Kandic.

Dikovic is the chief of the Serbian Army (VS) general staff, while Kandic is a former director of the Humanitarian Law Center (FHP) - an NGO that in 2012 accused Dikovic of committing war crimes during the war in Kosovo.

Dikovic, who is suing for compensation claiming the allegations damaged his honor and reputation, today before the court refuted the FHP accusations and presented material evidence to support his claims.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 18, when Natasa Kandic will make her statement.

Dikovic's lawyer Djuro Cepic told Tanjug that the court was presented with "material evidence" for every claim refuting the NGO's accusations - including a confirmation of of the War Crimes Prosecution that they had no criminal proceedings for any offense launched against the general.

Cepic believes that all accusations have been refuted "because Dikovic was not even in the locations and at the times mentioned by the FHP."

The War Crimes Prosecution announced on January 30 that they, as early as January 2012, checked the FHP allegations and established there was no basis for believing that Dikovic was responsible for the war crimes cited in the criminal complaint filed by the NGO.

Recently, the FHP once again accused Dikovic of committing war crimes, during the presentation of the book, "Dossier Rudnica." The prosecution afterwards requested to be sent "the complete documentation in their possession in order to verify the allegations."

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