Sickness Delays Justice in Bosnian War Crimes Trials

But their trial remains on hold due to Djuric's sickness.

Nedim Salaharevic, who saw his brother, Edin, being killed in Vlasenica, told BIRN that he had been waiting for justice for years.

"This is yet another blow to victims … Djuric and Kraljevic were rulers of life and death in Vlasenica. I saw it with my own eyes, I watched them kill my brother, Edin," he said.

"This is the last chance to do something for Vlasenica's victims. Rapid proceedings are needed," he said.

"Acting on orders issued by Djuric and Kraljevic, [Bosnian Serb] soldiers and policemen would come to our houses, intimidate and kill people. By dragging out the proceedings, the court is accommodating our murderers," Salaharevic recalled.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not responded to queries about whether it will separate the proceedings against Djuric so that the trial of Kraljevic and the other defendants can at least start.

Djuric's lawyer, Milos Peric, says separating the cases would not be cost-efficient. "It is up to the court to assess whether a case should be separated or not," he said.

"But in cases where we have several defendants, it is not cost-efficient to separate cases because the same witnesses and evidence are then presented twice," Peric added.

The vice-president of Bosnia's High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, HJPC, Ruzica Jukic, disagrees. She says account must be taken also of the need to process war crimes on time.

"I don't know what the reason is for not holding a hearing for months. There is no need for the case and other defendants to suffer," she said.

"If someone is sick, it cannot last forever. If there are objective reasons related to sickness, cost-efficiency is achieved by separating the cases,...

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