CAREFUL WITH THE WORD "VICTIMS”
After recent claims about more than 3,500 Serb casualties in Srebrenica, Carla del Ponte's spokesperson notes that in a criminal investigation context "military or police casualties from combat should not be considered victims…in the same way people are victims of war crimes, such as summary executions." Del Ponte will go to Potocari "as soon as Karadzic and Mladic are arrested."
Florence Hartmann, spokesperson in the Tribunal
Repeating that the ICTY Chief Prosecutor will not attend the commemoration on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide "in protest" of the fact that Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic remain at large, OTP Spokesperson Florence Hartmann said at the press conference today that Del Ponte was ready to "go to Potocari to pay tribute again to the victims as soon as they are arrested", regardless of when that will happen. As she presented the views of the Chief Prosecutor, Hartmann made a remark on the continued freedom of Karadzic and Mladic – ten years after they were indicted for the most serious crimes: "It is not only justice which is disregarded; it is also reconciliation which is undermined" in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia.
As she answered a journalist's question about the recently published claims that there were more than 3,500 Serb casualties in the Srebrenica area during the war, Hartmann noted that the OTP was "always very careful in the use of the word victim". In a criminal investigation context, Hartmann said, "military or police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in the same way people are victims of war crimes, such as summary executions."
According to the data of the Republika Srpska Commission for War Crimes, Hartmann noted, there were 995 casualties in the municipalities of Bratunac, Srebrenica and Skelani, 520 in Bratunac and 475 in Srebrenica area – 43 of them were killed in Kravica, during an attack by the Bosniak forces on 7 and 8 January 1993. On the other hand, a book by Milivoj Ivanisevic, The Chronicle of Our Graves claims that Kravica and its 353 inhabitants were "virtually completely destroyed" in the attack, which does not correspond to the determined facts, OTP spokesperson said.
Hartmann disclosed today that an investigation conducted by the OTP determined that of the 13 of 43 people who lost their lives in the attack on Kravica and the hamlets around it on the Orthodox Christmas in 1993 were undoubtedly civilians. The rest were soldiers. The result of the investigation jibes with the data presented in contemporary combat reports. The prosecution considers these to be very reliable as they are internal VRS documents. For those reasons, Hartmann explained, the prosecution was unable to include the victims from Kravica in the indictment against Naser Oric, who commanded the BH Army forces in Srebrenica at the time.
- Case : Miscellaneous
- 2005-06-29 SENSE PRESENTS TWO NEW FILMS
- 2005-06-23 DISGRACEFUL IMPUNITY
- 2005-06-11 WILL THE TRIALS BE COMPLETED IN 2008
- 2005-09-01 PAINFUL FOR THE PROSECUTOR, SHAMEFUL FOR SERBIA, BH AND THE WORLD
- 2005-09-01 TRIBUNAL'S LIFE SPAN DEPENDS ON KARADZIC AND MLADIC
- 2005-09-21 ARRESTS DEPEND ON GOOD WILL, COOPERATION AND COORDINATION