Saturday, December 10, 2011
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has sentenced Dragomir Pecanac, a former security and intelligence officer in the Bosnian Serb armed forces, to three months in prison for refusing to testify in the genocide trial of his commander. He was convicted of contempt of court for his refusal to comply with a subpoena ordering him to appear as a witness in the case of Zdravko Tolimir.
Describing contempt of the ICTY as a serious offence, the judges said Mr. Pecanac’s “failure to testify has deprived the chamber of relevant evidence.” The judges noted that the tribunal is dependent on witness testimony and the “deprivation of such relevant evidence… endangers the fulfilment of the tribunal’s functions and mandate.” Mr. Pecanac, who pleaded not guilty to the contempt charges, will receive credit for the 74 days that he has already spent in detention.
The trial of Mr. Tolimir – who is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, extermination, murder, persecutions, forcible transfers and deportations – continues. The charges relate to a series of events during the Balkan wars, including the notorious massacre of thousands of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995.
(mew) (Adapted from a UN Press Release)