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The Hague, 4 December 1996
Blaškić indictment amended
The amended indictment against Tihomir BLAŠKIĆ, who is allegedly responsible for the persecution of “Bosnian Muslims on political, racial, or religious grounds” in the Lasva Valley area (Central Bosnia), was confirmed on 22 November 1996 by Judge Kirk McDonald. The charges against him are now contained in a more specific indictment, while previously he was indicted together with five others (Dario KORDIĆ, Mario ČERKEZ, Ivan ŠANTIĆ, Pero SKOPLJAK and Zlatko ALEKSOVSKI). General BLAŠKIĆ is charged with six new counts.
The original indictment against Kordi} and others “remains unchanged and valid”. However, the amended indictment expands the scope of General BLAŠKIĆ’s alleged culpability in both temporal and geographical terms.
According to the Prosecutor, the amended indictment, which charges the defendant with six additional counts, “more appropriately reflects the accused’s alleged conduct”.
Tihomir BLAŠKIĆ (born in 1960), held the rank of Colonel in the HVO, before being promoted to the rank of General and appointed commander of the HVO, with its headquarters in Mostar, on or about 5 August 1994.
The crimes and the charges
The accused is charged with 19 counts (13 in the original indictment) for the crimes referred to in the indictment. They include:
- persecution of Bosnian Muslims on political, racial or religious grounds (count 1, crime against humanity);
- attacks on towns and villages inhabited by Bosnian Muslims (counts 2-3);
- killing and, intending to cause great suffering, injuring, both physically and mentally of Bosnian Muslims civilian including women, children, the elderly and the infirm (counts 4-9); .../...-2-
- destruction and plunder of Bosnian Muslim property (dwellings, businesses, institutions dedicated to religion or education, personal property, livestock) (counts 10-13);
- selection and detention on political, racial or religious ground of hundreds of Bosnian Muslims, and inhuman treatment of the detainees: many of them were killed, beaten, forced to dig trenches near or at the front line; subjected to physical or psychological abuse and intimidation; confined in cramped or overcrowded facilities; deprived of adequate food, water and adequate medical treatment (counts 14-15);
- taking of Bosnian Muslims hostages and their use in prisoner exchanges, and the halting of Bosnian military operations against the HVO (counts 16-17);
- use of Bosnian Muslims as human shields in order to prevent the Bosnian army from firing on HVO positions or to force Bosnian Muslims combatants to surrender (counts 18-19).
The accused is alleged to be individually responsible for the planning, instigating, ordering, commiting, or otherwise aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of the crimes referred to in the indictment.
The accused is also alleged to be, or alternatively, criminally responsible as a superior for the acts of his subordinate: namely the accused knew or had reason to know that his subordinates were about to commit crimes or had done so and failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators.
Tihomir BLAŠKIĆ is charged with grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, and crimes against humanity.
The indictment and the procedure
The Prosecutor filed the amended indictment with the Registry on 15 November 1996.
The Prosecutor also submitted an order of non-disclosure pursuant to Rule 53(A), which provide for the non-disclosure of the indictment “until it is served on the accused”, and his counsel, in his language.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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