UN tribunal denies Bosnian Serb suspects motion to dismiss war crimes charges

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today rejected a defence motion seeking the release of an alleged Bosnian Serb prison camp commander and a dismissal of the indictment against him.Dragan Nikolic, charged with eight counts of crimes against humanity, claimed he was illegally arrested and abducted from the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on 20 April 2000 by unknown individuals who then transferred him to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he was arrested and detained by NATO troops (SFOR) and handed over to the Tribunal.In delivering its decision, the trial chamber hearing Mr. Nikolic’s case observed that it could not be concluded that SFOR and the Prosecution were involved in the alleged illegal arrest and abduction, and that the conduct by the unknown individuals in the FRY could not be attributed to SFOR or to the Prosecution.The court concluded that the way in which Mr. Nikolic was brought to the Tribunal did not amount to a violation of the territorial sovereignty of the FRY, his human rights or due process of law.The Tribunal also said Mr. Nikolic was not subjected to treatment that was of “such very serious nature” that it could amount to a legal obstacle to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Tribunal and that there had been no violation of the fundamental principle of due process. read more