Lukić’s lawyers try to bribe witness
Weeks after Hamdija Vilić testified how Milan Lukić’s defence tried to bribe him with 100,000 Euro to secure an alibi for Lukić’s crime in Pionirska ulica, Višegrad were over 70 civilians were burnt alive, Lukić’s defence lawyer Jason Alarid accused Bosnian secret police of having “an interest in bringing about the conviction of Milan Lukic.”
Picture: Hamdija Vilić testifying at the Hague.
Persecutor Dermot Groome responded by saying “Mr Alarid has made dozens of serious allegations, I will demonstrate the fallacy of all of these.”
Hamdija Vilić at court explained the offer he received from Lukić’s defence team:
“As Vilic recounted, in early June 2008 he was approached by some men who introduced themselves as the middlemen representing Milan Lukic’s defense team. They asked him if he would be prepared to give an official statement to the defense. Vilic accepted their offer as he ‘wanted to see’ what Lukic, who had ‘destroyed his life and family’, wanted from him. Later, the witness contends, the accused called him two times from the UN Detention Unit. On 22 June 2008 Vilic met Lukic’s middlemen and lawyers in Zavidovici; they offered him a prepared statement to sign. The statement said that Vilic, as a BH Army unit commander, kept Milan Lukic besiegd from 13 to 15 June 1995. Hamdija Vilic recounted how he was promised the accused would get him ‘everything he needs in life’, including €100,000 if he confirmed the claims in the statement in court.” (Sense Agency)
According to Vilić, Lukić also promised that he would ‘learn the truth’ about the fate of his family if he came to The Hague and testified in his favor. Vilić’s wife and three children were burnt alive in the Bikavac neighborhood on 27 June 1992. Lukić’s lawyer Jason Alarid, didn’t even bother denying that Vilic had been contacted yet he accused Vilić ‘of asking for money himself ‘.
Probably with this in mind the Trial Camber started a ex-parte investigation against members of the defense team for alleged involvement in attempts to ‘bribe and intimidate witnesses’. Lukić and his laywers caught red-handed replied with a call for the disqualification of the Trial Chamber including the presiding judge, current ICTY president, Judge Robinson.