Zuhdija Tabakovic pleas guilty

(AP)A Bosnian Muslim has pleaded guilty to lying to Yugoslav war crimes tribunal prosecutors for a payment of euro1,000 ($1,375) to support the alibi of a Bosnian Serb later convicted of mass murder.

Prosecution lawyer Paul Rogers says Zuhdija Tabakovic has admitted signing a false statement about the slaying by Milan Lukic of a group of Muslims on the banks of the Drina River in the town of Visegrad in June 1992.

However, Tabakovic later told prosecutors what he had done and the statement was never used in court.

Rogers said Monday the guilty pleas were part of a deal with prosecutors. He asked judges to sentence Tabakovic to no more than six months in jail.

Lukic was sentenced to life imprisonment for a killing spree in Visegrad that included the Drina murders.

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Edit: Zuhdija was sentenced to 3 months in prison by the Trial Chamber.

3 Responses to “Zuhdija Tabakovic pleas guilty”

  1. Abdul Majid Says:

    To betray his own for thousand euros. So now I know what 30 pieces of silver are worth today. What a despicable individual.

  2. What is important to the process is what happens to the person who suborned him – Jelena Rasic, Milan Lukic’s defence “case manager”.

    “The indictment alleges that in October 2008, the accused was approached by Milan Lukic’s defence “case manager” Jelena Rasic and asked to sign a pre-written statement even though he did not witness the events nor did he have any knowledge of the events described in the statement. It is alleged that once he signed the statement and the signature was certified at the Novi Grad Municipality building in Sarajevo, Rasic gave Tabakovic an envelope containing 1,000 euros and stated he would be paid more money once he testified. The statement was then submitted as Rule 65ter evidence in November 2008 and the statement was provided to OTP in full in January 2009.

    During the same meeting, it is alleged that Rasic presented Tabakovic with two other pre-written statements asking him to find two other men to sign the false statements and testify. Rasic said that she would also pay each man 1,000 Euros and more once they testified. A few days later the indictment alleges that Tabakovic found two men willing to sign and testify to the false statements and once their signatures were certified at the Novi Grad Municipality building, they were given envelopes containing money by an associate of Rasic. The indictment alleges that Tabakovic knew neither of these men had any knowledge of the events recorded in the statements. These statements were also submitted to OTP in January 2009.”

    I’ve tried to find out from the Prosecutor’s Office how the ICTY is responding to this insight into some defence team practices. The Prosecutor’s Office limited themselves to a succinct observation that currently there’s no indictment against Ms. Jelena Rasic. “Should that change, information to that effect will be published on the Tribunal’s website, in accordance with ICTY practice.”

    Given the evidence of Rasic’s implication in Tabakovic’s contempt, that response suggests that the Prosecutor and the ICTY have still not taken on board the need to engage pro-actively with the wider public on matters of significant concern.

    Is Rasic one rotten apple in the barrel or is this practice systematic? If the latter, what are the ICTY doing about it? We’ve had the flimsiness of Mitar Vasiljevic’s alibi for the Pionirska Street fire accepted by the Lukic Trial Chamber. Perhaps further investigation of that matter needs to await the Appeal Chamber’s findings, but this was not the first alibi to have been shown to be of doubtful substance.

    Defence teams are paid a lot of public money. How accountable are they for their actions?

  3. Zuhdija Tabakovic is a disgrace to humanity!

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