Image: Zuhdija Tabakovic. Credits: ICTY
Zuhdija Tabakovic, a former policeman from Visegrad, who is charged before the Tribunal with contempt of court, has been transferred to The Hague and has been ordered into custody.
The custody decision notes that on December 18 Tabakovic was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, at The Hague. Tabakovic will make his first appearance before the Tribunal on December 22 this year.
The indictment against Tabakovic was filed with the Hague Tribunal on October 30 this year. It was confirmed on November 17. Its content has still not been made public.
Available data suggests that Tabakovic is charged with contempt of court in connection with the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic.
In July 2009 the Hague Tribunal pronounced a first-instance verdict, sentencing Milan Lukic to life imprisonment and Sredoje Lukic to 30 years in prison for crimes committed in the Visegrad area.
The Defence of Milan and Sredoje Lukic presented first-instance verdict appeals. The case is currently before the Appellate Chamber of the ICTY.
In November this year the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered a number of prohibiting measures against Tabakovic, including, among others, a ban on leaving his place of residence or traveling outside of Sarajevo Canton and an obligation to report regularly to the police station. Under this decision, his personal identification and travel documents were temporarily confiscated. However, on December 15 this year the Court rendered a decision canceling the prohibiting measures.
Image: A child from Visegrad during victim families protest.
Euro 1,000 in Exchange for False Testimony
The Hague Tribunal charges Zuhdija Tabakovic with having taken money
in return for false testimony at the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic.
The indictment, which was confirmed in November this year, alleges
that Tabakovic agreed to give a false statement against the Lukic
cousins in exchange for one thousand Euros.
In July 2009 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia, ICTY, pronounced a first-instance verdict, sentencing
Milan Lukic to life imprisonment and Sredoje Lukic to 30 years in
prison for crimes committed against Bosniaks in Visegrad.
The Lukic cousins appealed the verdict. The case is now being
considered by the Appellate Chamber of the ICTY.
In November this year the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered a
number of prohibiting measures against Tabakovic, including, among
others, a ban on traveling outside of Sarajevo Canton and an
obligation to report regularly to the police station. The decision was
subsequently changed and the measures were terminated. On December 18,
2009 Tabakovic was transferred to the Hague Tribunal.
He made his first appearance before the judges on December 22 this
year, when his indictment was read. His Defence attorney Steven Powles
called on the Court to read the indictment at a closed session. The
Court accepted his proposal, so the public was excluded from this
The confirmed indictment alleges that, on October 18, 2008 Tabakovic
met Jelena Rasic, a member of Milan Lukic’s Defence team, in Sarajevo.
Rasic allegedly offered him money for signing “a previously written
statement”. He accepted the offer.
“Zuhdija Tabakovic read the statement. He knew he would give a false
statement by signing the paper. Tabakovic did not witness the events
described in the statement. He does not have any information about
them, but still he agreed to sign the statement,” the indictment
The second count contained in the indictment charges Tabakovic with
having “agreed”, as abetted by Jelena Rasic, “to find two more men,
who will sign the previously prepared statements”.
“In exchange for signing those statements, each man was given Euro
1,000 from a person named Dragan, who works with Jelena Rasic. Zuhdija
Tabakovic was present in the Novi Grad municipality building in
Sarajevo when they signed the statements and took the money,” the
Hague Prosecution’s indictment alleges.
Zuhdija Tabakovic was a policeman in Visegrad before the war.
A person guilty of contempt may be sentenced by the Tribunal to a
maximum of seven years in prison or fined up to 100,000 Euros.
VGM Editor’s note:
SHAME ON YOU ZUHDIJA!