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ICTY denies Croatia bid to intervene in war crimes trial of former officials

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] Wednesday denied a request [JURIST report] by the Croatian government to intervene as amicus curiae in the trial of six former political and military Bosnian Croat leaders [ICTY backgrounder] who are accused [JURIST report] of torturing, killing, imprisoning, and expelling Muslims in Bosnia during 1991-94. The Croatian government had sought permission to refute "unacceptable allegations" about the military's activities, but the three-judge ICTY panel said it would "not be in the interest of justice" to allow Croatia to intervene. The court noted that former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman [BBC profile] was named in the indictment as the mastermind behind the plan to oust the Muslims which was allegedly implemented by the six men on trial.

All six of the men have pleaded not guilty to the charges [indictment, PDF] against them, which include war crimes and crimes against humanity. Croatia [JURIST news archive] had also requested amicus curiae status in the upcoming trial of three Croatian generals who are charged with planning the 1995 offensive known as Operation Storm, forcing some 90,000 other Serbs from their homes. AP has more.

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