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ICTY to jointly try Bosnian Serb cousins for war crimes

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] said Friday that it will conduct a joint trial of Bosnian Serb cousins Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic [indictment; case backgrounder, PDF]. This revokes the planned referral [press release] of Sredoje's case to the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [JURIST news archive]. The court justified the decision on the grounds that the two cases are factually related and that a joint trial would reduce the possible trauma to witnesses, who will now testify only once. Milan and Sredoje Lukic are accused of murdering approximately 140 Bosnian Muslims and abusing civilians in detention.

Milan Lukic was sentenced in absentia [JURIST report] last year to 20 years in prison by a Serbian court. He was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and extradited to The Hague [JURIST report] for ICTY proceedings. The Bosnian War Crimes Chamber was established [JURIST report] in March 2005 to ease the backlog of the ICTY, which is currently trying to complete all its work by 2010. Reuters has more.

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