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SERBIAN WAR CRIME ZORAN MARIC PLEADS NOT GUILTY
Zoran Maric pleads not guilty to charges that he committed crimes against civilians in Ljoljici and Cerkazovici villages.
Zoran Maric, a former member of the Mrkonjic Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, who is charged with crimes committed against civilians in Jajce Municipality in 1992, has appeared at a plea hearing and pleaded not guilty.
"I plead not guilty," Maric said, appearing before a preliminary hearing judge.
The State Prosecution charges Maric with participating, on September 10, 1992, in gathering and shooting 29 Bosniak civilians from Ljoljici and Cerkazovici villages, including women, children and elderly people.
The indictment states that the captured civilians were gathered in Osoje village, where they were mistreated and robbed, prior to being taken to Tisovac, where they were shot. On that occasion 23 people were killed, including four minors.
Maric has been in custody since July 8 this year, when he was extradited by Serbian authorities.
The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina previously rendered a second-instance verdict, sentencing Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez to 29 years in prison, Mirko (son of Spiro) Pekez to 14 years and Milorad Savic to 21 years for the same crime.
Preliminary hearing Judge Izo Tankic informed the parties that the Maric case would be referred to another Chamber of the State Court, which would "set the date for the beginning of the trial within the next 60 days."