Muslim associations call for Hague judge exemption

ZAGREB -- Three Bosniak associations have called on the Hague Tribunal to exempt Presiding Judge Christoph Flugge from the trial chamber appointed in the Mladić case.

The German judge - the Muslims said, according to reports - previously "denied that genocide was committed in Srebrenica".

According to reports in Croatian media, the Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina Camp Inmates, the Association of Women Victims of War and the Movement of Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa Enclaves sent a letter to Hague Tribunal President Patrick Robinson in which they expressed protest over Flugge's appointment as the trial chamber chairman.

They said that in a statement for the German daily Spiegel "a while ago", Flugge "denied that the crime of genocide had been committed in Srebrenica".

"By saying that the use of the term 'genocide' in defining the Srebrenica crime is unnecessary and that the term 'mass murder' should be used instead, judge Flugge demonstrated that he is prone to prejudice," the Bosniak associations said in the letter addressed to Robinson, adding that Flugge has also showed that he "does not deserve to be a judge with the Hague Tribunal".

Reports said that "in a statement for the German daily Spiegel, Flugge said that only the Holocaust can be referred to as genocide and that the term should be replaced in all other cases by the phrase 'mass murder'."