The Office of the Prosecutor

  • Ellen Elias-Bursać
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)


Chapter 5 analyzes the use of questions related to certain issues of translation and interpreting in cross-examination conducted by attorneys for the Office of the Prosecutor. The military term asanacija, as translated in evidence and interpreted in testimony during the proceedings, was the focus of their queries. They investigated the meaning of the word as it was used in two (Krstić and Popović et al.) of the 22 Tribunal cases that include counts tied to the Srebrenica massacre which took place in Bosnia in July 1995. While several witnesses (Chapter 4) use a language query to bolster the credence of their testimony and the defence (Chapter 6) uses arguments over translation and interpreting to query responsibility and raise reasonable doubt, the prosecution has its own approach to the ‘struggle over meaning’. They used the disputes over the word asanacija and its translations to provoke and unsettle defence witnesses. The judgements assert that asanacija was a code word used by the Bosnian Serbian military units to signify the activity of burying bodies to hide a massacre.


Code Word Reasonable Doubt Trial Chamber Additional Burden Life Imprisonment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Ellen Elias-Bursać 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Elias-Bursać
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Scholar and Literary TranslatorUSA

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