Jezik / Language:
3 September 2014

Babic’s Trial Begins September 16

Dzenita Durakovic BIRN BiH Bihac

The trial of Milutin Babic, who is charged with crimes against prisoners of war, is due to begin on September 16, as decided at a status conference held before the Cantonal Court in Bihac.

Babic is charged with having participated, along with Obrad Ozegovic and Slavko Stricevic, in the abuse of three captured members of the Territorial Defence from Sanski Most – Mustafa Cikota, Emsud Smailovic and Sadik Burnic, in Bravko village, Bosanski Petrovac municipality.

According to the charges, Ozegovic killed captive Burnic, while the indictee participated in carrying to body to natural pit Ravnica with the aim of concealing the crime. Slavko Stricevic shot at Smailovic and Cikota, who were carrying the killed man’s body.  

“Cikota died due to injuries immediately, while Smailovic was still giving signs of life. After that indictee Babic shot him in his head,” the indictment alleges, adding that the indictee and Stricevic dumped the bodies of the killed men into the pit, which was about 20 metres-deep.

Cantonal Prosecutor Jasmin Mesic said that the Prosecution would examine 14 witnesses and two court experts during the evidence presentation process.

“Three injured parties will be examined at the first hearing, while four witnesses would be examined both at the second and third hearings. We shall examine three witnesses at the fourth hearing, while the fifth hearing will be dedicated to examining court experts and presenting material evidence,” Mesic said.   

Marinko Brkic, Defence attorney of the indictee, retained the right to present the Defence’s evidence presentation plan at a later stage.

He requested the Court to consider his client’s health condition prior to the beginning of the main trial, adding that his client had eyesight problems and should undergo an operation.

“In case his health problem is not solved, it could affect his capability of attending the court proceeding,” Brkic said.
Babic, who has US citizenship, was found and arrested in Serbia. Following his extradition, he has been held in custody in Bihac.
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