Jezik / Language:
2 July 2015

Bojadzic Testifies in Own Defense

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

During his cross-examination by the Bosnian state prosecution, former Bosnian Army commander Nihad Bojadzic denied that he was in Jablanica when rapes he allegedly committed occurred.

Bojadzic, the former deputy commander of the Zulfikar Unit of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with the assault, rape and sexual abuse of Croat civilians and prisoners in Jablanica in 1993.

According to the indictment, Bojadzic and another unidentified soldier abducted two female Croat detainees held in detention at the Battle of Neretva Museum in Jablanica on July 28, 1993. They allegedly raped the detainees.

In response to questions by the state prosecution, Bojadzic denied being a soldier of influence at the time.

“If I had authority, I would have been the commander of the 44th Brigade of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” Bojadzic said.

According to Bojadzic, he and a group of soldiers from his unit arrived to Jablanica in April 1993. According to Bojadzic, they were tasked with restoring calm between the Croatian Defense Council and the Bosnian Army, as well as intelligence duties. He said intelligence couldn’t be collected by interrogating prisoners of war.

“I wasn’t interested in what some soldier had to say. They’re not reliable sources of information,” Bojadzic said.

Bojadzic said he went to Mount Igman in July 1993, while combat was taking place between the Bosnian Army and the Bosnian Serb Army. He said that on July 27, 1993, the day before his alleged rapes, he travelled to Mount Igman from Sarajevo. He said he spent a few days there.
Prosecutor Sedin Idrizovic asked Bojadzic why he left Sarajevo, considering the dangerous situation on Mount Igman. Bojadzic said he was ordered to inform his superiors about the situation on Mount Igman and to discuss the idea of forming a new unit on a national basis.

When asked why he stayed on Mount Igman for several days, Bojadzic said President Alija Izetbegovic was unable to receive him immediately.

Idrizovic referred to a statement Bojadzic gave to the Hague Tribunal, in which Bojadzic said he remembered July 28, 1993, because of the shooting taking place in Sarajevo and the danger that he felt being there.

During the hearing, the defense presented evidence that the shooting Bojadzic witnessed took place on August 1. Bojadzic said he believed he was talking about events that took place during that time, and said he was mistaken in the statement he had given at the Hague.

The trial continues on August 27. The state prosecution will amend the indictment in the meantime and will present new evidence.

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