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10 December 2013

Bosniak Fighters Demand Acquittals Over Serb Killings

Mirna Buljugic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Four former Bosniak Territorial Defence fighters accused of attacking the village of Serdari in 1992, when 16 Serb civilians were killed, called for not guilty verdicts as their trial concluded.
The four men, Fikret Planincic, Rasim Lisancic, Mirsad Vatrac and Sead Menzil, argued that they should be acquitted because it had not been proved that they targeted civilians in the village attack on September 17, 1992.

Menzil’s lawyer Adil Draganovic said that the village, in Bosnia’s Kotor Varos municipality, was actually “a Serb military fortification” rather than a peaceful settlement.

“The incident in the village of Serdari was not an attack on the civilian population, but a legitimate conflict. It was a defended place, because the confiscated weapons and crates of ammunition were supplied by the army,” said Draganovic.

Vatrac’s lawyer also said that the prosecution had failed to present a compelling case for conviction.

“None of the witnesses said any of the defendants opened fire or killed anyone in Serdari. Those were all arbitrary claims,” said Abaz.

Vatrac also addressed the court saying that he “was never good at lying, as opposed to witnesses who lied under oath”.

The prosecution has already called for convictions and jail sentences for the four men.

The verdict is due on December 30.
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