Jezik / Language:
30 November 2009

Bundalo et al: Indictment Cannot be Proven

The Defence of Ratko Bundalo begins the presentation of its closing arguments at the trial for crimes committed in Kalinovik, arguing that the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not proved the indictment.
Presenting its closing arguments the Defence of Ratko Bundalo said that the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina could only render a verdict of acquittal in the case of its client if it followed "the rules of the proceedings", due to lack of evidence.

"The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to go ahead with this indictment on the basis of its own perception of evidence. The investigation was not thoroughly conducted. The indictment, as it is now, cannot be proven," Defence attorney Kresimir Zubak said.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Bundalo, Nedjo Zeljaja and Djordjislav Askraba with crimes against humanity committed in Kalinovik Municipality. The indictment alleges that Bundalo was Commander of the Tactical Group in Kalinovik, Zeljaja was Commander of the Public Safety Station in Kalinovik and Askraba was Commander of guards at "Barutni magacin" ("Gunpowder Depot") detention camp.

Zubak said the indictment was general, as "some legal provisions were just taken over", and he cited the first count, which, he said, did not specify who Bundalo planned the actions with or to whom he issued orders to persecute the Bosniak population from Kalinovik Municipality and parts of the neighbouring municipalities.

Commenting on the contention that Bundalo was Commander of the Tactical Group in Kalinovik, the Defence said its client "was not a commander or chief in a formal and legal sense".

"The war confusion was at this stage. There was no military hierarchy. Had the military hierarchy been established, those things would not have happened. The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina has failed to prove that Bundalo was responsible for the events that took place in Kalinovik. The indictee himself was the target of many attacks," Zubak said.

Presenting his closing arguments, Drazen Zubak, second Defence attorney of the indictee, analyzed the witnesses' statements, claiming that they confirmed that "Bundalo did not have responsibility for the functioning of Barutni magacin".

"The only survivor from 'Barutni magacin', who appeared as a witness, did not accuse Bundalo over what took place in the detention camp. The witness was a direct victim. If anyone is to blame Bundalo for that, it should be him. As alleged by witnesses, 'Barutni magacin' was controlled by the Public Safety Station, and its commander, Bosko Govedarica," Drazen Zubak said.

He said the book of departures from 'Barutni magacin' showed that Govedarica asked for some detainees to be taken out to perform labour on 22 occasions, adding that the book did not show that indictee Bundalo did that as well.

The Defence cited the indictee's indictee, which it sought to prove during the course of the trial.

Drazen Zubak said that witnesses confirmed that Bundalo was in Belgrade and Banja Luka, and not in Kalinovik, as stated in the indictment, from August 3 to 22, 1992. As explained by Zubak, during his absence 22 of the 29 actions charged upon him by the Prosecution were committed.

The Defence of Ratko Bundalo and the indictee will continue presenting their closing arguments on December 1.
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