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10 September 2015
News

Dedic Defense Calls for Acquittal or Appeal at Supreme Court

Marija Taušan BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The defense of Hajrudin Dedic has called upon the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to either acquit Dedic or repeal the verdict against him. The state prosecution called on the court to reject the appeal and to uphold the guilty verdict handed down by the cantonal court of Zenica in October 2014.

Dedic, a former Breza police officer, was sentenced to six years in prison for the torture and inhumane treatment of civilians in Breza. Dedic searched houses in Duzce on June 10, 1992, and acting in collaboration with others, apprehended Serb civilians and beat them at a police station. Two civilians died, while three others received severe bodily injuries.

At today’s hearing of the appeal, Dedic’s defense attorney Ramo Ajkic said the prosecution had failed to prove there was an armed conflict in the area at the time, an element of war crime cases. He also said the guilty verdict wasn’t based on evidence and witness testimony.

“It has absolutely not been proven that my client kicked and punched Mico Subotic. The same goes for Nikola Novakovic, Nedjo, Janko and Momcilo Subotic, and particularly the part of the verdict indicating that he beat them with rubber and wooden batons,” Ajkic said.

Ajkic said the witness testimony against his client was contradictory and inconsistent. He said the witnesses hadn’t reliably identified Dedic as the perpetrator of the crimes described in the indictment.

“In her statement given on June 9, 2012, witness Rosa Subotic did not accuse my client of anything at all, but, while testifying at the main trial, she spoke about him as if he were the worst criminal,” Ajkic said. He said he held a similar opinion of witness Spiro Subotic.

Ajkic also said it was strange that the prosecution hadn’t included statements made during the investigation in the case file, even though the statements were presented as evidence in the indictment.

“The question remains as to why these witnesses testified in that manner, but accepting such testimony does not correspond to justice,” Ajkic said.

Ajkic said there was no evidence that the death of the two injured parties in the case was linked to the Dedic’s actions. He added that the prosecution’s decision to discontinue the investigation in 2011 demonstrated the lack of evidence against his client.

State prosecutor Munib Halilovic said his written motion contained the prosecution’s stand regarding the defense’s appeal and proposed that the court confirm the first instance verdict.

The court will render a decision at a later stage.

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