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15 October 2014
News

Hasanbegovic’s Death Caused By Bullet Head Wound

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
At the trial for crimes committed in Kalinovik, the medical expert said that the cause of death of Suad Hasanbegovic was a bullet wound to the head.
Nermin Sarajlic, forensic specialist, said that on July 1, 2009, he carried out an autopsy and identification of four bodies, which were exhumed a day before in the territory of Kalinovik.

He said that the DNA analysis established it was Suad Hasanbegovic, Seid Kesa and Edin Bica. The expert ascertained that the cause of death of Hasanbegovic was bullet wound to the head. “The body is whole with missing hand parts, vertebrae and feet (...) A deformed bullet was found in the head and a multiply broken jaw... There was a rib fractured by a mechanical object. This wound was inflicted while he was alive and could have been inflicted by a fist, booted foot or some other object,” said Sarajlic.  

The body of Hasim Hatic was never found, and the bodies of remaining three persons were exhumed and identified in 2009.

Sarajlic said it was impossible to establish the cause of death of Seid Kesa and Edin Bica, whose bodies were found as skeletons.
He said that on Kesa the whole chest was fractured, but due to a lack of soft tissue it was not possible to establish whether the cause of death was internal bleeding.

For the crimes committed in Kalinovik, on trial are Zoran and Marinko Bjelica and Novica Tripkovic. They are charged as members of the Army of Republika Srpska with participating in the murder and torture of Bosniak civilians who were held in the primary school Miladin Radojevic in Kalinovik in August 1992.

According to the indictment, three defendants came to the school armed with guns on August 1, 1992 or thereabouts and separated prisoners Suad Hasanbegovic, Edin Bica, Seid Kesa and Hasim Hatic.

It is specified that they were beaten that night, after which prisoner Keso died, and the next day the remaining three prisoners were killed too.

Asked by the defence where the place of exhumation was, expert Sarajlic said he did not remember and he did not have a written confirmation before him that he attended it. The lawyer of Novica Tripkovic, Slavko Asceric, said that he believed that the reports from the autopsy and report on identification cannot be entered as evidence because these were not real reports and expert opinions under the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The prosecution concluded it was a perfectly legal expert opinion.

The trial will resume on October 22.
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