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14 November 2013

Jail Urged Over Busovaca Family Murders

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Prosecutors demanded jail for Bosnian Croat fighter Zoran Milic, accused of war crimes for allegedly killing four people including an elderly man and a disabled person in Busovaca in 1993.
In its closing arguments at Milic’s trial in Sarajevo on Thursday, the prosecution asked for a guilty verdict to “ease the pain and sorrow of the victims”, while the defence said that the ex-fighter was innocent and should be acquitted.

According to the prosecution, Milic and another Bosnian Croat fighter, Zoran Marinic, killed an elderly man, a disabled woman and two other people with a knife and a gun at the Topalovic family’s house in Busovaca in central Bosnia on April 26, 1993.

They are also accused of abusing a woman with three children by putting a knife to her throat at another house in Busovaca the same day.

Prosecutor Slavica Terzic said that witness statements and documents had proved that Milic committed crimes against civilians, including women, children, elderly and disabled people.

“The Topalovic family had the right to life,” Terzic said.

The other fighter, Marinic, was originally on trial alongside Milic, but he died in October.

Milic’s lawyer Slavko Asceric said that the majority of witnesses did not mention the name of his client.

He said it was a case of mistaken identity and called for Milic to be acquitted.

He also accused Marinic, who testified against Milic, alleging that he opened fire on two houses in Busovaca with a Kalashnikov, of being a liar.

“I went to Busovaca in the meantime and heard that after he testified here, he went to the tavern and drank all the way till Sunday, when he died,” said Asceric.

“The conscience resurfaces sooner or later,” he added.

The verdict is due on November 29.

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