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20 May 2011
News

Local Justice - Ahmetasevic: Verdict Due on May 24

BIRN BiH
After hearing closing statements from the Prosecution and the Defence of indictee Senad Ahmetasevic, who is charged with the murder of a prisoner of war in Velika Kladisa, the Cantonal Court in Bihac sets the pronouncement of the verdict for Tuesday, May 24.

Presenting her closing statement, Ornela Ceric-Mrenica, Prosecutor with the Una-Sana Cantonal Prosecution, said that she considered that it had been proved that after having captured five members of the Fifth Corps with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, in Johovice area, Velika Kladusa municipality on November 11, 1993, Ahmetasevic killed Hasan Saric.

“We should consider the fact that the indictee committed the murder in cold blood, bearing in mind that victim Saric was unarmed. I therefore think that this crime was committed with direct intent. I ask the Court to pronounce indictee Ahmetasevic guilty and pronounce a fair sentence,” Ceric-Mrenica said.

In their closing statement, both the Defence and indictee Ahmetasevic called on the Court to pronounce a verdict of release.

Ahmetasevic, former member of the National Defence of “Western Bosnia” Autonomous Region, is charged with having participated in the capture of five members of the Fifth Corps with ABiH, who had “unconditionally surrendered, put their weapons aside and laid down on the ground”, next to Johivca reservoir on November 11, 1993.

According to the charges, Ahmetasevic tied the prisoners' hands and fired several bullets from an automatic gun at Hasan Saric, who then died.

Prior to the presentation of the Defence's closing statement, Dusko Zec, Defence attorney for the indictee, addressed the Chamber, asking it to release him of his duties because “Ahmetasevic refuses to establish normal communication with me”.

Ahmetasevic told the Court that he wanted to represent himself, but the Chamber rejected the proposal.

Defence attorney Zec then presented his closing statement, saying that Saric was undoubtedly murdered in November 1993, but “it has not been proved that Ahmetasevic committed the murder”.

Zec said that the Defence has proved that Ahmetasevic was at another location, where he attended “a handover of weapons together with the National Defence Commander”, on November 11, 1993.

“I therefore ask the Court to acquit the indictee of the charges, because it has not been proved that he committed the crime,” Zec said.

In his address, indictee Ahmetasevic expressed his doubts over the statements given by Prosecution witnesses, repeating his earlier statement that he was not guilty.

Dz.Dz.

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This article is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Balkan investigative reporting network (BIRN) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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