Jezik / Language:
20 April 2012

Local Justice – Asonja and Djeric: Verdict Due April 27

The District Court in Eastern Sarajevo is due to pronounce a verdict against Milivoje Asonja and Ilija Djeric, who are charged with war crimes against civilians in Rogatica in 1994, on April 27.

In its closing statement the Prosecution called on the Court to sentence the indictees, while the Defence proposed a verdict of release. 

Mirza Hukeljic, Prosecutor with the District Prosecution in Eastern Sarajevo, said that the Prosecution proved that the indictees abused civilians while they were repairing the road as detained in Rasadnik detention camp, Rogatica municipality. 

“The Prosecution has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that Asonja and Djeric, former members of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, caused the suffering of and injuries to civilians Emin Pleho and Ramiz Katica. The type and severity of injuries are not important. The existence of injuries, which has been confirmed by both Prosecution and Defence witnesses, is important for proving that war crimes against the civilian population were committed,” Hukeljic said.

The Prosecutor said that the Defence had not denied the allegations contained in the indictment, but it had even confirmed some of them. 

“The Prosecution is of the opinion that Emin Pleho gave a different statement from the one he gave during the investigation, but the Court did not let the Prosecution face the witness with his earlier statement. Witness Nermin Katica confirmed that he saw injuries on his father’s face and that those injuries were caused by Asonja and Djeric,” Hukeljic said.

Zorana Carkic and Miodrag Stojanovic, Defence attorneys of Asonja and Djeric, asked the Court to pronounce a verdict of release, claiming that the Prosecution had not proved that they had committed the crime. 

“Injured party Pleho told the Court that, as he was falling down, after having stumbled over a stone, Djeric hit him on his right eye,” Stojanovic said, adding that he had no intention to hurt the injured party.

As he said, Pleho’s injury did not fit into “the standard of injuries and suffering” caused by a war crime. 

Defence attorney Carkic said that the indictees and injured party Pleho were in an intoxicated state, adding that Nermin Katica, son of late Ramiza Katica, was not an eyewitness to the event and that his testimony was contradictory. 

During this hearing it was said that court medicine expert Goran Stojanovski, who was supposed to present his findings about the type and severity of injuries caused to the injured parties, at a request by the Court, was not able to do that, because he lacked material evidence.

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