Jezik / Language:
26 April 2013

Sarajevo Trial for Busovaca War Crimes Begins

Denis Dzidic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Former Croatian Defence Forces fighters Zoran Marinic and Zoranu Milic went on trial for the killings of Bosniak civilians in the town of Busovaca in 1993.
Prosecutor Mirko Lecic told the court in his opening statement on Friday that the Bosnian prosecution would prove that Marinic and Milic took part in the murders and abuse of Bosniak civilians in April 1993.

“We will prove that on this date 20 years ago, defendants Marinic and Milic treated civilians inhumanely, which resulted in death of four people,” said Lecic.

Marinic and Milic are charged with arriving to the home of a protected witness in the case, codenamed ‘B1’, on April 26, 1993. The man fled in fear, after which the fighters put a knife to the throat of his wife and threatened to kill her, the indictment alleges.

“Then they set the house of witness B1 on fire, and told [another protected] witness B4 she would have to stay inside with her children and burn, which caused great fear and suffering to her,” says the indictment.

On the same day, according to the indictment, Marinic and Milic killed Sabrija, Ahmed and Adil Topalovic, as well as Muvedeta Smolo, in a house in Busovaca, and wounded another person, after which they set the house on fire.

The defence teams for the accused did not present their opening arguments; instead they requested that they be given full statements from all protected witnesses as soon as possible so they can prepare their strategy.

The lawyer for defendant Milic said he wanted the statements urgently because there is a possibility for his client to make a plea bargain.

The trial is set to resume on May 9, when the prosecution will call its first witness.
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