Jezik / Language:
26 February 2015

Tomas Trial for Alleged Civilian Abuse Begins

Albina Sorguč BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The trial of Momir Tomas began today at the cantonal court of Sarajevo.

Tomas, a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, is charged with the physical abuse and inhumane treatment of Bosniak civilians in the village of Breza in the municipality of Hadzici, on November 29, 1992.

Cantonal prosecutor Nedzad Corovic said he would prove that the defendant was guilty of the charges brought against him.

“The prosecution hopes that it will prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the crime at the time and in the manner described in the indictment,” Corovic said.

Corovic said that the Bosnian war provided forgiving circumstances for Tomas to act upon his nationalist sentiments.

Corovic said he would demonstrate Tomas’ guilt by examining four witnesses and presenting material evidence. He said that court expert Abdulah Kucukalic would also present his findings on the health of one of the injured parties.

Ratko Gengo, Tomas’ defense attorney, said that he would prove that his client hadn’t committed a war crime against the civilian population, but potentially larceny, grand larceny, and banditry.

“The entire indictment is based on a statement given by one man. We shall prove that Tomas did not participate in those actions and that his identity has been mixed up,” Gengo said.

Gengo added that he would propose his list of evidence once the prosecution had completed its presentation of evidence.

The indictment against Tomas was filed on November 4, 2014. It was confirmed six days later.

The first set of witnesses will be examined on March 25.

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