Jezik / Language:
3 June 2014

Vrtunic Begins Presenting Defence on June 12

Dzenita Durakovic BIRN BiH Bihac
As decided at a status conference held before the Cantonal Court in Bihac, the first Defence witness of Mladenko Vrtunic, who is charged with crimes in the Kljuc area, is due to testify on June 12.
Vrtunic’s Defence proposed that Predrag and Nenad Bajic and Sinisa Babic, who admitted guilt for crimes in Kljuc, and three other witnesses be examined.  
Mladenko Brkic, Defence attorney of Vrtunic, said that, following the conclusion of the guilt admission agreement between the Bajic brothers and Sinisa Babic and the Prosecution, their Defence attorneys informed him that they said that Vrtunic had not participated in the murder of two women in Kljuc.
“Also, we propose that Kosta Balaban, who was Vrtunic’s direct chief, be invited to testify. The Defence has got a document, indicating that he allowed my client to be absent on November 22, 1992, one day after the murder. This confirms that he was not present in Kljuc during the night in question,” Brkic said.
Prosecutor Jasmin Mesic objected to the Defence’s proposal for examination of these witnesses, explaining that the verdict against Predrag Bajic was not final and that Nenad Bajic and Sinisa Babic were not present at the crime location, so their testimony would not be relevant.  
“The Prosecution does not deny the validity of the document, which was signed by Kosta Balaban, presented by the Defence, but, at the same time, it does not exclude the possibility that he was already in Kljuc on November 21. The event in question happened in late evening hours,” Mesic said.
The Trial Chamber of the Cantonal Court in Bihac accepted the proposal for the examination of Kosta Balaban, but it rejected the proposal for examination of the other witnesses.  
The Defence proposed to the Trial Chamber to order the psychological examination of Vrtunic in order to determine his psycho-social profile, as well as his intellectual, health and other characteristics. The Chamber will render a decision concerning this proposal at a later stage.
Vrtunic is charged with having participated, along with Predrag Bajic and another person, in the physical mistreatment of Ale Strkunic and the murder of his wife Fatma and her mother in Mali Rejzovici village, Kljuc municipality, in November 1992.
The trial is due to continue on June 12.

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