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28 May 2007
News

Zijad Kurtovic Pleads Not Guilty

BIRN BiH
Former commander of Military Police Squad of the 4th Corps of BiH Army denies that he committed war crimes in Mostar.

Zijad Kurtovic, a former member of BiH Army indicted before the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of BiH for war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war and violation of the Geneva Conventions on laws and practices of warfare, has pleaded not guilty according to all 11 charges in the indictment.

"I plead not guilty," said Kurtovic.

The Prosecution considers that Kurtovic participated in the maltreatment of 20 detained Croats in the Roman Catholic church Svi sveti (All Saints) in Donja Dreznica, Mostar municipality, during the armed conflict between the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) and the Army of BiH in mid 1993.

The indictment alleges, inter alia, that Kurtovic took the detained prisoners to the front lines to be used as human shields and to act as forced labour, and that he sexually abused the prisoners.

Kurtovic was arrested on 2 November 2006. The Court of BiH confirmed
the indictment against him on 16 May this year.

According to provisions of the Law on Criminal Procedure, the main trial should commence no later than 90 days after the plea hearing.

 

 

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