Jezik / Language:
5 July 2010

Alic Retrial Reviews Witness Testimony

The retrial of Sefik Alic today watched on video the original testimony from witnesses Rafik Durakovic and Agan Elkasovic.
Alic was acquitted in April 2008 of crimes against prisoners of war during Operation Storm, the offensive launched in August 1995 against the forces of the Serb Krajina in Bosnia and Croatia. In 2009, the prosecution appealed the verdict. The court granted a retrial which began in April.

In the indictment, it is alleged that Alic had effective control over Tewfik al-Harbi, a self-described "mujahideen" who allegedly murdered four Serb prisoners during Operation Storm.

Al-Harbi was not a soldier within Alic’s "Hamze" battalion, but he regularly went on operations. Prosecutors allege that the relationship between al-Harbi and Alic was that of a subordinate to a superior and that Alic failed to prevent the crimes or investigate them.

The first trial was marred by inconsistencies in witness testimony. Witnesses including Durakovic contradicted earlier statements they had made to the State Investigative and Protection Agency (SIPA), who investigated the case.

Durakovic had originally claimed that Alic was a "low-level commander", but at trial said he was "just an ordinary soldier", undermining the prosecution's argument that Alic had been in a position to prevent the crimes and also to investigate them. "You do not remember almost any important fact that you told SIPA," the judge said.

Elkasovic was also not clear on whether Alic had a position of authority. "Sefik Alic was supposed to be an assistant commander of either security or intelligence, but I can't remember which," Elkasovic said. "I can't be sure whether he was actually assigned to this position."

The case continues on July 12.

Rob Miller
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