Jezik / Language:
7 June 2013

Another Guilt Admission Agreement Possible

Amer Jahić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Sasa Zecevic, who was sentenced under a first instance verdict to 23 years’ imprisonment for committing murders at Koricanske stijene, is thinking about admitting guilt and concluding a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During a break in a hearing at which first instance verdict appeals were considered Zecevic, former member of the Interventions Squad with Prijedor police, spoke to Prosecutor Slavica Terzic about admitting guilt.

“This is the first time I have discussed such agreement with the Prosecutor. I must think about everything,” said Zecevic, addressing the Appellate Chamber.

A hearing at which the Court will be informed whether Zecevic has reached an agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is scheduled for July 1.

Radoslav Knezevic, who was sentenced under the first instance verdict to 23 years in prison, concluded a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina at this trial.

On August 21, 1992 about 200 men, mostly Bosniaks, who had been separated from a convoy, traveling from Prijedor to Travnik, were killed at Koricanske stijene.

Besides Zecevic and Knezevic, Marinko Ljepoja was also sentenced to 23 years in prison for crimes at Koricanske stijene, while Petar Civcic and Branko Topola were acquitted of charges.

All of the indictees, except Topola, who, according to the State Prosecution’s allegations was a guard in Trnopolje detention camp, were members of the Interventions Squad of the Prijedor police.

In her appeal Prosecutor Terzic requested the Court to either sentence the two indictees, who were acquitted of charges, or order a retrial. Also, she requested a “longer” imprisonment sentence for Ljepoja.

Defence attorney Izet Bazdarevic said that the first instance Chamber wrongly determined the facts related to the part of the verdict, pronouncing Ljepoja guilty. He said that the indictee was not present at the location, where the men were separated from other people.

Also, he said that he did not participate in the murders, because the bus, which he escorted, broke down, so he stayed at that location together with the bus driver.

The Defence of Civcic and Topola said that the Prosecution’s appeal was unfounded.

“The only correct and logical conclusion is that Civcic’s responsibility has not been proved,” said his Defence attorney Savan Zec.

The Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will render a decision concerning the appeals at a later stage.

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