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12 September 2012
News

Basic and Sijak: Defendant Claims He is Innocent

BIRN BiH
Testyfing in his own defence, Muhidin Basic told the Bosnian State Court that he did not rape the protected witness A in Vares in 1994.
Basic said he had learned of a criminal report against him in 2009, and he went to the association Women – Victims of War  because he thought “his identity was misrepresented or he was mistaken for someone else” but Bakira Hasecic, the association’s president, told him he had been reported for rape.

Basic said that on October 15, 2009, he told Hasecic that he believed the protected witness A, Bosnian Croat, had reported him.

“I am not afraid of the truth, only the lies. I had a lot of problems with that woman in the past,” said Basic.

Basic said that in 1994, when he was the chief of police in Olovo, he was investigated after the protected witness  A accused him of working for the enemy and asking money from her in order to release her brother from prison.

Basic swore none of it was true.
 
The indictment alleges that Basic and Mirsad Sijak, military policeman with the 122nd Light Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, raped protected witness A, in the prison in Vares, on January 25, 1994, when she came to visit her imprisoned brother.

Basic said in his testimony that on the day of alleged rape, he was in Olovo, interrogating a suspect.

He said that during the war he spoke on several occasions with the protected witness A, and the last time was in late 1993, when she pleaded with him to release her brother from prison.

He explained that her brother was a member of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) who surrendered shortly before the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina seized Vares.

“She came to me and told me she learnt I could help her with the release of her brother and that she can give me money. I told her that I don’t have the authority and I am not interested in the money,” said Basic.

Prosecutor Mirko Lecic will cross examine the defendant on September 17.
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