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25 December 2012
News

Basic and Sijak: “Frozen” Indictment

BIRN BiH
Presenting its closing statement, the Defence of Mirsad Sijak calls for a verdict of release, saying that the Prosecution has not proved his guilt for rape committed in Vares in 1994. The Trial Chamber has set the pronouncement of verdict for January 18.

Sijak is charged, along with Muhidin Basic, with war crimes in Vares in 1993. The two indictees are charged with having raped a Croat female on January 25, 1994.

Fahrija Karkin, Defence attorney of indictee Sijak, compared the indictment with Ernest Hemingway’s book “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”.

“In the book a tiger blindly follows a wrong person. The Prosecutor blindly sticks to a statement given by person A. In the book the tiger was frozen on Kilimanjaro. The indictment will have the same destiny,” Karkin said. 

He said that the Prosecutor had never determined the exact time when the alleged rape was committed, adding that person A “avoided that fact like the devil avoids holy water, because she fabricated the whole story”.

According to his Defence attorney, Mirsad Sijak reported to his Command in Vares in the morning on January 25, 1994 and then went, together with Sabahudin Operta, to Kakanj, where he attended a Corps hand-over ceremony. As he said, this was written down in his diary, which was presented as the Defence’s evidence. 

“Both the indictee and witness Operta confirmed this. The witness said that Sijak was with him the whole day. Prosecution witness Rifet Alihodzic too said that he saw Sijak, who was not alone, upon his arrival in Vares with person A on that morning,” Karkin explained, pointing out that Sijak had an alibi, which was supported by numerous pieces of evidence. 

He said that the indictee submitted documents about the fact that he had been wounded on his lower limbs on January 6, 1994.

“He did not rape person A, because he was wounded, which is also to his advantage. He was in Kakanj on the day on which person A claims to have been raped,” the Defence attorney of Sijak said.

Indictee Sijak addressed the Court, saying that a huge injustice was done to him, but he believed that the verdict would be fair.  

“My life, honour, family and career have been destroyed by this indictment. I have nothing to do with the crime charged upon me,” Mirsad Sijak said. 

 

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