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9 December 2011
News

Basic and Sijak: Prohibiting Measures Requested

BIRN BiH
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina requests the State Court to order prohibiting measures against Muhidin Basic and Mirsad Sijak, who are charged with crimes against civilians in the Vares area in 1994, while the Defence objects to the request.
The State Prosecution requested the Court to prohibit the indictees from meeting each other or witnesses and accomplices, while the Defence said that the motion was unfounded, because there was no evidence that Basic and Sijak had tried to influence witnesses.
 
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina has charged Basic and Sijak with having forced a Croat female person to have sexual intercourse with them in a Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH prison located in the basement of “Sumarstvo” building in Vares on January 25, 1994.
 
According to the charges, the two indictees and two other unidentified members of ABiH raped a person, who was visiting a prisoner in the prison in Vares.
 
The indictment alleges that Basic was Chief of the State Security Service Section in Olovo and Sijak was military policeman with the 122nd Light Brigade of ABiH at the time.
 
Explaining the prohibiting measures motion, State Prosecutor Adnan Gulamovic said, among other things, that, out of 15 proposed Prosecution witnesses, seven said that they knew the indictees, adding that this could potentially lead to communication with witnesses and putting direct or indirect pressure on them.
 
“The Prosecution has still not decided to propose the strictest measure, i.e. custody, because the indictees responded to an invitation to give their statements. Following the confirmation of the indictment, the indictees have a real interest in influencing the witnesses. I am asking the Court to order the prohibiting measures and, thus, enable the witnesses to testify without fear,” Gulamovic said.

Kerim Celik, Defence attorney of indictee Basic, asked the Court to reject the Prosecution's motion, saying that there was no evidence that the indictees had tried to influence witnesses.
 
“In order for the Court to order a prohibiting measures, there must be a grounded fear that the indictee might influence witnesses and other indictees. There is no evidence that he influenced or tried to influence them,” Celik said.
 
Fahrija Karkin, Defence attorney of indictee Sijak, said that he was against the prohibiting measure, because the investigation had been completed and statements had been taken from all witnesses, who would eventually testify before the Court at this trial. As he said, in his opinion the prohibiting measure made no sense under those circumstances.
 
“I object to the prohibiting measure as it would mean the introduction of a bad practice. Why would you order a prohibiting measure, which would mean nothing to my client, at the end of the investigation? I do not know why the Prosecution is proposing this measure, since we know that it has taken statements from all witnesses already. There is no purpose,” Karkin said.
 
Basic works with the Intelligence and Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina at present.

A.S.

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