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24 July 2015
News

Basic Not Guilty of Inhumane Treatment of Civilians, Defense Claims

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

The presentation of evidence at the Eniz Basic trial concluded with a series of material defense filed by the defense.

Basic, a former member of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with abducting civilians from a house in the village of Vardiste in the Zenica area between April 18 and 24 1993. He allegedly tied up and abducted civilians Luka Sestan and Mirko Letic, and led them, by gunpoint, to a checkpoint previously visited by Jozo Kristo. It is alleged that Basic handed them over to unknown soldiers at the checkpoint. Their charred bodies were found several days later.

At today’s hearing, defense attorney Ramo Ajkic presented a series of material evidence before the Cantonal Court of Zenica. He presented a decision handed down by the Bosnian state court in 2011, which refused to confirm the state prosecution’s indictment against Basic.

The decision, according to Ajkic, said that following an analysis of witness statements, the court was not of the opinion that the defendant’s actions represented inhumane treatment.

Prosecutor Amra Ahmetlic said this wasn’t accurate.

“The state prosecution hadn’t determined that the defendant committed those actions of his own accord. Also, the intensity of the fear felt by the injured parties hadn’t been determined. This was done by the cantonal prosecution, which then filed the indictment,” Ahmetlic said.

The defense then presented statements given by three prosecution witnesses during the investigation, which differed from one another.

The defense also presented a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska in 2007, which stated that the detention of civilians is not an element of war crimes against the civilian population.

The presentation of closing statements is scheduled for September 9.

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