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30 May 2016
News

Bosnian Army Visegrad Commander Goes on Trial

BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The trial of Ahmet Sejdic, wartime commander of the First Visegrad Brigade of the Bosnian Army, who is accused of crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners of war, opened at the state court.

Sejdic went on trial in Sarajevo on Monday, accused of crimes against the civilian population and prisoners of war in the Rudo, Visegrad and Gorazde areas.

The indictment, which contains 18 counts, alleges that Sejdic ordered the inhumane treatment of Serb civilians and captured members of the Bosnian Serb Army from July 1992 to February 1993 and was personally involved in carrying it out.

He has been charged with having failed to prevent or punish his subordinates, who caused injuries and other types of suffering to the civilians and prisoners of war, and with pillaging property.

According to the charges, acting on an order from the wartime presidency of the Gorazde municipality, Sejdic participated in the unlawful detention, resettlement and torture of 44 civilians during the disarmament of the Serb population of the village of Bucje in July 1992.

After having been captured, the civilians were transferred to Trebesko Brdo. One person went missing and their body has still not been found.

Twelve village residents were relocated to Cajnice, while the others were detained at the police station in Gorazde.

The defendant meanwhile asked the court to end the restraining measures imposed on him because he has business obligations to deal with abroad in his job as the director of the public company Bosnia and Herzegovina Forests.

Also on Monday, while testifying at the trial of Sasa Savinovic, who is charged with committing crimes against humanity in the Mostar area in 1993, a prosecution witness said victims Nada Frenjo and the Kajtaz family were taken away from their apartment.

Witness Elvedina Abaza said she lived in Mostar with her family in 1993, and Nada Frenjo and the Kajtaz family used to live in the same building.

“I don’t know what happened to them. I know they said they were taken away from that apartment. A couple of days later somebody said they were killed,” Abaza told the court.

Savinovic, a former member of the Convicts Battalion – Benko Penavic anti-terrorist group of the Croatian Defence Council, is been charged participating in murders and the forcible resettlement of Bosniak civilians in the Mostar area from May 1993 until the end of 1993.

The indictment alleges that he and three other Croatian Defence Council members went into Nada Frenjo’s apartment on July 13, 1993 and took five people away.

One of them managed to escape, but the other four, among them a baby, were found dead.


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