Jezik / Language:
11 May 2015

Court Expert Describes Trauma of Injured Party in Savic Trial

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A medical court expert testifying at the Slavko Savic trial said the injured party in the case suffers from a severe form of depression, and that her ability to lead a normal life was reduced by 25 percent due to the sexual assault she endured.

The Bosnian state prosecution has charged Slavko Savic, a former member of the Light Infantry Brigade with the Bosnian Serb Army, with the rape of a woman in Semizovac, in the municipality of Vogosca, in May and June 1993.

Psychiatrist Alma Bravo-Mehmedbasic said that based on her conversations with the injured party, her rape was the worst trauma she’d experienced.

“The injured party lives alone. She receives a pension. She lost two family members during the war...She was in occupied territory the entire time and didn’t have any support,” said Bravo-Mehmedbasic.

The injured party testified at the trial under the pseudonym “A.”

Bravo-Mehmedbasic said A’s medical treatment began in 2008.

“I have registered permanent personality changes due to previous post-traumatic stress. She [A] has physical symptoms and a change of sexual identity as a result of the sexual torture [she endured],” Bravo-Mehmedbasic said.

She said A previously had an alcohol abuse problem, but that she currently abstains from drinking and is on medication.

Bravo-Mehmedbasic said A had lost her self-respect, felt her body had less worth, that her relationships had changed, and that she felt stigmatized.

The findings were presented as per a request by the injured party’s authorized legal representatives, with the aim of fulfilling a property and legal claim.

A’s authorized legal representative, Nedzla Sehic, said she would comment on the claim at a later stage.

When asked by Sehic if there was a difference between being raped in peace and wartime, Bravo-Mehmedbasic said one could make a distinction between the two.

“Rape during war represents sexual aggression and is planned in advance in order to achieve war goals,” Bravo-Mehmedbasic said.

In response to questions by the defense, Bravo-Mehmedbasic said that based on a statement given by the injured party, she determined that she had been raped and that she hadn’t previously met the witness.

Bravo-Mehmedbasic also said there was no data indicating that the injured party had experienced trauma before the war. When asked whether she could have forgotten being raped by another person, Bravo-Mehmedbasic said this wasn’t possible.

The defense presented material evidence on military tasks assigned to the defendant during the war, as well as documents which attempted to disprove A’s allegations that she was required to perform civil duties during the war.

The presentation of closing statements is scheduled for May 25.

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