Jezik / Language:
30 November 2015

Djerahovic and Saric Found Not Guilty

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

The cantonal court of Zenica has found Sedjad Djerahovic and Jasmin Saric, both former members of the Bosnian Army, not guilty of war crimes.

Saric, a former officer, and Djerahovic, a former soldier, were charged with participating in the physical abuse of Andjelko Bozic and his sons, Nedeljko and Veseljko, in Bukovica in the municipality of Zenica on June 16, 1992. Andjelko Bozic was beaten to death, while his sons received severe injuries.

At today’s hearing, trial chamber chair Nermin Tesnjak said the indictment was based solely on the testimony of the injured parties, which the chamber found inconsistent and unconvincing. As a result, Tesnjak said, their testimony could not serve as the basis for a guilty verdict.

“When in doubt, the court acts in favour of the defendants,” Tesnjak said. He said the injured parties had changed their statements during the investigation and before the court, despite the short time span between the investigation and the trial.

Tesnjak said the trial chamber didn’t doubt that the Bozic family had been abducted and mistreated, but said the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendants were responsible.

Tesnjak said the prosecution didn’t offer evidence indicating the existence of an armed conflict in the area at the time, a factor needed to classify the crime as a war crime.

The verdict can be appealed at the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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