Jezik / Language:
8 April 2014

Long Jail Term Sought for Edin Dzeko

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The Bosnian State Prosecution, in its closing arguments, called for former Bosnian Army fighter Edin Dzeko to receive a long sentence for crimes committed against Bosnian Croats in Konjic and Jabhlanica in 1993.
Prosecutor Vesna Ilic said she had proved that Dzeko, a former member of the Zulfikar Unit of the Bosnian army, took part in killing Croat civilians on April 16, 1993 in Trusina and had committed other crimes in Jablanica later that year.

“The only conclusion the Trial Chamber can reach is that the defendant is guilty,” the prosecutor said, adding that there were no mitigating circumstances on behalf of Dzeko.

In her closing arguments, Ilic recalled witnesses who said that during the attack on Trusina, Dzeko killed an elderly couple and a woman before taking part in the execution of six prisoners.

She noted that Dzeko’s former co-fighter, Rasema Handanovic, had seen him kill the elderly couple - and she had also also taken part in executing prisoners. “She recalled that Dzeko had stood on her right when the executions happened,” Ilic said.

According to her, the defence had tried to discredit Handanovic, claiming that in fact she had killed the elderly couple.

Handanovic was jailed for five-and-a-half years after admitting taking part in the executions of six prisoners.

The prosecutor also reminded the judges of the statement of protected witness X, a former member of the Zulfikar unit, who recalled seeing Dzeko shoot a woman in the genitals.

Ilic said it was proven beyond doubt that Dzeko had also illegally detained, tortured and robbed Bosnian Croats in Jablanica in the second half of 1993.

She dismissed defence claims that Dzeko had only been a driver when three Croats were arrested - and that prosecution witnesses had mixed him up with another person, nicknamed Dzeki, and who was a member of the Handzar unit of the Bosnian army.

“The prosecution witnesses made no mistake in recognizing the defendant,” the prosecutor said.

Dzeko’s defence will present its final arguments on April 29.

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