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3 December 2013
News

Military Police Chief Babic Awaits Verdict

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The Defence of Savo Babic, on trial for crimes committed in Bratunac, said in its closing arguments that the court should render a not guilty verdict since the 'wrong man is on trial'.
Petko Pavlovic said he was happy the trial was coming to an end, as justice would finally be done to his client, Babic.

“The indictment is against the wrong man altogether, so the only possible verdict is a not guilty one,” said Pavlovic.

He said that the credibility of the Prosecution witnesses had been brought into question.

“Many were prepared to lie and some changed their statements many times,” Pavlovic said, noting that many witnesses didn’t even mention Babic.

The Prosecution charges Babic with taking part in crimes against Bosniak civilians in the Vuk Karadzic Elementary School in Bratunac in May 1992. According to the indictment, around 400 civilians were tortured there, and dozens died as a result.

“It was not proven that Babic was camp commander, or that he had control over prisoners in the school; it was not proven he was member of the Crisis Committee, or that he took part in the persecution of non-Serb civilians,” Pavlovic said.

According to the lawyer, Babic did not know about the “alleged systematic and widespread attack on Bosniak civilians.

"Babic was not a member of a political party, and he never showed hatred toward Muslims or Croats. My client strictly abided by the law and had a lot of problem with volunteers,” Pavlovic said.

Babic thanked the Trial chamber and his lawyer.

“I am sorry for all the victims and their suffering. I know how they feel because I’ve been through it all,” he said.

Bosnia's State Prosecution in its closing arguments on Monday said that Babic should be found guilty for crimes against Bosniaks in Bratunac.

The verdict will be rendered on December 18.
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