Jezik / Language:
26 August 2015

Perica Adzic Verdict Appealed

Marija Tausan BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Adzic’s defense attorney called upon the Supreme Court to repeal his client’s sentence, claiming that his client hadn’t committed a war crime.
Adzic, a former member of the Croatian Defense Council, was found guilty of attacking wounded and sick patients in Zepce. In June 1993, Advic entered a classroom where wounded and sick patients were sheltered. He wounded patient Nermin Purak and tortured other patients by breaking their infusion bottles and putting a hot rifle barrel on their bodies.

Adzic’s defense called upon the Supreme Court to either repeal or revise the first instance verdict handed down by the cantonal court of Zenica in October 2014, or to acquit Adzic of the charges completely. The state prosecution advised the Supreme Court to reject the appeal and confirm the first instance verdict.

“Not every crime committed during war is a war crime. This is the case here. We are not denying that Adzic wounded Purak, but he didn’t do it on a discriminatory basis, but as an act of revenge, because Purak had previously wounded him,” defense attorney Kresimir Zubak said.

Zubak said Adzic wounded Purak in the same part of the body he’d been wounded in – between the shoulders and neck.

Zubak said the statute of limitations had passed in this case if the court were to determine that no elements of a war crime were present.

“If you think that a war crime was committed in this case, you should bear in mind that Adzic was a minor when the war began and that he committed the crime in a state of irritation,” Zubak sad.

State prosecutor Munib Halilovic disagreed on the importance of proving whether Adzic was aware that his actions represented a violation of international humanitarian law.

“It’s important he was aware that the action he committed was illegal,” Halilovic said.

According to Halilovic, Adzic’s crime contained all the elements of a war crime.

“The actions taken were in direct relation to wartime happenings. The wounded man was a member of the opponent side,” Halilovic said.

The Supreme Court will render a decision at a later stage.

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