Jezik / Language:
9 September 2015

Prosecution Presents Closing Statement at Eniz Basic Trial

Dženana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

Presenting its closing statement, the cantonal prosecution of Zenica called for a guilty verdict in the Eniz Basic trial.

The prosecution has charged Basic, a former member of the Bosnian Army, with having abducted civilians Mirko Letic and Luka Sestan from their house in the village of Vardiste in April 1993, without authorization. Their charred bodies were found a few days later.

Cantonal prosecutor Amra Ahmetlic said the testimony of witnesses who saw their family members being taken away by the defendant was “persuasive, complementary and clear.”

“The defendant’s claim that he did not know any of the witnesses and injured parties is impossible, because they were all local residents who knew each other,” Ahmetlic said.

Ahmetlic said two passersby and a witness standing approximately 100 meters away also saw the defendant removing Mirko Letic and Luka Sestan from their home.

Ahmetlic said discrepancies between statements given by the defendant and the witnesses during the investigation and the trial were obvious. Ahmetlic said there were claims the defendant had an automatic rifle, but this was denied later on. According to Ahmetlic, the defendant’s brother and neighbour clumsily tried to protect him by claiming their statements during the investigation were somehow incorrectly attributed to them.

Ahmetlic said Basic was aware of the fact that he was acting illegally, particularly since as a police officer, he would have been aware the local wartime presidency’s policy of returning the local population.

Ahmetlic asked the trial chamber whether they would have felt humiliated and afraid if an armed person had handcuffed them and taken them away in front of their family during wartime.

The defense reacted to this statement, claiming Ahmetlic was putting pressure on the trial chamber.

The defense will present its closing statement on September 30.

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