Jezik / Language:
22 February 2008

Rasevic and Todovic: Prosecution presents closing arguments

The State Prosecution of  Bosnia and Herzegovina has asked the Trial Chamber not to consider any mitigating circumstances when it announces its verdict against Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic.
The State Prosecution urged a long imprisonment sentence for the two,who are charged with crimes committed against prisoners detained in the Foca Correctional Facility.

On the basis of the statements given by witnesses examined during the trial, Prosecutor Vesna Ilic said that the presented evidence represented a "reliable basis" for proving to the Trial Chamber that the indictees are guilty "beyond any reasonable doubt."

"The indictees are charged with having prosecuted people by torturing,detaining, forcible relocating, killing and treating them in an inhumane manner. Their actions fully correspond to the mentioned forms of behaviour. The survivors testified about it, in their own names and in the name of those who are no longer with us," Ilic said.

"The witnesses explicitly said that, to them, the Facility was a detention camp, to which they were brought without being guilty of anything. They did not know why they were detained for three months,six months, two years," Ilic said.

The Prosecution considers that the indictees were aware of the broad and systematic attack conducted on the territory of Foca. It claims that the indictees' actions were "part of that attack." In addition,the Prosecution considers that they were responsible for the acts committed by their subordinates.

"We claim, and we have proved it, that the indictees knew that civilians were brought to the Facility. Not one of the 700 people was tried. They knew they were kept there for being Muslims, but they forgot that they were also humans. They knew what the conditions in the Facility were like. If not, why did Rasevic give them soap, powdered milk or cigarettes? Why did he have to give them medication, if they already received good quality medical assistance?" the Prosecutor asked in her closing arguments.

The Prosecution also insisted on the allegation that the Facility was not under the jurisdiction of the Army, which it proved through the conclusions of the meeting of the Republika Srpska Ministry of Justice Working Group held in Foca in 1992. The conclusions indicate that the Ministry "was and would continue to be" responsible for the Facility.

The Prosecutor said several times that Rasevic and Todovic knew what was happening in the detention camp. She asked the Trial Chamber not to consider one single mitigating circumstance, adding that the 700 detainees in the detention camp did not have any mitigating circumstances either.

"Savo Todovic claims that 450 prisoners were held in the Facility at some stage. If it was only one, it would have been too much, as they were brought there only because they were Muslims," Ilic said.

The Defence and the indictees are due to present their closing arguments on February 25. The Trial Chamber announced that it would announce its verdict three days later.
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