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3 November 2015
News

State Prosecution Gives Closing Statement at Odzak Rape Trial

Džana Brkanić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The state prosecution has called upon the state court to find Marijan Brnjic, Martin Barukcic, Pavo Glavas and Ilija Glavas guilty of wartime rape in the Odzak area in 1992.

Marijan Brnjic, Martin Barukcic, Pavo and Ilija Glavas, former members of the 102nd Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council, have been charged with the rape, assault, abuse, humiliation and intimidation of Serb women in the Odzak area.

Presenting his closing statement, prosecutor Miroslav Janjic described testimony given by state prosecution witnesses during the trial, and called upon the chamber to trust their stories. He said the testimony given by injured parties Milica Djekic and Ljubica Lesic were trustworthy, and described the manner in which they had been raped in detail.

“In her testimony, Ljubica Lesic said that while he was raping her, Martin Barukcic forced her to kiss a cross, saying that God would forgive him. Honorable court, God may forgive him, but, until such a time, this society is obliged to sanction him,” Janjic said. He said Lesic then went on to describe how Marijan Brnjic raped her.

Janjic said Ljubica Lesic’s testimony was confirmed by Smilja and Ostoja Ninkovic, who said they saw her on the following day in a bad state.

“The defendants took the two sisters away forcibly, separating them from their children, for two reasons: because they were unprotected Serb women, whose husbands were in a detention camp, and because they wanted to implement their inhumane acts,” Janjic said.

He also described testimony given by injured parties Milica Djekic and Zora Lesic, who said they were raped by all of the defendants. He also described testimony given by Vera Lesic, who said she was raped by Marijan Brnjic.

Janjic also described testimony given by injured party Joka Goranovic, who said she was raped by Barukcic. She identified Barukcic in the courtroom during the trial, and said he was her niece’s husband.

Janjic said the prosecution had proven the existence of an armed conflict in Odzak and that the defendants were members of the Croatian Defense Council. He said the victims were female civilians.

With regards to the defense witnesses, Janjic said the trial chamber shouldn’t trust the alibis they provided for the defendants.

“The defense teams have not devalued the prosecution’s evidence in any way,” Janjic said.

The presentation of closing statements by the defense teams is scheduled for November 10.

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