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5 July 2013
News

Trial of Brkan and Macic Begins

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The trial of Osman Brkan and Ibro Macic, former members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, who are charged with crimes against civilians in the Konjic area, begins with reading of the indictment and presentation of introductory statements. 

Presenting its introductory statement, the Prosecution announced that it would prove the indictees’ guilt for four murders and Macic’s guilt for mistreatment of prisoners in Konjic in 1993 by examining 50 witnesses and a few court experts. 
 
Within its introductory statement the Prosecution played a recording made in Blace village, where, according to the charges, Brkan and Macic killed four Serb old women, whose bodies have still not been found, in June 1992. 

Prosecutor Sanja Jukic mentioned that the house in which the old women lived was the only one which had not been burnt down and that, due to their old age and dependence they were not able to leave the village.
 
Besides that, Ibro Macic is charged, under seven counts, with inhumane treatment and mistreatment of prisoners in “Musala” school building in Konjic from April to October 1993.
 
Among other things, the indictment alleges that Macic mistreated prisoners Radovan Stanic, Ivan Djalto, witness S and Zdravko Knezevic in a cruel manner.
 
“Macic, who was accompanied by other ABiH members, ordered them to put genitals into their mouth, kneel down and put their genitals into each other’s anuses. As they were not able to do it, because they were not sexually potent, they set their genitals on fire,” Prosecutor Jukic said.
 
Presenting his introductory statement, Dusko Tomic, Defence attorney of indictee Osman Brkan, said that he would prove the truth about the crimes in Blace village and that the crimes were “imputed” to the indictees.
 
“ABiH documents, as well as HVO files, indicate that the crime had been known about much before.

Also, it was know who had ordered it. The unit, whose members the indictees were, was led by Mirsad Fisic, also known as Kolumbo. They were told that not even a chicken should stay alive in Blace,” Tomic said.
 
While claiming that his client did not participate in the crime, Tomic said that a soldier began shooting first and that first State Prosecution witness Seho Macic then opened burst fire at the old women, who were then “finished” by a Kolumbo.
 
The attorney said that the then commanders still caused fear among the local residents in Konjic and that Brkan himself trembled when their names were mentioned.
 
The Defence of indictee Ibro Macic will present its introductory statement once the Prosecution has completed the presentation of its evidence.
 
First Prosecution witness is due to appear in court on July 12.

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