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22 January 2015
News

Trial of Zelenika Postponed

Sanela Gakovic BIRN BiH Mostar
The Mostar Cantonal Court postpones the trial of Ivan Zelenika for crimes in Mostar, because his Defence attorney Branko Karadeglic fails to appear in court.
Slavko Pavlovic, Chairman of the Trial Chamber with the Cantonal Court in Mostar, said that Branko Karadeglic, Defence attorney of indictee Zelenika, had called him just before the hearing and informed him that he was not able to come, because he was sick.

“I do not have the reason not to believe the Defence attorney, but it is strange that, a few days prior to the hearing the indictee requested that the hearing be postponed. The indictee brought medical findings, indicating that he had troubles with his spine and neck and that he could not attend the hearing because of that. I did not consider that this could justify his absence. I even told his Defence attorney at that time that, if he failed to appear at the hearing, he would be ordered into custody. Therefore, it is possible that there is some agreement with the Defence attorney,” Pavlovic said.

Pavlovic postponed the trial until further notice, pointing out that he would have an official conversation with the Defence attorney and determine whether he was really sick or not.

Zelenika, former member of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, is charged with inhumane treatment and the mistreatment of Bosniak civilians in the Mostar area in 1993 and 1994. The State Prosecution originally filed the indictment against him, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, referred it to the Cantonal Court in Mostar for further processing.

Zelenika is on trial, in a separate case, before the Court of BiH, along with Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic, for crimes committed in Dretelj detention camp.

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