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28 March 2014
News

Verdict for Ugljevik Camps on April 11

Boris Sekulic BIRN BiH Bijeljina

The District Court in Bijeljina would on April 11 pass a verdict to the accused of crimes committed in the Ugljenik prison camps.

In its closing argument, the prosecution asked that the defendants be found guilty, while the defence proposed acquittal.

The prosecutor, Nebojsa Jovanovic, emphasised that the prosecutor proved with physical evidence and witness testimonies that Ostoja Minic, as supervisors of guards in Ugljevik prison camps, saw and knew about prison abuse between May and June 1992, and did nothing to prevent it.

It was proven, he said, that other two defendants, Olivera Rodic and Velibor Popovic, beat up and physically and mentally abused prisoners.

“As everything was happening during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the defendants committed war crime against prisoners of war and they need to be convicted under the current Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” emphasised prosecutor Jovanovic.

Miodrag Stojanovic, defence lawyer of Minic and Rodic, pointed out that the prosecutor, by changing the indictment in the meantime, introduced legal vagueness to the whole process.

“The new indictment charges Ostoja Minic with command responsibility and not personal responsibility by changing elementary things on which complete prosecution and defence were based during the whole trial,” said Stojanovic.

Quoting witness statements, he said that they claimed his clients did not abuse them, and majority of them added they did not even know them.

He said that the defence presented evidence that Rodic was not even in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the said period.

Veselin Londrovic, lawyer of Popovic, pointed out that majority of witnesses that were cross-examined did not recognise his client.

He said there was mistaken identity on two occasions, after which, when confronted with the defendant, witnesses confirmed they did not know him and that they talked in their statements about “some other Velo”.
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