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9 March 2016
News

Verdict in Vojic and Mesic Trial Scheduled for March 16

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The defense of Adil Vojic and Bekir Mesic, charged with wartime rape in Bihac, called upon the court to hand down an acquittal in their case. The state court has scheduled the verdict for March 16.

Vojic and Mesic, former members of the 501st Brigade of the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Army, have been charged with raping a woman in the Bihac area on the night of May 1 or 2, 1994, as well as forcing another person to rape her.

Presenting his closing statements, Fadil Abaz, Vojic’s defense attorney, said there were big contradictions between statements given by injured party D-1.

“When the memory of the witness was the freshest, she didn’t determine the identity of her rapists. She didn’t even mention defendants Adil Vojic and Bekir Mesic,” Abaz said. He said D-1’s statement was given to military police in 1994.

Abaz pointed out differences between statements given by Boro Borcic. He said Borcic changed a statement regarding the number of person who entered the house almost entirely, as well as the identity of the persons who forced him to rape D-1.

“After having conducted a detailed analysis of the statements given by D-1 and Boro Borcic, the defense determined they were contradictory in terms of certain facts...Apart from these two testimonies, no other evidence presented confirmed that the injured party was raped and particularly that Vojic committed the crime,” Abaz said.

Abaz also commented on the legal process conducted before the District Court Martial in Bihac, in which the defendants were found guilty of violent behaviour. He said a court expert at the time determined that the injured party had received light bodily injuries, but didn’t determine that she had been raped.

Kenan Ademovic, Mesic’s defense attorney, asked how evidence in the case could have possibly been lost or disappeared. This includes, among other documents, a confirmation of D-1’s gynaecological examination, material evidence proving that she was not raped, as well as D’1’s examination.

Ademovic said other men should have been accused as well. “In its closing statement, the prosecution directly accused the district court of Bihac, saying everyone knew about it and concealed it,” Ademovic said.

“The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina directly accused the local hospital for refusing to treat D-1. Why haven’t you accused them?” Ademovic asked.

Ademovic said that a day after D-1’s alleged rape, her son didn’t mention anything about from the fact that she had been beaten.

Nedzla Sehic, D-1’s legal representative, also addressed the trial chamber. She said D-1’s ability to live a normal life was reduced by 60 percent due to the trauma she endured. Sehic has also filed a property and legal claim on D-1’s behalf.

“I propose that you pronounce a fair verdict that will represent at least partial satisfaction to the injured party,” Sehic said.

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