Jezik / Language:
1 June 2012

Zecevic et al: Long Term Imprisonment Requested

Presenting its closing statement at the trial for crimes at Koricanske stijene, the State Prosecution says that most of the escorts in the convoy of civilians, who were traveling from Prijedor to Travnik on August 21, 1992, knew about the plan to execute murders.
State Prosecutor Slavica Terzic said that she was “convinced, more than ever”, that indictees Sasa Zecevic, Radoslav Knezevic, Petar Civcic, Branko Topola and Marinko Ljepoja participated in the robbing of civilians and killing of about 200 men, who had been separated from other convoy passengers.

She called on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to pronounce long term imprisonment sentences against them, due to the “horrible crime”, as she called it. The Prosecutor explained why none of the escorts, including the indictees, spoke about the order to commit murders during the trip.

“Everything was agreed upon in advance. The perpetrators were members of a well-established team and knew what they had to do,” the Prosecutor said.
According to the charges, Zecevic, Knezevic, Civcic and Ljepoja were policemen with the Interventions Squad of the Public Safety Station in Prijedor and Topola was a guard in Trnopolje detention camp.  

“The Interventions Squad was the key element of the joint criminal enterprise, which executed the persecution,” the Prosecutor said, adding that thousands of Prijedor residents were detained in Omarska, Trnopolje and Keraterm detention camps.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that it had proved that about 200 able-bodied men were separated from the convoy on Mount Vlasic, loaded into two buses, transported to Koricanske stijene, lined up on the side of a pit and shot.

“The murdered individuals had the right to live, to have families and watch their children grow. They were deprived of their right in their best years,” the Prosecutor said, pointing out that the fact that the killed people were not Serbs was their “only sin”.

Terzic invited Damir Ivankovic, former member of the Interventions Squad, to testify. After having admitted guilt Ivankovic was sentenced to 14 years in prison.  

In his statement, which the Prosecutor paraphrased in the courtroom, Ivankovic said that, following the murders, the members of the Interventions Squad and indictee Topola went to a café in Knezevo, where some of them bragged about “the shooting and killing”.

The Defence of Zecevic and Knezevic are due to present their closing statements on Thursday, June 7 this year.
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