Bosnian Serb wartime fighter Sasa Cvetkovic appealed against his conviction for the murder of two elderly Roma women and the rape of two Bosniaks in the Srebrenica and Bratunac areas in 1992.
Sasa Cvetkovic’s defence on Monday launched an appeal at the Bosnian state court against the verdict that convicted the wartime fighter of killing two elderly Roma women in May 1992 and raping two Bosniaks, one of them a minor, in June 1992.
The defence called for a retrial or for a reduction in Cvetkovic’s 12-year sentence, which was handed down in March this year.
In its appeal, the defence said that the testimony of the only eyewitness to the murders of Mejra and Alaga Halilovic in the village of Sase in the Srebrenica municipality was inconsistent because he gave different statements about the place from which he saw the killings.
The defence also said that it put forward a witness who saw who committed the murder and said it was not Cvetkovic, but one of the paramilitary volunteer fighters who were in Sase at the time.
As for the rape of the minor in Bratunac, the defence also said the victim was not a credible witness because she was not consistent in her statements and gave three different versions of who participated in the rape.
Cvetkovic then addressed the court, saying he grew up with the eyewitness to the murders of the elderly Roma women and claiming that the two of them had had a fight. Cvetkovic also claimed that the eyewitness was an alcoholic.
Prosecutor Ivan Matesic accepted that in certain details, the minor who was raped at the age of 15 by four men was inconsistent in her statements over the years.
But, he added: “What all her statements have had in common since 1994 is Sasa Cvetkovic.”