The prosecution urged the Bosnian state court to convict former local police chiefs Ibro Merkez, Predrag Bogunic and Esef Huric of unlawfully detaining, abusing and killing Serb civilians in Gorazde in 1992 and 1993.
In its closing statement at the state court in Sarajevo on Thursday, the prosecution said it had proved that former police officers Ibro Merkez, Predrag Bogunic and Esef Huric were guilty of unlawful detention, murder, inhumane treatment and the deprivation of the right to a fair trial between July 1992 and February 1993.
Prosecutor Marijana Cobovic cited witnesses’ testimonies which recalled the detention of Serb civilians from the villages of Bucje and Gorazde without any court proceedings or justified security reasons.
She said it had been proved that Merkez, in his capacity as chief of the Public Security Station in Gorazde, accepted an unlawful order issued by the Bosnian Serb war presidency in July 1992 and chose a space where around 100 civilian detainees would be accommodated.
Cobovic told the court that it had been proved that Bogunic then became the de facto chief of the Public Security Station in Gorazde from September 1992, while Huric was the commander of the local police station.
The prosecutor said the Serb civilians were detained at the Public Security Station and in four apartments for several months.
Witnesses testified that they were “packed like sardines”, relieved themselves inside the cell, did not bathe for six months, that some infectious diseases appeared and some of them lost up to 45 kilogrammes, she continued.
According to the prosecutor, an elderly prisoner called Bozo Krstovic died due to the consequences of his detention.
Cobovic said that the civilians who were detained in the apartments heard that Merkez would not allow them to go to the basement during shelling, and sent word that he “would come, tie them to the balcony and let their own men kill them”.
“It is true that local residents of Gorazde lived under difficult conditions, but the detained civilians were in a much worse situation,” she added.
The defence teams will present their closing statements on July 25.