Josip Kresic, a wartime Croatian Defence Council fighter who was on trial for crimes against civilian prisoners in the Stolac area in 1993, became the third defendant in the case to die before the final verdict.
Defendant Josip Kresic has died and was buried last week in Stolac, where his alleged wartime crimes were committed, his lawyer Nenad Gvozdic told BIRN.
He is the third defendant in the case to have died before a verdict was handed down, after the deaths of former co-defendants Mirko Raguz and Ivica Markovic.
In October last year, the Bosnian state court separated the case against Josip Kresic from the case against his remaining co-defendants Mile Pazin and Vid Kresic because of his illness.
Josip and Vid Kresic, both former members of the Croatian Defence Council, were accused of mentally and physically mistreating civilians who were being detained at the Kostana Hospital in Stolac.
Pazin was charged with illegally arresting and physically and mentally mistreating women, children and several men who were held prisoner at the Branko Sotra school in Crnici and then transferred to detention facilities in Djulici and Kaplan Mahala.
Around 20 war crimes indictees have died in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past five years before the final verdicts in their trials, while around ten other cases are at a standstill due to defendants’ poor health.