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Kravica: Crime Committed “In Rage”

23. January 2008.00:00
A Court expert examined by Defence attorneys representing 11 indictees has stressed that one of the accused was suffering the "affect of rage" when he took part in the shooting of Bosniaks in July 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Court expert Ratko Kovacevic, a psychiatrist invited by indictee Petar Mitrovic’s Defence team, has spoken about the indictee’s mental condition and “his low intellectual capabilities”.

Kovacevic told the Court that Mitrovic was “in the affects of rage” when he took part in the shooting of Bosniaks in Kravica village during 1995.

“Prior to the execution of the crime he was extremely affected by the death of his friend, as well as the overall situation at that time. Bearing in mind his condition and capabilities, he was not able to understand or participate in the design of the plan mentioned in the indictment,” said Kovacevic.

The Prosecution of BiH charges Mitrovic and 10 other former members of the Republika Srpska Army with genocide and shooting of about 1,000 Srebrenica inhabitants in Kravica village in July 1995. The indictment alleges that all 11 persons deliberately took part in a joint criminal enterprise, thus taking part in the genocide.

During an examination lasting nearly five hours, Kovacevic said that Mitrovic was “a moron, whose level of intelligence is below average”, and said that the indictee needed psychiatric treatment.

“Our examinations show that Mitrovic’s intellectual capabilities and thinking process are modest, his emotions are unstable and that he is inclined to impulsive and aggressive behaviour. He has been handicapped since early childhood, and this was caused by poor conditions for his development,” Kovacevic claimed.

The Court expert also pointed to a “substantive disproportion” between Mitrovic’s capability to express himself and the contents of the statements he gave to the relevant authorities, as “his vocabulary is poor”, while the sentences used in his statements are “longer and more complex”.

During cross-examination, Kovacevic said that Mitrovic is “submissive to suggestions and manipulations” and that, since his childhood, “he has been an imbecile and intellectually and mentally underdeveloped”.

“His life confirms his imbecility. In his childhood he was exposed to poor and non-stimulating development, as his father was an alcoholic, so he was not able to adopt positive moral norms of behaviour,” said Kovacevic.

Kovacevic said that, during a psychiatric examination conducted in the Detention Unit in November 2007, Mitrovic kept repeating that he was “forced to go to the war and that he did not kill anyone”.

The Defence teams of the 11 indictees laughed during the examination of the court expert, leading Trial Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic to insist that they “behave in a decent manner while in the courtroom”.

The trial is due to continue on Thursday, January 24.

This post is also available in: Bosnian