Nikacevic: Verdict due on February 17

10. February 2009.10:40
In its closing arguments the Defence of Miodrag Nikacevic calls on the Trial Chamber to acquit the defendant.

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Presenting its closing arguments, the Defence of Miodrag Nikacevic described the indictee as “a policeman, who did all he could to help civilians, irrespective of their ethnicity, in impossible conditions,” calling upon the Court to acquit him of all charges.

The Trial Chamber announced that the verdict would be released on February 17, 2009.

Miodrag Nikacevic, a former policeman from Foca, who is charged with the rape of two women in Foca in 1992, as well as the capture of one person, who was then taken to the Correctional Facility in Foca and subsequently disappeared.

Izet Bazdarevic, Nikacevic’s Defence attorney, described statements given by the two injured parties as “contradictory”, accusing them of testifying against the indictee “in order to get civil victim status and obtain benefits”.

“Both victims of the alleged rape reported the crime in 2007 for the first time. This means that the crime was reported 15 years after it had been committed. They reported the case to the Association of Women, War Victims, and not to prosecution bodies. They are now receiving an allowance from the authorities. It is possible that this actually motivated them to testify. Their credibility is therefore
questionable,” Bazdarevic said.

Nikacevic’s Defence said the indictee “protected” the two injured parties “in various ways” while they were in Foca in the course of the war, adding that, “for a certain period of time, they stayed in his apartment, together with other women, who were hiding. It is therefore not clear why he would have wanted to harm them”.

Commenting on the second count in the indictment, which charges Nikacevic with “unlawful capture and detention” of Rasim Klapuh, the Defence said that the indictee “was just executing orders”.

“Nikacevic was an ordinary policeman, who was mobilized during the course of the war. He therefore had to execute orders received from the military. All witnesses confirmed that Klepuh was alive and well when Nikacevic brought him to the Military Police Base. There was nothing he could do for him after that,” Bazdarevic said.

Nikacevic said he agreed with what his Defence attorney had said, expressing “a sincere regret for all victims of the past war”.

This post is also available in: Bosnian