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Ignjacije Dodik, Chairman of the Trial Chamber of the Supreme Court of FBiH, said that Hakalovic was acquitted of the charges, because there was no evidence that he committed war crimes against the civilian population.
Judge Dodik said that Hakalovic was acquitted of the charges that he came to Jela Rajic’s house in the early morning on March 23, 1993 and fired a burst of bullets from an automatic gun, killing Zvonimir Djopa and wounding Jela Rajic.
“It has been determined without doubt that Zvonimir Djopa and Miro Rajic were members of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, since they were armed and dressed in military uniforms. They did not have the status of civilians. Jela Rajic too was member of the Army. She has the status of a military disabled person (RVI). Two HVO members, one of whom opened fire, stayed at her place,” Dodik said.
Dodik said that Hakalovic was acquitted of the charges that he unlawfully detained Jela Rajic’s sons in the house basement, given the fact that no appeal had been filed concerning that part of the verdict of release
pronounced by the Mostar Cantonal Court.
On September 24 last year, the Cantonal Court in Mostar acquitted Hakalovic of the charges that he deprived one person of his life and wounded another person in Gostovici village on March 23, 1993.
The Prosecution of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton appealed the verdict passed down by the Cantonal Court in Mostar. In March this year the Supreme Court of FBiH accepted the appeal, revoked the verdict and ordered a new trial.
The retrial that was held before the Supreme Court’s Chamber, composed of judge Ignjacije Dodik as Chairman and Ljiljana Filipovic and Zorica Gogala as members, began on October 4 this year.
Chairman Dodik said that the Supreme Court’s Chamber did not have an opportunity to examine Prosecution witnesses, because they refused to appear before the Court, so the statements they gave before the Mostar Cantonal Court were read in the courtroom.