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Local Justice – Jarak: Verdict on June 21

15. June 2012.00:00
Following the presentation of closing statements by the Prosecution and Defence at the trial of Vlatko Jarak for crimes in Stolac, the Mostar Cantonal Court schedules the pronouncement of a verdict for June 21 this year.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Presenting her closing statement, Prosecutor Sabina Beganovic said that the Prosecution proved that Jarak was member of the Croatian Defence Council, HVP and that he committed crimes against civilians.

“We have heard witnesses’ statements, which prove that the indictee was the first ring in a chain, leading to accomplishment of the final goal, because he planned incriminated actions against captured Bosniak civilians, so they would be detained in detention camps. I propose to the Court to pronounce the indictee guilty,” Beganovic said.

Defence attorney Branko Karadeglic proposed to the Cantonal Court to pass down a verdict of release and let the indictee live with his conscience.

“We consider that the evidence is unclear and that the actions described in the indictment cannot be classified as crime against civilians. For instance, none of the indictees confirmed that indictee Jarak knew that prisoners would be taken to detention camps,” he said.

The Prosecution in Mostar charges Jarak with having participated in the forcible resettlement and unlawful detention of Bosniaks from the Stolac area in July and August 1993. According to the charges, Jarak ordered HVO members to tie the hands of three Bosniak civilians with barbed wire. After that they took them to Kostana Hospital in Stolac.

Besides that, Jarak is charged with having participated in the forcible resettlement of the Bosniak population to Blagaj, taking of civilians out of their houses and transportation of the civilians to the school centre and “TGA” factory complex in Stolac during August 1993.

Prior to the presentation of its closing statement, the Cantonal Prosecution examined witness Mustafa Avdic, who said that members of HVO began persecuting the Bosniak population in the Stolac area on July 1, 1993.

“As I was going back from work in Stolac, I saw that soldiers were conducting mass arrests of Bosniaks. I decided not to surrender, but hid in a small forest in Osanici. I was accompanied by my brother Dzevad and neighbour Maid Rudic,” Avdic said.

According to Avdic, they stayed in the woods until July 16, 1993, when they were found and arrested.

“I saw three armed soldiers, whom I knew. I decided to surrender. Jarak was one of them. When they approached us, I came out of our shelter, holding my rifle pointed to the ground. As I knew Jarak better than the others, I told him: ‘Here we are. We are surrendering’. Vlatko then began cursing our mothers,” Avdic said.

The witness said that Jarak then tied them with barbed wire and hit him on his shoulder with a rifle butt.

Avdic said that he was taken, along with his brother and Maid Rudic, to the house of a certain Vlatko Raguz and then to Kostana Hospital.

This post is also available in: Bosnian