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Koricanske Stijene Verdict on February 15

25. January 2013.00:00
The Appeals chamber of the Bosnian State court will render its verdict at the trialof the four ex-policemen from Republika Srpska charged with murdering more than 150 Bosniak civilians on Koricanske Stijene, near Mount Vlasic.

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The Defence team of two defendants Zeljko Stojnic and Dusan Jankovic presented closing arguments at this hearing, and both asked for a not guilty verdict, claiming that the Prosecution had failed to present sufficient evidence.

Jankovic and Stojnic also gave their closing statements, claiming they were innocent. They said they were collateral damage, because those responsible for the killings were either dead or on the run. The defendants paid their homage to the families of the victims.

“The mere fact that my conscious is clear gave me strength to live through this suffering and still believe in justice. I was collateral damage throughout the war and my only satisfaction would be a not guilty verdict”, said Jankovic.

Ranko Dakic, Jankovic’s lawyer, said that representatives of the State Investigation and Protection Agency pressured witnesses Luka Gnjatovic and Vitomir Lakic, who said that Jankovic was in the convoy. Both men testified in the retrial that their testimonies were given under pressure.

On December 21, 2010, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed the first instance verdict by which former policemen Zoran Babic and Milorad Skrbic, were sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment, and Zeljko Stojnic, to 15 years in prison, for the murder of more than 150 Bosniak and Croat male civilians at Koricanske Stijene on August 21, 1992.?By the same verdict, Dusan Jankovic, their commander, was found guilty of having ordered the murders and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

However, this verdict was quashed and a retrial ordered.

Senad Kreho, who is defending Stojnic, said the prosecution did not present evidence on the alleged guilt of his client, and highlight the Defence only sees one possible outcome – which is a not guilty verdict.

Kreho added that witnesses saw Stojnic at the final destination of the convoy which carried the victims, and that other witnesses who said he was present at the crime scene were lying, which is clear through the inconsistencies in their statements.

“I am sorry for the crime. I express my deepest regret to the families, but if you convict me for this, it will not be justice and will not help reconciliation. I did not take part in the crime and I have faith that you will review the evidence and find me innocent”, said Stojnic.

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This post is also available in: Bosnian