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Indictment Change Delays Bugojno Detention Camp Trial

2. October 2013.00:00
Closing arguments at the trial of three men accused of abusing prisoners in a stadium in Bugojno were postponed after the Bosnian prosecution amended the indictment, five years after the trial began.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Prosecutor Slavica Terzic said on Wednesday that she had changed the indictment – first filed in December 2007 – just before the presentation of the closing arguments because she wanted the charges to “correspond to facts revealed during the trial” of Nisvet Gasal, Musajb Kukavica and Senad Dautovic.

The three men are accused of war crimes against Croat civilians and prisoners of war in the territory of Bugojno in central Bosnia in 1993 and 1994.

According to the indictment, Gasal and Kukavica were responsible for the functioning of a detention camp at the Iskra stadium, where over 300 Croat men were locked up in terrible conditions without enough food, water or medical aid.

Dautovic, the former head of the police station in Bugojno, is accused of illegal arrests and other crimes against prisoners of war in the town.

Explaining the changes in the indictment, Terzic said that “the only fundamental differences are that the character of the war was changed into an international one and in certain incidents, the criminal act was changed from a war crime against civilians to a crime against prisoners of war”.

The lawyers for defendants Gasal, Kukavica and Dautovic did not have time to look into the changed indictment and were given three days to offer their opinion on it, while the closing arguments were postponed for seven days.

In November 2011, Dautovic was sentenced to 13 years in prison and Gasal to six years, while Kukavica was acquitted, but the verdict was quashed last December and a retrial ordered.

The prosecution will now present its closing arguments on October 9.

Denis Džidić

This post is also available in: Bosnian