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Sarajevo Serb ‘Didn’t Commit Crimes Against Humanity’

30. October 2013.00:00
Former soldier Zoran Dragicevic, on trial for a series of alleged war crimes in the Bosnian capital, did not deport, jail or torture anyone, argued his lawyer.

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Dragicevic’s defence lawyer said in his closing argument before the Sarajevo court on Wednesday that it had not been proven that he was responsible for rape and beatings and that he could not be convicted of crimes against humanity.“There are no deportations, imprisonments, torture or permanent consequences for a large number of people, which means this is not a crime against humanity,” said the lawyer, Dusko Tomic.He said that the evidence had confirmed that Dragicevic did not beat anyone up when he went to two of the trial witnesses’ apartment in Sarajevo with another Bosnian Serb fighter, Veselin ‘Batko’ Valhovic, who was convicted of war crimes and jailed for 45 years earlier this year.“I asked him what he was doing with Batko, and he told me he went to see what would happen and to make sure Batko would not kill those people. He confessed to being there, and I told him he would suffer the consequences for it,” said the lawyer.Tomic said it had also not been proven that Dragicevic beat up a man called Enes Coho.“My client admitted to being in the building when Coho was brought in, but he did not beat him up and no one saw him do it,” said the lawyer.On the rape charge, Tomic said that the witness did not mention rape in her deposition from 1995, but started mentioning it several years later when examined by the prosecution.He also emphasised that the witness did not testify that she was treated roughly by Dragicevic when the alleged rape took place.“Honourable court, I don’t know of any rape without roughness. In her statement from 1995, she says that when she came to the apartment, he did not tell her anything, she does not know whether she took her clothes off, she does not remember… what kind of statement is that? This woman sinned against my client,” said Tomic. He also said that his client’s right to a fair trial had been violated.“There was a ruling to transfer this case from a cantonal court to the state court, where in the beginning the criminal act was qualified as crime against the civilian population. We have not received that decision officially, so we could not appeal against it, which is not in accordance with the law,” said Tomic.The verdict is scheduled for November 22.

Mirna Buljugić

This post is also available in: Bosnian