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Verdict against Brkan Due December 6

29. November 2013.00:00
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina calls on the State Court to sentence Osman Brkan for the murder of four old women in Blace village, Konjic municipality, while the Defence says that a verdict of release would be the only fair decision.

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“The Prosecution considers that Osman Brkan is guilty of having committed the murders as an accomplice. Punish him and sentence him in accordance with the law,” Prosecutor Sanja Jukic said, presenting her closing statement.

She said that none of the witnesses, except Seho Macic, wanted to speak about the crime that happened in Blace in June 1992. She said that, when his “conscience came into play”, the witness said that Brkan “opened a burst of fire towards the grandmothers”. 

“When you have a witness, who was on the same conflicting side as the indictee, of the same ethnicity as him and member of the same military unit, you have no reason not to believe him,” the Prosecutor said, adding that there was no reason not to believe that witness. 

Osman Brkan and Ibro Macic are charged with having killed four old Serb ladies in Blace village in June 1992. According to the charges, Macic opened fire first and Brkan followed. The bodies of the killed women have still not been found. Brkan and Macic were originally on trial together, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina separated the cases in November this year. 

Presenting its closing statement, the Defence said that the crime committed in Blace had been concealed for years and that many people on senior positions knew about it. Dusko Tomic, Defence attorney of Brkan, said that the indictee did not commit the murders and that witness Seho Macic testified as he was told to. 

“Why has Konjic been silent about this for 20 years? Seho Macic is not the first one who has spoken about it. He just turned the investigation into a wrong direction. Osman is alone, so it was easy to point a finger at him,” Tomic said.

The Defence reminded the Court that Seho Macic’s testimony was different from all other witnesses’ testimonies and that even witness’ brother Salko said that he had not seen the indictee in the house in which the old ladies had been killed. 

“I am convinced that Brkan is not a war criminal, but if you think he is, you will have to live with your conscience,” Tomic told the Trial Chamber. 

Prior to presenting its closing statement, the Defence examined its last witness Sevko Macic, who said that he was in a group of people, who came to Blace village. The witness said that they saw soldiers in the vicinity of the village.

“Some time later I heard rumours in the village that some old women had been killed in Blace,” he said.

When asked by Prosecutor Jukic why he said during the investigation that he had never heard that a crime had been committed in that village, the witness said: “I did not hear about any crimes. I only heard that some old women were killed”. 

The Defence completed the presentation of evidence by introducing 11 pieces of material evidence. 

The Trial Chamber is due to pronounce the first instance verdict on December 6. 

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian