This post is also available in: Bosnian
Veselin Vlahovic, alias ‘Batko’, has appealed against his lengthy sentence for a campaign of murder, rape, torture and robbery against Bosniaks and Croats in Sarajevo in 1992.
Lawyers for Vlahovic, who was given Bosnia’s longest-ever prison term for war crimes, asked on Wednesday for a lighter sentence or a retrial for the man dubbed the ‘Monster of Grbavica’ by the media for his violent campaign in the Sarajevo suburbs during the conflict.
The Bosnian state court last year found Vlahovic guilty of 60 different crimes including 35 murders and 11 rapes, as well as torture, imprisonment and looting in the Kovacici, Vraca and Grbavica neigbourhoods of Sarajevo while he was serving with Bosnian Serb paramilitary units.
But his defence lawyer Radivoje Lazarevic said that his client did not have a fair trial and the facts were not properly established.
“We had problems with evidence and witnesses. When we proposed the list of 20 witnesses to the trial chamber, the judges refused seven, arguing they were not direct witnesses,” said Lazaravic.
He also said that the prosecution did not provide all the evidence to the defence.
Vlahovic meantime denied his guilt, arguing that there were no witnesses who could confirm that he was direct perpetrator of the crimes.
But the state prosecution asked the court to uphold the sentence and also convict Vlahovic of charges of which he was acquitted at the first trial.
Prosecutor Behaja Krnjic said that the trial chamber had enough evidence for convictions on all charges, including the killing of a married couple, Gorusanin and Nihad Jazic.
No date has yet been set for a decision on the appeals.