Verdict against Dzeko at Beginning of June
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The verdict against Edin Dzeko, who is charged with crimes against Croats in Trusina village, near Konjic and Jablanica, is due to be pronounced on June 6, the Trial Chamber announced following the presentation of the Defence’s closing statement.
Defence attorney Vasvija Vidovic called for a verdict of release,because she considered that the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina,BiH, had not proved that Dzeko, former member of the “Zulfikar” Special Purposes Squad of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, was guilty.
On the third day of presentation of its closing statement the Defence analysed the evidence pertaining to crimes committed in Jablanica.
According to the charges, in September 1993 Dzeko ordered three comrades to beat witness J-2 using wooden bars and concrete blocks and put a barrel filled with water to the top of his head, telling them: “Kill him, kill him!”
This happened within the Rogica houses complex in Donja Jablanica, where the “Zulfikar” Squad’s base was situated at that time.
Testifying at the trial, witness J-2 said that the abuse began when one of the soldiers said: “Dzeko, this is that man.”
According to Defence attorney Vidovic, the description provided by the witness did not match Dzeko. As she explained, the witness said that the indictee was shorter than him and that he had a hat.
“Dzeko is significantly taller than him. He has never worn a hat. This was confirmed by numerous witnesses,” she said.
Vidovic said that the witnesses said that Dzeki, former Commander of “Handzar” Division, which was situated in Rogica houses as well,wore a hat.
“He simply mixed them up,” she said, adding that “the difference between Dzeko and Dzeko was very small”.
The indictment alleges that in September 1993 Dzeko took witness Mirko Zelenika out of a silo within the Rogica houses complex and took him to Jablanica, where he forced him, while threatening him that he would kill him, to take 3,500 Marks from acquaintances and relatives, saying that this was the price of his life, and hand the money over to him, which the witness did.
The Defence said that Zelenika had not spoken about this until Dzeko was extradited from the United States of America in late 2011, although he “spoke about his detention in Jablanica on many occasions.”
“None of the witnesses confirmed Mirko Zelenika’s testimony,” Vidovic said, adding that some of the witnesses “just retold what they had heard from Zelenika”.
“Extremely contradictory and inconsistent” – those were the words Vidovic used to describe testimonies by witnesses, who spoke about the count, under which Dzeko, who was accompanied by Nihad Bojadzic, is charged with having ordered detainees to line up in front of “Prenj” restaurant, near the Squad Base, while grenades were falling around them, and shouted: “If you move, we shall kill you. If you do not move, let the Croatian Defence Council kill you.”
“None of the elements has been factually proved by the Prosecution,” she said.