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Verdict of Conviction against Edin Dzeko Appealed

4. December 2014.00:00
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, and Defence present their appeals, before the Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH, against a first instance verdict, under which Edin Dzeko was sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes in Trusina village, Konjic municipality.

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Prosecutor Vesna Ilic said that the first instance Chamber wrongly determined the facts related to the part of the verdict, under which Dzeko, former member of “Zulfikar” Unit of the Army of BiH, was acquitted of charges for having killed an elderly Croat woman in Trusina, as well as the unlawful detention and participation in the beating and robbing of Croats in Jablanica.

Ilic said that she was dissatisfied with the duration of the sentence pronounced for the part of the verdict, under which he was found guilty of having participated in the shooting of six captured members of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, and murder of an elderly married couple.

“The Prosecution considers that the indictee’s young age at that time cannot be considered mitigating circumstance to that extent,” Ilic said.

The Prosecutor requested the Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH to revise the part of the verdict, acquitting him of charges, and convict him of those charges and sentence Dzeko to longer, or more specifically long-term imprisonment sentence. On the other hand the Defence appealed the wrongly determined factual status and requested the Court to either pronounce a verdict of release or order a new trial, so it could present new pieces of evidence.

According to Defence attorney Edina Residovic, the first instance Chamber accepted that Dzeko transported his wounded comrades to nearby Gostovici village prior to the shooting in Trusina. However, as she said, it did not accept the allegation that he stayed with the wounded until they received medical assistance.

She said that the timeframe represented a decisive fact for this crime. According to what she said, the evidence presented during the first instance trial indicated that about half an hour passed from the moment of wounding to the shooting, and that as much time elapsed from the transportation of the wounded to offering them medical help in Gostovici.

Residovic said that, following the pronouncement of the verdict, the Defence recruited experts, who determined that one would need more than half an hour by foot from Gostovici to the shooting location in Trusina.

“The Court relied on contradictory and uncredible witnesses,” she said, referring to the witnesses, who said that Dzeko participated in the shooting.

Residovic said that the first instance Chamber did not wander how Dzeko knew that his other comrades would go to Gaj hamlet, where the shooting was committed, or that it would happen.

Vasvija Vidovic, second Dzeko’s Defence attorney, presented the appeals against the part of the verdict, under which Dzeko was pronounced guilty of having killed an elderly married couple in Trusina. As she said, the first instance Chamber believed the witnesses, who actually committed that

“It is awful that the Court decided to trust only those witnesses, who blamed Dzeko,” Vidovic said.

The Appellate Court of BiH will render a decision concerning the appeals filed by the Prosecutor and Defence at a later stage.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian