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Closing Statements in Trusina War Crimes Case Postponed

2. February 2015.00:00
Closing statements in the Trusina war crimes trial have been postponed in order for the court to evaluate the mental health of defendant Nedzad Hodzic.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Hodzic is on trial along with defendants Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Nihad Bojadzic, and Senad Hakalovic, all former members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are charged with the murder of 18 civilians and four members of the Croatian Defence Council in the village of Trusina on April 16, 1993. The victims had surrendered when Trusina was attacked.

Hodzic’s mental health has been subject to expert examination several times throughout the trial. There have been conflicting evaluations as to whether he is mentally fit to stand trial: Dr. Abdulah Kucukalic has asserted that Hodzic is criminally insane, while other court experts have concluded that he is capable of following the trial proceedings.

According to the defense, certain details about Hodzic’s mental health have not been included in the case file as evidence before the court. Hodzic’s attorney presented findings on his client’s mental health which had been presented, and rejected, at another ongoing trial at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In his findings, the court expert [Kucukalic] has determined that my client is criminally insane,” said defense attorney Midhat Koco. He added that the findings indicated that “the examinee is currently incapable of following the trial.”

Defendant Nihad Bojadzic’s attorney then asked the chamber which findings on Hodzic’s mental health had been included in the case file.

Judge and trial chamber chairwoman Zeljka Marenic said that half of the evidence presented had been archived, and that as a result it would take time to determine which findings had been included in the case file.

“We will postpone the hearing in order to avoid problems related to the findings,” Marenic said.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is due to present its closing statement on February 16.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian