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Acquittal Requested for Memic

9. March 2015.00:00
In its closing arguments, the defense of Mensur Memic requested an acquittal.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Hamdija Veladzic, Memic’s defense attorney, assessed Memic’s testimony as convincing.

Memica was a former member of the Zulfikar Unit of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has been charged with shooting six captured members of the Croatian Defence Council in Trusina on April 16, 1993.

“He claims that he wasn’t invited and didn’t participate in combat operations in the area of Trusina,” Veladzic said.

According to Veladzic, Memic didn’t go to Trusina because he was a new member of the Zulfikar Unit. Veladzic said there was a rule in the unit which dictated that new fighters would be sent into combat only after they became familiar with their fellow soldiers. Memic joined the unit on April 7, 1993 – nine days before the Trusina shooting.

Veladzic said Memic’s first combat experience with the Zulfikar Unit was in the village of Repovci in the municipality of Konjic, and that this operation took place a few days after the Trusina shooting.

Veladzic said that according to the evidence provided by the defense, Memic was at the Zulfikar Unit headquarters on Mount Igman when the Trusina shootings took place.

Former fighters Dzevad Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic, and Nihad Bojadzic are also facing trial for crimes they allegedly committed in Trusina. All of them, except for Hakalovic, were members of the Zulfikar Unit. Hakalovic was a member of the 45th Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Veladzic said seven protected state prosecution witnesses had said during the trial that they didn’t see Memic in Trusina.

He said that several of Memic’s former fellow soldiers testified regarding his presence in Trusina, but described their statements as “differing and contradictory.”

Veladzic said that one of the witnesses, Ramiz Beciri, couldn’t recall important events related to the attack on Trusina.

“The only thing he could remember was that Memic, Mensur was in one group,” said Veladzic. He also reminded the court that during the trial Beciri said that he’d requested immunity from the state prosecution.

Although Beciri wasn’t granted immunity, Veladzic said Beciri must have been given assurances that he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

According to Veladzic, protected witnesses A and B, who both said Memic participated in the Trusina shooting, had cause to falsely accuse Memic. Veladzic said there were was reasonable grounds for suspicion based on the evidentiary proceedings that they also committed crimes in Trusina.

Veladzic said the prosecution offered Memic a plea agreement which in effect would require his client would serve a full sentence, if time spent in custody were to be taken into account.

“Aware of his innocence, he [Memic] rejected such a deal,” Veladzic said.

The trial continues on March 16, when Salcin and his attorney will present their closing arguments.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian