Uncategorized @bs

No Evidence Against Salcin, Says Defense

16. March 2015.00:00
In its closing arguments, Dzevad Salcin’s defense requested that the court find the defendant not guilty.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

In its closing arguments, Dzevad Salcin’s defense requested that the court find the defendant not guilty.

Former Bosnian Army soldier Salcin has been charged with lining up fourteen Croat civilians and three Croatian Defence Council soldiers, threatening to kill them, and robbing them. Salcin allegedly took part in a Bosnian Army attack on April 16, 1993, in which fifteen Croat civilians and seven soldiers were killed. These crimes allegedly took place in the village of Trusina near Konjic.

“The Bosnian state prosecution failed completely to prove, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt, that Salcin committed any kind of criminal act,” said Kerim Celik, Salcin’s defense attorney.

According to Celik, state prosecution witnesses confirmed the defense’s position – which is why he called on no other witnesses than Salcin himself.

“He never wanted anyone testify, he [Salcin] said, ‘I’ll be freed because of the Croat women who’ll testify,” Celik said. He said Salcin was ordered to guard civilians and captured soldiers.

Celik said that after Salcin’s arrest in 2009, he had told the Bosnian state prosecution that he treated civilians fairly. Celik said Salcin sheltered civilians in a house when it started to rain, and offered a civilian a lighter to start a fire and make coffee.

Celik said witness Milka Drljo was one of the civilians sheltered in a house by Salcin when it rained.

Celik also reminded the court of witness Jela Ljubic’s testimony. She had said that Salcin had saved a boy’s life.

“He was taken away from a lineup of men by a man called Struja [Salcin’s nickname],” Celik said.

None of the witnesses, said Celik, confirmed allegations that Salcin had abused them or stole from them.

Celik said witness Bosiljka Kreso said that after being ordered to hand over her gold and goods by unknown Bosnian Army soldiers, she heard a voice say, ‘Struja, pick that up.’”

According to Celik, the fact that Salcin picked up the gold and goods doesn’t mean that he took them for himself.

In his statement to the court, Salcin said he would repeat what he said when he first entered the courtroom.

“Your honours, I’m not guilty,” he said.

Salcin is being tried with former Bosnian Army members Mensur Memic, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic, and Nihad Bojadzic.

Hakalovic’s defense will give its closing statement on March 2.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian