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Senad Hakalovic Defense Calls for Release

30. March 2015.00:00
The defense of Senad Hakalovic requested a verdict of release.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Defense attorney Kadrija Kolic said the Bosnian state prosecution’s evidence against Hakalovic did not even reach the level of hearsay.

Hakalovic, a former member of the 45th Neretvica Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been charged with ordering Ivan Drljo to bring two members of the Croatian Defense Council to Trusina, near Konjic, on April 16, 1993. The two soldiers were then shot.

According to the charges, members of the Zulfikar Squad of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina shot six members of the Croatian Defense Council in Trusina.

Kolic said state prosecution witnesses unlawfully identified Hakalovic as the soldier they saw in Trusina on the day of the crime.

He said Mato Zeko attended the identification process as a staff member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kolic said witness Jela Ljubic identified the defendant with a few other witnesses. “Therefore, they conducted the identification as a team in an orchestrated manner,” Kolic said.

He said witness Ruza Mlikota was assisted by her son during the identification process.

Kolic said a protected witness known as E recognized Hakalovic in a photograph taken prior to his arrest, but didn’t recognize him in photographs taken previously. He said E had a motive to give false testimony, namely to avoid responsibility for murders he committed in Trusina.

Kolic said other witnesses were presented with a photograph of Hakalovic taken prior to his arrest.

“It is therefore absolutely unfounded to request a verdict of conviction on the basis of statements by these witnesses,” he said.

Kolic also mentioned state prosecution witnesses who said that they did not see Hakalovic on the day of the crime, but his brother Sead instead.

Kolic said out of all victims, witness Cecilija Simunovic knew Senad Hakalovic the best. Kolic said she mentioned in her statement that she saw Sead Hakalovic in Trusina.

He said that the defense witnesses offered an alibi for Senad Hakalovic, since they had said he was in a combat position in the vicinity of Trusina when the alleged crime took place.

Hakalovic is on trial with Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Nedzad Hodzic and Nihad Bojadzic, all former members of the Zulfikar Squad, for war crimes they allegedly committed in Trusina.

Hodzic’s defense will present its closing statement on April 6.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian