Analysis: Ibro Macic – Accused of Murder in Blace and Prisoner Abuse in Musala

15. April 2015.00:00
The Bosnian state court will pronounce a first instance verdict against Ibro Macic, accused of having committed war crimes in Konjic, on April 17.

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After a trial that has gone on for nearly two years, the state prosecution believes Macic should be found guilty and sentenced with imprisonment for his involvement in the murder of four elderly women in the village of Blace and the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners at the Musala detention facility in Konjic.The murder victims were four elderly women of Serb ethnicity, and took place in the village of Blace, near Konjic, around the date of June 13, 1992. The victims were Ana Kuljanin (born in 1908), Danica Kuljanin (born in 1910), Cvijeta Kilibarda (born in 1914) and Jelka Kilibarda (born in 1911). They were allegedly murdered in Milutin Kuljanin’s house. Their bodies have not been found.The state prosecution has also charged Macic, on seven counts, for crimes he allegedly committed at the Musala detention facility in Konjic from April to October 1993. According to the indictment, civilians of Serb and Croat nationality were detained at the facility, which was previously a school building.A protected witness known as S-1 described his time as a prisoner in the Musala detention facility in 1993. He said he was a minor at the time, and was so severely beaten that he could no longer have children.“I was beaten by Macic Maca [Maca is Macic’s nickname] and warden Edhem Zilic. Macic Maca was hitting me in the groin,” S-1 said.In its closing arguments, Macic’s defense team requested a verdict of release, due to a lack of evidence, the misidentification of the defendant, contradictory statements from witnesses which conceal the identity of the real guilty parties, and the incorrect time period of the indictment.During the evidentiary proceedings, the state prosecution examined 33 witnesses and three expert witnesses, and also presented 50 pieces of material evidence. The defense team examined 11 witnesses and experts, and Ibro Macic also testified in his own defense.“I may have slapped a person. I wanted order and cleanliness. He said something. It was outside, I don’t remember, I think he told me that the bread was dry,” Macic said.Murder of Four Elderly Women in Blace

Most of the prosecution witnesses said approximately twenty soldiers from Konjic and the surrounding villages were members of a unit commanded by a man named Midhat Pirkic, nicknamed “Midke.”According to witness testimony, Pirkic formed a team which was led by a man named Mirsad Fisic, nicknamed “Kolumbo.” Pirkic ordered them to attack the canyon of the Rakitnica river. When they arrived to the village of Blace, it had already been burned.According to witness testimony, the only house that wasn’t set on fire was one inhabited by four elderly women of Serb ethnicity. Prosecutor Sanja Jukic said because of their age and health, the women couldn’t leave the village. According to eyewitnesses, on the day of the murder Fisic’s men sat down near a well to have lunch and rest. Some soldiers separated from the group and patrolled the village.Witness Salko Macic, the first cousin of the defendant, said that Ibro Macic shot at the elderly women in Blace. He said Ibro Macic, Seho Macic, Halil Macic and Mirsad Fisic entered the house the women inhabited.“We found three covered elderly women on the couch. They were wearing headscarves. Ibro Macic was the first to shoot them, and then Halil [Macic]. Kolumbo [Mirsad Fisic] was screaming at them because he wanted to interrogate the elderly women,” Salko Macic said. Salko Macic said later on he saw Halil and Ibro Macic return from the house, and he noticed the house was on fire. He said he didn’t know who set the house on fire.Salko Macic’s brother, Seho Macic, said he saw Osman Brkan shoot an automatic weapon in the direction of the women, who were lying beneath a blanket in the hallway. He said he didn’t hear the women scream and didn’t know if they were murdered. He couldn’t remember how many women he saw.Macic was previously on trial with Osman Brkan for war crimes in Blace. The proceedings against them were separated, since

Džana Brkanić

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