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Verdict for Trusina Crimes in July

8. June 2015.00:00
The Bosnian state court will hand down a verdict in the trial of Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic and Nihad Bojadzic on July 13. The defendants have been charged with committing war crimes in the village of Trusina, near Konjic, on July 13, 1993.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Nihad Bojadzic, the former deputy commander of the Zulfikar Unit of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with ordering soldiers to attack Trusina and not leave behind any survivors. He allegedly commanded the attack remotely from a nearby hill.

Memic, Salcin and Hodzic were members of the Zulfikar Unit, while Hakalovic was a member of the Neretvica Brigade.

On the last day of closing statements, Bojadzic expressed his condolences to Croat families whose loved ones were killed in Trusina. However, he said he didn’t consider himself responsible for their deaths.

“Honourable court, I’m innocent. I’m not guilty of the crime that happened in Trusina on April 16, 1993,” he said.

During the Bosnian Army attack on Trusina, 15 civilians and six surrendered Croatian Defense Council soldiers were shot.

Bojadzic accused prosecutor Vesna Budimir, who initiated the trial, of concealing evidence which would have acquitted him. He said the defense attorneys in the case filed a complaint with the Disciplinary Prosecutorial Officer in response.

“I was just a good soldier during the war, not a criminal…the real criminals are still at large. No indictment has been filed against them,” Bojadzic said.

In his closing statement, Bojadzic repeated that he hadn’t been in Trusina on the day of the attack, a claim he’d emphasized during his testimony.

“My alibi is unquestionable. According to the laws of nature, a person cannot be in two places at the same time,” Bojadzic said. He added that if he’d been present, the attack on Trusina would have never happened.

Bojadzic’s defense attorney, Edina Residovic, said the witness testimony which served as the basis of the state prosecution’s indictment of Bojadzic was contradictory with regards to several significant facts.

“Bojadzic’s responsibility can’t be determined on the basis of their testimony,” she said.

Vasvija Vidovic, Bojadzic’s second defense attorney, told the court that while he’d served in the army, Bojadzic had received high praise during and after the war. Vidovic said no criminal incidents occurred when Bojadzic was appointed the commander of the Zulfikar Unit in 1994, at which point the unit’s name had changed.

This is the longest first instance trial ever conducted at the Bosnian state court. Arrests for the Trusina attack began in 2009 and the trial began a year later. All of the defendants are awaiting the verdict at liberty.

Zulfikar Alispago was originally charged in this case, but the case against him was separated due to his poor health. Alispago, the former commander of the Zulfikar Unit, was charged with having failed to undertake necessary and reasonable measures to punish the perpetrators of the Trusina attack.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian