Uncategorized @bs

Prosecution Presents Closing Statement, Calls for Conviction of Former Bosnian Army Commander Nihad Bojadzic

24. December 2015.00:00
Presenting its closing statement, the state prosecution called for a guilty verdict in the trial of Nihad Bojadzic, a former Bosnian Army commander accused of rape and the mistreatment of civilians and prisoners of war in Jablanica.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Bojadzic, the former deputy commander of the Zulfikar Unit of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with the assault, rape and sexual abuse of Croat civilians and prisoners in Jablanica in 1993. According to the indictment, Bojadzic and an unidentified soldier abducted two female Croat detainees held in detention at the Battle of Neretva Museum in Jablanica on the night of July 28, 1993.

The state prosecution has also charged Bojadzic with war crimes committed against Croat civilians in Jablanica in July 1993, including the sexual abuse of male civilians.

Presenting his closing statement at today’s hearing, prosecutor Sedin Idrizovic said the evidence presented by the defense wasn’t persuasive. As such, the prosecutor argued, the defense couldn’t bring the evidence presented against Bojadzic into question.

Idrizovic proposed that Bojadzic be sentenced in accordance with the law for the following crimes: wartime rape, the sexual abuse and assault of prisoners of war and other crimes the defendant allegedly committed in Jablanica.

Idrizovic said testimony given by protected witness C, a Croatian Defense Council soldier who’d been captured by the Bosnian Army, was persuasive. C said Bojadzic stabbed his leg with a knife while he was being interrogated by Sead Brankovic, another witness in the case, in a hydroelectric plant in June 1993.

Idrizovic said C didn’t know who Bojadzic was during the stabbing, but learned his name later on. He said C met the defendant again at the Battle of Neretva Museum in Jablanica, where Croat civilians and prisoners of war were detained. He said C and Bojadzic encountered each other several times.

“There is no room for suspecting he [C] made a mistake in identifying him [Bojadzic]. The defense did not present any serious evidence that brought C’s testimony into question,” Idrizovic said, adding that Sead Brankovic confirmed C’s testimony.

Idrizovic said the prosecution demonstrated that the defendant ordered C to hit a protected witness known as J on July 28, 1993. Idrizovic said Bojadzic then ordered J to perform oral sex on C.

Idrizovic said a protected witness known as I, who had previously known Bojadzic, watched this abuse unfold.

“Witness I was present for a certain period of time. He saw everything,” Idrizovic said.

According to the indictment, Bojadzic also ordered protected witnesses D and H to leave their detention cells in the Battle of Neretva museum on July 28, 1993. He and another soldier then drove the witnesses to another location. Bojadzic allegedly raped D twice in the Rogica complex in Donja Jablanica.

“She [D] remembers him as Zuka, because he introduced himself that way. However, Zuka was neither big nor blonde at the time, while Nihad Bojadzic was,” Idrizovic said.

Idrizovic said D told the court she saw her rapist again during a prisoner exchange in March 1994. Idrizovic said Zulfikar Alispago, also known as Zuka, the former commander of the Zulfikar Squad, was travelling abroad while Bojadzic monitored the exchange.

Idrizovic also commented on testimony given by a protected witness known as A, who said she saw the person who took D and H out of the detention cell in the museum. She said she saw the same person again on a local TV station later on, introducing himself as Nihad Bojadzic.

Bojadzic’s defense will begin presenting its closing statement on January 28, 2016. In a separate case, the state court sentenced Bojadzic to 15 years in prison for the murders of Croats in the village of Trusina, near Konjic, in April 1993. The verdict was handed down in September 2015.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian