State Prosecution Calls for Repeal of Coloman Acquittal

21. January 2016.00:00
The state prosecution has called for the repeal of a first instance verdict handed down against Jasmin Coloman, acquitting him of charges of crimes against the Croat population in the Vitez area in 1993.

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Coloman, a former member of the Seventh Muslim Brigade of the Bosnian Army has been charged with killing civilians who were held at a center in the village of Poculice on April 24, 1993. Coloman allegedly opened fire at the civilians from an automatic weapon, killing three people and wounding nine more.

Presenting its appeal at today’s hearing, the state prosecution said the factual status in the case was incorrectly and incompletely determined. Coloman’s defense requested that the appeal be rejected and the first instance verdict confirmed.

Prosecutor Gordana Tadic said the court didn’t accept witness Refik Mujezinovic’s testimony in the first instance verdict. Testifying in the courtroom, Mujezinovic identified Coloman as the perpetrator of the crime.

Tadic said Mujezinovic wasn’t the only witness who identified Coloman, but the state court’s explanation indicated that “a verdict of conviction cannot be based on the testimony of one witness only.”

“I would like to mention that it was not one, but two witnesses who identified the defendant. We consider the factual status incorrectly and incompletely determined in that part of the verdict,” Tadic said. She added that only two members of the Commando Squad of the Seventh Muslim Brigade of the Bosnian Army offered an alibi for Coloman, even though the squad consisted of approximately 15 members.

Defense attorney Senad Dupovac called upon the court to reject the appeal as unfounded and to confirm the first instance verdict.

“There’s no doubt the event itself happened. Coloman was also undoubtedly a member of the Commando Squad of the Seventh Muslim Brigade of the Bosnian Army. However, the fact is he wasn’t present at the crime scene, he was in another village,” Dupovac said.

The trial began in September 2014. The court will render a decision concerning the appeal at a later stage.

Dragana Erjavec

This post is also available in: Bosnian