Trial for Buzim Crimes has Begun

15. March 2016.00:00
The trial of eight former members of the Bosnian Army began with a reading of the indictment and the presentation of the state prosecution’s introductory statement. The defendants have been charged with committing crimes against civilians and prisoners of war in the Buzim area.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Prosecutor Vedrana Mijovic read the indictment, which charges Zijad Nanic, Esad Kudelic, Vahid Bajraktarevic, Senad Salkic, Hasan Mustafic, Nedzad Bapic, Samir Isakovic and Husein Isakovic with committing crimes against civilians and prisoners of war. The indictment contains 45 counts.

Nanic was the assistant commander for security with the 505th Buzimska Brigade of the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Army. Kudelic was the commander of the military police squad at the Command of the 505th Buzimska Brigade. Bajraktarevic, Salkic, Mustafic, Bapic, Samir and Husein Isakovic were members of the military police of the 505th Buzimska Brigade. They allegedly abused civilians and prisoners of war in an improvised prison situated in former the Radoc Hotel in Buzim.

According to the charges, their crimes were committed from November 1994 to August 1995.

They have been charged with committing crimes against captured members of the Bosnian Serb Army and the National Defense of the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region (as well as their sympathizers).

The indictment further alleges that superior officers Nanic and Kudelic knew or must have known about the abuse, and failed to prevent military policemen from taking detainees out of the prison and causing them severe physical and mental harm. The defendants allegedly took detainees out into the command yard every day, beating them and severely abusing them. They allegedly threw concrete construction blocks on some of the detainees.

Detainees were allegedly forced to commit sexual and physical violence upon each other. Some civilian detainees died due to the consequences of the abuse as well as from a lack of medical assistance. Some of the abused detainees were minors.

Prior to the beginning of the trial the trial chamber separated the case against defendant Mehmed Alesevic, who is undergoing medical treatment in Slovenia.

In her introductory statement, prosecutor Mijovic said she would prove that the defendants committed the crimes described in the indictment through the examination of 74 witnesses and presentation of material evidence.

The defense teams did not present their introductory statements at this stage of the proceedings.

The trial will continue on March 21, when the first prosecution witnesses will be examined.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian