Bosnian Croat Ex-Fighter Appeals Prisoner Abuse Conviction

3. March 2021.16:28
Wartime Croatian Defence Council fighter Mile Pazin appealed against the verdict sentencing him to one-and-a-half years in prison for the inhumane treatment of a Bosniak civilian prisoner in the Stolac area in 1993.

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The defendants and their lawyers at the original trial. Photo: Bosnian state court.

Mile Pazin’s defence launched an appeal on Wednesday at the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo against last September’s verdict finding him guilty of the inhumane treatment of a Bosniak civilian prisoner during the war.

Pazin was convicted of inhumanely treating civilian Admir Kaplan in the village of Kaplan Mahala on July 14, 1993, when he was a member of the Croatian Defence Council, the Bosnian Croat wartime force, and commander of the local Civil Defence force in Stolac.

The verdict said that Pazin assaulted Kaplan with a bayonet and a rifle butt, and cut his ear.

Pazin’s defence lawyer Marko Raguz argued that the testimony of a crucial witness, a Bosniak who allegedly said that Pazin did not participate in the crime, was not taken into account.

He also argued that Pazin was found guilty of inhumane treatment, but the indictment had charged him with torture.

He said that the victim, Kaplan, admitted that he was not a civilian at the time but a Bosnian Army soldier, and that it was not proved during the trial that he had sustained any injuries.

The prosecution meanwhile asked the court to reject the appeal as unfounded.

Another man, Vide Kresic, was acquitted at the original trial.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian