Trusina Murder Evidence Against Bosniak Soldier ‘Unreliable’

The defence for former Bosnian Army soldier Edin Dzeko, charged with executing six Croats in 1993, said that witnesses who accused him of the killings were lying to avoid prosecution.

Defence lawyer Edina Residovic said in her closing arguments in Dzeko’s trial in Sarajevo on Tuesday that the protected witness codenamed ‘E’ never mentioned before the trial that Dzeko, a former member of the Bosnian Army’s Zulfikar Squad, participated in the execution of six Croats in Trusina near Konjic on April 16, 1993.

‘The conviction cannot be based on his testimony,’ Residovic said.

Protected witness ‘E’ also testified that Dzeko killed an elderly couple in Trusina. Residovic referred to witnesses who said that ‘E’ had boasted that he killed a man and a woman in Trusina, and that he participated in the execution of six Croats.

That meant that ‘E’ was trying to blame Dzeko to avoid persecution, Residovic said.

Residovic also pointed out that another witness in Dzeko’s trial, Rasema Handanovic, was ‘deeply motivated’ not to tell the truth. In a previous trial, Handanovic pleaded guilty to participating in the execution of the six Croats in Trusina and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.

The lawyer also cited witnesses who said that Handanovic, as well as participating in the shooting, committed other murders in Trusina for which she has not yet been prosecuted.

‘That was the reason for not telling the truth,’ the lawyers said.

She said that the evidence had showed that Dzeko did not murder the elderly couple, and that he left Trusina before the six Croats were killed.

Speaking about the count in the indictment charging Dzeko with killing a woman called Kata Drljo in Trusina, the defence lawyer said that the testimony of another protected witness codenamed ‘X’, who said that Dzeko killed a woman by shooting her in the genitals, was unconvincing and illogical. She said that the defence believes that protected witness X was not even in Trusina on April 16, 1993.

Vasvija Vidovic, Dzeko’s other lawyer, meanwhile presented the closing arguments related to the counts in the indictment charging Dzeko with crimes committed in Jablanica in the second half of 1993.

Speaking about the allegations that Dzeko participated in the illegal arrest of nine Croat civilians and their detention in Donja Jablanica, where the Zulfikar Squad’s base was located, Vidovic said that the witness testimonies were ‘contradictory on the key issues’.

She said that Dzeko was acting under orders from his commander’s order when three Croats were arrested, and so he considered it legitimate.

‘There is no evidence that he participated in any other arrest,’ said Vidovic.

Vidovic will continue presenting her closing arguments on May 13.

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