After the Defence teams presented their closing arguments at the trial for crimes committed at Koricanske stijene, the Trial Chamber said the verdict will be pronounced on Tuesday, December 21.
In their closing arguments presented before the State Court, the Defence of Dusan Jankovic and Zeljko Stojnic, as well as the indictees themselves, denied having participated in the shooting of about 200 civilians on Mount Vlasic in August 1992.
Jankovic, Stojnic, Zoran Babic, Milorad Radakovic and Milorad Skrbic are charged with participating in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of persecuting the non-Serb population in the Prijedor area.
The indictment alleges that on August 21, 1992, the five men escorted a convoy of about 1,200 Bosniaks and Croats, who were transported from Prijedor to Travnik.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina considers that the indictees robbed the civilians, separated about 200 men from other convoy passengers and shot them at Koricanske stijene.
The indictment further alleges that Jankovic was Commander of the Police Station and the other indictees were members of the Interventions Squad with the Public Safety Station at that time.
In his closing arguments Ranko Dakic, Jankovic’s Defence attorney, said the presentation of evidence by the State Prosecution was â€œinadequateâ€, adding the Defence â€œhas proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that Jankovic did not perform the function of commander, but rather logistics officer with the Reserve Police Station in Prijedor in 1992â€.
â€œSaying that Jankovic could have issued orders in 1992, either on the basis of his function or official authorization, would be an illusion, because he actually carried out other people’s orders.
“There is no evidence that he had authority over the Interventions Squad or that he punished, promoted or rewarded anyone, because he was simply not in a position to do so,â€ Dakic said.
Dakic added that in his opinion there was â€œno doubtâ€ that Jankovic did not escort the convoy on August 21, 1992, because he was attending â€œa religious holiday celebration in Sreflije village, which is more than 170 kilometres away from Mount Vlasicâ€.
â€œThe fact is that crimes were committed in Prijedor and policemen participated in them, but those crimes cannot be linked to my name. I am not guilty of this crime on any grounds.
“I am confident that the Court will fulfill its role and acquit me of all charges, because my conscience is clear. I sympathize with the victims, but they would not get justice by you sentencing me,â€ indictee Jankovic said.
Zlatko Knezevic, Defence attorney for Zeljko Stojnic, said the State Prosecution’s allegations about the existence of a joint criminal enterprise carried out jointly by â€œthe military and civil authorities in Prijedor and twenty-year old reserve policeman Stojnic are absurdâ€.
Knezevic said that Stojnic admitted having been one of the convoy escorts and robbing the convoy passengers, but he was not involved in the shooting of civilians.
â€œThe Prosecution has not proved without a reasonable doubt, let alone beyond it, that Stojnic committed persecution, deportation and particularly murders.
“The only thing that has been proved is the fact that he took valuables away from convoy passengers. Stojnic said he did it. He regrets having done it and he feels ashamed because of that,â€ the Defence attorney said.
In his presentation before the Court indictee Stojnic said he did not know, on August 21, 1992, that some convoy passengers would be killed, adding he participated in stealing from civilians because he was â€œafraid of police commandersâ€.
â€œI told you what I did. I regret having done it. I was 20 years old and I agreed to take money from those people because I was scared. But, I was not ready then and I am not ready now to commit murder,â€ Stojnic said.