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KOS ET AL: REMORSE DUE TO CRIMES
Presenting its closing statement, the Defence of Vlastimir Golijan, who is charged with genocide in Srebrenica, proposes to the Trial Chamber to acquit the indictee of the charges that he committed genocide.
Rade Golic, Defence attorney of indictee Golijan, said that the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina had not proved that the indictee knew about the execution of a genocide plan in the Srebrenica area in July 1995.
“In the morning on July 16, 1995 Vlastimir Golijan received an order to prepare himself for an operation, whose purpose was not known to him. (...) He was recruited by the Army while he was minor. One cannot expect a mobilised child to understand the existence of a plan,” Golic said.
The Defence pointed out that the indictee was aware of the crimes he committed and that he was responsible for the death of a certain number of people.
“Honourable Court, I feel sorry for the people whom I shot and their families. I sincerely regret having done that. God is my witness,” indictee Golijan said.
Golijan is charged, along with Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic and Zoran Goronja, with having participated in the murder of more than 800 men and boys committed on Branjevo military farm, Zvornik municipality on July 16, 1995.
The indictment alleges that Kos was Commander of the First Unit with the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the
Main Headquarters of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, while Kojic, Golijan and Goronja were members of that unit.
The Defence reminded the Court that, prior to the beginning of the trial indictee Golijan have a statement, admitting guilt for crimes committed on Branjevo, but his statement was rejected, because the indictee said that he did not understand the meaning of the crime charged upon him.
“The indictee does not deny the facts, but he cannot confirm lies in order to support the legal classification made by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He could not lie,” Golic said.
The Defence said that the indictees found out that they were supposed to shoot prisoners only after they had arrived on Branjevo farm and that they could not refuse to carry out the order because they were afraid for their own lives.
“My client opened burst fire, as per the orders he received. He does not know and he cannot know how many people he killed. He could not refuse the order. After this crime had been committed, he had mental problems because of remorse,” Golic said.
The Defence mentioned that Goronja was 20 years old when he committed the crime, that he had never completed secondary education and that he was a father of young children.
“The Defence hopes that the Trial Chamber will consider the indictee's remorse and regrets, as well as his readiness to make an agreement with the Prosecution, correct behaviour during the trial and the fact that he has never been sentenced before,” Defence attorney Golic said.
The Defence of indictee Goronja is due to present its closing statement on Tuesday, May 29.