The trial of an ex Bosnian army soldier for crimes committed in Jablanica started anew with the reading of two indictments, after the Bosnian court decided to merge the two cases.
The prosecution brought two separate indictments against Nihad Bojadzic for crimes against Bosnian Croat and Serb civilians and prisoners of war committed in Jablanica in 1993.
Enida Hadziomerovic, the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber, said that the court decided to merge the two cases since it was the same defendant and the region, and that one verdict would be passed.
The opening arguments by the prosecution and the defence were not presented because both sides were unprepared.
The prosecutor, Ozrenka Neskovic, said she was not ready since she thought there was going to be a status conference, while the defence lawyer, Vasvija Vidovic, emphasised that the defence was not fully prepared for the beginning of the trial because they still have not received all evidence from the prosecution.
“This prosecution simply ignores all requests from the defence. We are not prepared for the trial because we haven’t seen all the documents. We also believe it is impossible that the defendant be physically and mentally prepared for this trial while there is another process going on against him,” said Vidovic.
The Trial Chamber instructed the prosecutor and the defence lawyer to create a “catalogue of evidence” in the next seven days, so that the problems could be resolved and evidence hearing begin.
“As for the second request that the trial do not begin until the other process is over, this Trial Chamber discussed the issue and decided it would be best if the trial went on, but in a slower place, with one hearing in two weeks,” said Judge Hadziomerovic.
Bojadzic, former deputy commander of the Zulfikar Special Purposes Detachment with the headquarters of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is being tried with five other members of the Bosnian army, for the murder of 22 persons in the village of Trusina in April 1993. That trial began in 2010.
This year and late last year, the prosecution brought another two indictments against Bojadzic, charging him for crimes against civilians and prisoners of war in the war hospital and other facilities in Jablanica.
Bojadzic has been in custody since 2009.
The trial will resume on September 13 when opening arguments will be presented and the first prosecution witness called.