During their closing arguments at the trial for crimes committed in the Dretelj camp, the prosecution said that the defendant, Drazen Mikulic, was a brutal guard, while the defence argued it was a case of mistaken identity.
The prosecutor Remzija Smailagic asked the Trial Chamber to convict Mikulic, former military policeman of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO.
“Mikulic belonged to the most brutal group of guards. He is guilty of everything he is being charged with. As a military policeman he abused Bosniak civilians of Bosniak who did not put up any resistance,” said the prosecutor.
Mikulic is charged with the inhuman treatment of the Bosniak civilians imprisoned in the Dretelj camp, near Capljina, in July and August 1993, during the conflict between the Croatian Defence Council and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He is accused of taking part in torture of prisoners in a brutal, vicious and humiliating way, inflicting them with physical injuries.
In its closing statement, the defence said that the indictment is based on hearsay.
“Mikulic is not the person that the witnesses mention. It is another person altogether that the witnesses claimed was called Drazen Mikulic,” said the defence lawyer Davor Martinovic.
“Everyone says they heard about the name Drazen Mikulic. And yet no one recognised him on the photographs during investigation, ” said Martinovic.
Citing the documents submitted by the prosecution, the lawyer said the defendant’s unit had four persons surnamed Mikulic.
He explained that the defendant was wounded in both legs on July 15, 1993, which is why he was discharged for a month. The lawyer quoted a statement from the expert witness Hamza Zujo, who said that for at least two weeks after being injured Mikulic would have experienced difficulties when walking.
“How could a person like that kick anyone, it is medically impossible,” said the lawyer.
The prosecution requested that Mikulic be detained until the verdict is passed, because of fears that he could easily flee to Croatia, on account of his Croatian citizenship. The court would make a decision on the proposed custody at a later date.
The court is expected to pass the verdict on September 14.