news 20 Nov 12

Bosnia US Embassy Attack Trial Nears End

The prosecurion in the case of Mevlid Jasarevic who atacked the US embassy in Sarajevo in 2011 has finished presenting its evidence and the final words will be presented in early December.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The prosecution has finished presenting its evidence in case of Mevlid Jasarevic, who attacked the US embassy in Sarajevo on October 28, 2011.

Jasarevic, 23, is charged with shooting 105 bullets for some 50 minutes from an automatic rifle during which time he caused material damage to the embassy building and wounded a policeman.

Summing up its case, the prosecution called an expert professor from Sarajevo, Vlado Azinovic, to answer questions related to definition of the term "terrorism".

Azinovic, professor of Security and Peace Studies, explained prosecutor Dubravko Campara's use of the term, saying terrorism represented the use of violence against objects and people in pursuit of certain political goals.

He said that terrorism as a phenomenon does not have a religion meaning and was not exclusive to one religion but was a consequence of certain interpretations and the instrumentalization of religion.

Turning to the security aspect of the attack on the US embassy, Azinovic said that it had undermined Bosnia's credibility in terms of security and foreign policy.

Talking about the hardline Muslim village of Gornja Maoca, to which the defendant has been linked, Azinovic described it as an isolated community led by Nusret Imamovic that does not recognize the state's jurisdiction, as can be can through its practice of ignoring the Bosnian educational and electoral systems.

The prosecutor presented his own evidence about Gornja Maoca, describing their way of life. In support of his argument that they ignored Bosnian laws, he noted that none of the 78 locals had voted in the October 2011 general election.

The defence objected, maintaining that the witness was never in Gornja Maoca and did not know how the community there functioned.

The defence also objected that most of the prosecution's evidence was about Gornja Maoca, not about the three defendants, Jasarevic and his two alleged helpers, Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic, and that the given evidence was irrelevant to the case.

While the prosecutor charges Jasarevic and the two others with membership of a terrorist group, the defence, led by Senad Dupovac, denies charges of organised terrorism, describing the embassy attack as the work of an individual.

The defence admits that Jasarevic shot at the embassy but maintains that he never belonged to, or ran, an organized terrorist group. It also says it is not certain that he was the one who wounded a policeman during the shootings.

The defence further maintains that local civilians and Bosnian police were not the defendant's target, but only US special police "who were killing Iraqis".

Besides the Bosnian indictment, the US Justice Department charged Jaraevic in April, among other matters, with attempted murder alongside nine other counts in connection with the shootings.

Final words in the Bosnian case of Jasarevic et al will be given on December 3 at the State Court.

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