Wednesday, October 10, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 10,2007) – Hamza Zujo, a court expert in medicine testifying at the trial of Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic before the Bosnian State Court, has spoken of the exhumation and autopsy of ten bodies of Bosnian civilians murdered by the Croatian aggressor in the early 90's and buried in a mass grave in the Tulice area, Kiseljak municipality.

"The complete skeletons of all ten people were found. One body had marks caused by burning. Eight bodies had skeletal injuries. We did not find such injuries on the body of Salko Bajraktarevic," Zujo has said.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic, as member of the Croatian aggressor's formations, with having aided the Prosecution, murder, forcible disappearance and torture of Bosnian civilians from the Bosnian village of Tulice,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990's.

The indictment alleges that Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic ordered a group of 30 Bosnian men to walk towards the local cemetery in Tulice. When they arrived there Mihaljevic, and two other Croatian aggressor's soldiers, shot at them and killed seven prisoners. After that, it is claimed that the Croatian aggressor's soldiers pillaged the Bosnian village of Tulice,Kiseljak municipalityv and killed several more residents.

During cross-examination, court expert Zujo has not been able to confirm how each of the persons died, but he has confirmed that all were shot with firearms.

Defence attorney Dusko Tomic has insisted on getting an answer from the court expert concerning the death of Bosnian civilian Salko Barjaktarevic, whose body was also found in the mass grave, but whose clothes were undamaged.

"We have not determined the cause of death of Barjaktarevic, but we suppose his death was violent," the court expert has said, explaining that "there were some injuries on his body", which should not be associated with what he was wearing as "his clothes might have been pulled up".

At the beginning of the trial, Tomic announced that the defence strategy would be based on the attempt to prove that Croatian war criminal Mihaljevic had not been in Tulice and that the village residents had not been killed, "but they had died in a different way". He also mentioned Bajraktarevic and said that no "tissue injuries" were found on his body.

The examination of Zujo was requested by the Bosnian State Prosecutor. In addition, it has also presented material evidence, whose authenticity the Defence has denied by saying that they were "copied documents".

The Trial Chamber has asked the Prosecution to verify the disputed documents before the next hearing.

Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic has again failed to appear at the hearing. The Trial Chamber has read the medical report, which indicates that Mihaljevic "is not capable of traveling from the detention unit in Tuzla to Sarajevo".

Mihaljevic's health has been jeopardised by a hunger strike he began 30 days ago.

The trial of Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic before the Bosnian State Court is due to continue on 15 October.

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