Bosnian Army Ex-Commander Proclaims Innocence, Urges Acquittal

Ahmet Sejdic told the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Friday that he was innocent, as his defence called for his acquittal on all charges in the indictment accusing him of the inhumane treatment of Serb civilians and prisoners of war in the period between July 1992 and February 1993.

Sejdic, the former commander of the First Visegrad Brigade of the Bosnian Army, said he was on trial for acts he did not commit himself, and insisted that he did not know who was responsible.

"I never ordered, committed or carried out what I have been charged with. But I did fight with honour," Sejdic said.

He added that he sympathised with all victims and expected a fair verdict, and had faith in justice and truth.

The indictment alleges that Sejdic ordered and participated in the unlawful detention, resettlement and torture of several dozen Serb civilians and prisoners of war, members of the Bosnian Serb Army.

But in her closing statement, his lawyer Jesenka Residovic said it was apparent from the evidence that the defendant was not the one who ordered captured Bosnian Serb Army soldiers to demine the Gradina tunnel in eastern Bosnia with their bare hands. According to the indictment, several of the prisoners were also beaten by soldiers under Sejdic's control.

Residovic said that Sejdic had already left for another location at the time when the crime was committed, adding that witnesses could not say with certainty who issued the order to demine the tunnel.

"This was confirmed by both subjective and material evidence. Later on, the defendant returned to the tunnel, which had been demined," Residovic said.

Residovic also recalled witnesses' testimonies saying that the defendant treated them in a humane manner when he approached them...

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