Jail Urged for Bosnian Army Officer Accused over Croats’ Deaths

In closing arguments at the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Tuesday, the prosecution argued that former Bosnian Army battalion commander Enver Buza should be found guilty and given the harshest possible penalty.

The indictment alleged that members of the Bosnian Army's Independent Prozor Battalion attacked the village of Uzdol, near Prozor, on September 14, 1993, and killed 27 Croat civilians in the hamlets of Kriz, Zelenike and Raici.

Buza is charged, in his capacity as commander of the battalion, with having failed to undertake measures to punish the perpetrators.

Prosecutor Sanja Jukic said that 27 civilians were killed but no soldiers from the Bosnian Army or the Croatian Defence Council, which both had troops deployed in the area, were injured.

"It could be heard in witnesses' testimonies that none of the civilians opened fire and that no members of the Bosnian Army and Croatian Defence Council were wounded in the hamlets," Jukic told the court.

"Killing a civilian in his own house or in front of it, killing a person who did not participate in the conflict is a crime," she said.

Jukic insisted that the murders were committed by members of the Independent Prozor Battalion commanded by defendant Buza, who, she claimed, led the Bosnian Army operation in Uzdol.

She said that his unit was the only one that participated in the attack.

"All these victims were killed intentionally, not in crossfire. They were shot from an immediate distance; some were shot in the back. One of the victims was beaten up. Children were killed too," the prosecutor said.

She said that the defendant knew that his subordinates committed war crimes and that his defence did not present a single piece of evidence to disprove this during...

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