The defence called for the acquittal of ex-policeman Milomir Milosevic, who is accused of war crimes in the village of Zaklopaca in the Milici municipality in May 1992, when more than 50 Bosniaks were killed.

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Bosnian Serb Ex-Policeman Seeks Acquittal for Village Killings

Milosevic and his co-defendants with their lawyers in court. Photo: Bosnian state court.

In his closing statement at the Bosnian state court on Thursday, the defence lawyer for Milomir Milosevic called for an acquittal verdict, arguing that the case against his client had not been proven.

Lawyer Dragisa Mihajlovic said that his client is accused of going to the village of Zaklopaca in the Milici municipality on May 16, 1992, driving a vehicle that had the words ‘Koljaci – Pokolj’ (‘Butchers – Slaughter’) written on it.

He allegedly stopped the vehicle, got out, cocked his rifle and opened fire at civilians and then went to the house of villager Alija Hamidovic, asked the man to give him the keys of his Audi, and killed him.

Mihajlovic said that the defence did not deny that Milosevic was a member of the regular police force on that day and that a certain number of local residents were killed.

But he said that the testimony of a witness who allegedly recognised when he stepped out of the vehicle could not be considered truthful.

“In the opinion of the defence, the prosecution has not even proved the exact number of people who were killed,” Mihajlovic added.

Former policeman Milosevic is on trial alongside Radomir Pantic, Branko Jolovic, Nenad Vukotic and Nikola Losic, accused of the murders of at least 57 Bosniak civilians in the village of Zaklopaca.

Pantic was commander of the police’s Public Security Station in Milici, while the other defendants were Bosnian Serb Army soldiers, the indictment says.

Defence lawyer Mihajlovic said that one witness testified that he heard that the murders were committed by volunteers from a squad who had come from Serbia, and that he had never heard that Milosevic was involved.

He also said that the police station in Milici had a VW Golf car, not a Zastava as mentioned by the witness who said she recognised the defendant.

Mihajlovic further noted that none of the witnesses said that Milosevic cocked his rifle and opened fire at civilians in the village, as the prosecution alleges, and argued that other witnesses’ testimonies contradicted each other.

The trial is due to continue on February 3, when defendant Jolovic’s defence will present its closing statement.

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