Wife Tried to Dissuade US Embassy Gunman

The US embassy attacker, Mevlid Jasarevic, was removed from court for showing disrespect while his wife’s statement was read out; in it, she recalled her attempts to disssuade him from going to Sarajevo.The statement of Mirela Demirovic, Jasarevic’s unmarried wife, previously given to investigators, was read out at the trial on Monday.

Jasarevic is accused of terrorism for having opened fire on the US embassy in Sarajevo last October.

Demirovic was absent from the Court as a witness for unknown reasons.

In her statement she said she tried to stop her husband from attacking the embassy in Sarajevo, which he had told her he would do.She said that Jasarevic had put a Kalashnikov rifle in his bag and two bombs in his vest and had said that he was going from the village of Gornja Maoca where the couple lived to Sarajevo to attack the embassy.

Demorovic said she tried to persuade him not to do so, but he would not listen. She also said that he had gone to Sarajevo last September for the same reason but had given up on that occasion, saying he lacked courage.

Demirovic said she thought that he would not do anything in October either, for the same reason.

But Jasarevic protested over the reading out of the statement, saying that his wife had been under stress when she made it, and he did “not want to listen to injustice”.

The judge called his behaviour inappropriate and also urged him to remove his cap, which he ignored, after which the judge removed him from the court.

The other witness on Monday, Husmet Hamidovic, a local from Gornja Maoca, was also removed from court for not taking off his cap, which he maintained was a religious symbol.

Hamidovic’s written statement was read out instead. In it, he said he did not know Jasarevic well, adding that the accused had done nothing to suggest that the attack would happen.

The Bosnian indictment charges Jasarevic with attacking the US embassy, shooting 105 bullets in 50 minutes from an auto rifle and wounding a policemen.

The two of his alleged helpers Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic are charged with assisting him in hiding a DVD message that Jasarevic had recorded before coming to Sarajevo on October 28, and with destroying ammunition and military equipment that had been obtained for terrorist purposes.

The defence admits the suspect’s action but insists he was not part of an organized terrorist group. The prosecution maintains that Jasarevic, Ahmetspahic and Fojnica were all members of an organized terrorist group that was active in the village of Gornja Maoca.

The indictment says the three men intended to express their dissatisfaction with the position in Bosnia of the extreme Wahhabi community, to which they belonged, and avenge that by violence. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jasarevic is also indicted by the US Justice Department. In April it charged him, among other matters, with attempted murder alongside nine other counts in connection with the shootings.

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