February 14th 2010 04:41:17 AM
…when a much more questionable “genocide” that Bosnians supposedly witnessed/experienced/heard about seems to be causing Bosnians to engage in all kinds of mischief in their new countries. Here’s the latest would-be satire, if satire could be as over-the-top as this:
By ROCCO LaDUCA
Posted Feb 11, 2010 @ 02:27 PM
UTICA — The Bosnian woman accused of trying to strangle her baby Christmas Eve in Utica may have experienced horrible atrocities during a wave of genocide committed against Muslims in Eastern Europe during the 1990s, her attorney said Thursday.
As a result, 33-year-old Saliha Mehmedovic might be too traumatized and mentally disturbed to ever truly explain why she choked her 2-½-month-old son Jasmin inside their Elizabeth Street home Dec. 24, Assistant Public Defender Patrick Marthage explained.
“There’s no clear reason, and she is truly a very tragic figure at this point,” Marthage said after Oneida County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty found Mehmedovic mentally incompetent to stand trial. Donalty ordered her to be held at a psychiatric facility up to a year for further treatment.
“The atrocities that human beings can inflict on each other just continue, and it’s so sad,” Marthage said. “But we’ll do everything we can do to try to help her and defend her to the best of our ability.”
Mehmedovic was arraigned on charges of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault. She will return to court to be prosecuted only if her condition improves, otherwise she will continue to be treated and evaluated by the state Office of Mental Hygiene in the years ahead.
Mehmedovic came to Syracuse in 2000 and later moved to Utica with her boyfriend, Mirsad Rekic, more than a year ago, Marthage said. Together they had a child, who suffered brain injury due to lack of oxygen allegedly at the hands of his mother.
When responding Utica police and firefighters asked Mehmedovic if she choked the baby until he turned blue that night, she reportedly answered “Yes.”
When Mehmedovic was later questioned by two psychiatrists after the incident, however, there appeared to be signs that Mehmedovic was haunted by something in her past while she lived in Eastern Europe, Marthage said.
After Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, the Serbians in that region were incited by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to terrorize the local Muslim population with mass shootings, concentration camps, and forced withdrawals from their villages.
As women and girls faced the terror of brutal rape, they had little choice but to flee the region as refugees. Many of those families relocated to the Utica area, where a Bosnian population has flourished in the years since.
“I think she was the victim of many atrocities in her native country,” Marthage said after the proceeding.
“She will not speak freely with the psychiatrists about what may have happened,” he added, “but she seemed to indicate there was something that occurred and she didn’t want to go into any detail.”
As Mehmedovic stood in court Thursday, the judge asked her several times whether she knew who Marthage was as he stood next to her. After staring at Marthage for several moments, the judge repeated the question as it was translated by Bosnian interpreter Sead Hadziabdic.
Mehmedovic finally said she recognized Marthage, and the judge then asked if she understood the proceedings against her. Mehmedovic mumbled something, and the interpreter chuckled.
“She said, ‘You’re the interpreter, you say whatever you want,’” Hadziabdic replied.
After the proceeding, Marthage said Mehmedovic’s mental illness, the language barrier and a lack of understanding probably have left her confused about what’s going on right now.
The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera Lupi.