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3 December 2014
News

At Rogoj with Indictee

Dragana Erjavec BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The first witnesses, testifying in defence of Marinko Bjelica, who is charged with crimes in Kalinovik, confirm before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, that they saw the indictee at Rogoj at the beginning of August 1992, while he was withdrawing, together with other members of the Army, towards Dobro Polje.

Witness Pero Misovic, who held military positions in the Trnovo surroundings as a member of the Kalinovik Tactical Group with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, in July 1992, said that he saw indictee Marinko Bjelica for the first time that summer at Rogoj, where VRS members held their positions, on August 2, 1992.  

As he explained, the indictee was dressed in military uniform. He stood next to a Partisan monument at the very edge of the forest.
 
“I remember that he shouted to us: ‘Watch out. Do not let them pass behind your back’, speaking about members of the Army of BiH, who were approaching our positions on that day. I saw him twice on that day. Both times he was fortifying our positions with other soldiers,” Misovic explained.  

He said that he saw Marinko Bjelica again in Dobro Polje on August 3 and that the indictee told him that he was wounded on his head earlier that day and that his son Dragan was killed on that same day.  

Miladin Trgovcevic and Bozo Purkovic, former VRS members, testified at the hearing today as well. Both witnesses confirmed having seen Marinko Bjelica at Rogoj on August 2 and 3, 1992, while the Republika Srpska Army was withdrawing towards Kalinovik.

Marinko and Zoran Bjelica, as well as Novica Tripkovic, former VRS members, are charged with having participated in the murder and torture of Bosniak civilians, who were detained in “Miladin Radojevic” school building in Kalinovik, in August 1992.  

During the cross-examination the three witnesses confirmed that they did not see indictee Zoran Bjelica in the summer of 1992.  

The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, when the Defence of first indictee Marinko Bjelica will present a set of material evidence, thus completing the presentation of its evidence.
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