Jezik / Language:
18 March 2015

Defendant Denies Torturing Imam

Goran Obradovic BIRN BiH Banjaluka

Testifying in his defense before the district court in Banja Luka, defendant Sretko Dragic said he slapped imam Adil Solo around a few times, but didn’t torture him “too much.”

Sretko Dragic, Zoran Torbica, Dalibor Jojic and Dragan Gnjatic have been charged with intimidation, unlawful deprivation of liberty, and jeopardizing Adil Solo’s bodily integrity in March 1993.

Dragic said on the day of the alleged incident he was at the home of his girlfriend, Brana Ignjatic (who has since died). He was there with the other defendants, when they spotted a red car driving by.

“Somebody explained that a driver was probably driving imam Solo to his mistress, who lived nearby. We knew that he was carrying humanitarian aid for Muslims, so we wanted him to give us a truck of aid, so we could distribute it to our refugees,” Dragic said.

According to his testimony, he and his girlfriend stayed in the house, while the other defendants went in search of Solo. He said he left the house later on to find the other defendants.

“When I arrived to his mistress’ house [Solo’s mistress], I saw Zoran Vujic and Dalibor Jojic. When I asked them where the others were, they said that the imam had jumped through the window and ran away, so they ran after him,” Dragic said.

Dragic said while he was searching for the defendants, he saw that Solo had fallen into a cellar that was approximately two and a half meters deep.

“As some of them didn’t know him, they asked me if it was him. I confirmed that it was. The imam had injuries caused by him jumping through the window and falling into the cellar. I asked him why he had run away. He said he got scared. Nobody beat him at that place, but we pulled him out and took him to our house,” Dragic said.

According to Dragic, while they were in the house, they tried to persuade Solo to call his driver and have him drive a truck of aid to their location.

“He didn’t want to do it in the beginning, but he agreed to do it later on. We took him to a refugee’s house. There was a phone in the house, so he called the driver and told him to drive a truck to that place. We took him back to the house and continued examining him. On that occasion I slapped him in the face a couple of times. Brana beat him more than anyone else, but it wasn’t such horrible torture,” Dragic said.

He said Ignjatic wanted to take revenge on Solo, because prior to having fled from Bihac, she had been raped and beaten.

“A couple of hours later Slavko Torbica entered the house and took the imam away. He did it because two members of the Torbica family had been captured, so he was hoping that he would help bring them back,” Dragic said.

Following Dragic’s examination, the prosecution presented its closing statement. The prosecution called for a guilty verdict for the defendants, while the defense teams requested an acquittal.

The verdict will be handed down on March 24.
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