Jezik / Language:
26 May 2015

Defense Ministry Knew about Detention Facility Says Vintila Defense

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Iulian-Nicolae Vintila’s defense presented evidence which allegedly proved that the Defense Ministry was aware of a military detention unit in the Viktor Bubanj barracks.

In response to evidence presented by the prosecution, the defense presented six documents which referred to the work of the Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners. These documents were not read out loud in the courtroom.

“We are proving that the Defense Ministry, to which the Exchange Commission belonged, had direct findings and insight into the work of the district military detention unit or prison located in the Viktor Bubanj military barracks,” Emir Kapidzic, Vintila’s defense attorney, said.

The documents included an informative note from the military prison dated October 1992, which indicated that one person was exchanged with the approval of the State Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners.

“We are including a letter from the president of the Basic Court Sarajevo II dated July 15, 1992, which was sent to the military police. The letter contains a list of persons ordered into custody and those who had ongoing criminal proceedings against them in court,” Kapidzic said.

Prosecutor Dzevad Muratbegovic said the evidence presented by the defense didn’t negate the prosecution’s allegations, and considered them irrelevant with regards to Vintila.

Vintila is on trial with Ramiz Avdovic for crimes committed against Serb civilians in the Viktor Bubanj military barracks and on the fifth floor of the district prison in Sarajevo. The Bosnian state prosecution alleges that civilians were subjected to suffering and torture and were taken to other locations in order to perform forced labour.

The indictment alleges that Avdovic was the commander of guards on the fifth floor of the district prison in Sarajevo and the Viktor Bubanj military barracks, while Vintila was a cook and guard in the barracks.

Vintila’s defense will present its material evidence, which it has failed to gather thus far, at the next hearing scheduled for June 16.

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