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29 September 2015
News

Injured Parties in Avdovic and Vintila Trial Suffered Severe Pain, Says Court Expert

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At today’s hearing of the Ramiz Avdovic and Iulian-Nicolae Vintila trial, court expert Zorica Lazarevic was cross-examined. Lazarevic said based on her expertise and statements given by injured parties, she concluded that prisoners held at the Viktor Bubanj military barracks in the Sarajevo area suffered greatly.

Ramiz Avdovic and Iulian-Nicolae Vintila have been charged with war crimes committed against Serb civilians at the Viktor Bubanj military barracks. The prosecution alleges that the civilian prisoners held in those facilities were subjected to torture and abuse, and were also ordered to perform forced labour.

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

At today’s hearing, the defense questioned Lazarevic’s claims that the injuries inflicted upon prisoner Dragomir Pejovic by Ramiz Avdovic were of high intensity.

“His mental health was good prior to his detention. That’s what Pejovic said. He suffers from insomnia, post-traumatic headaches and depression,” Lazarevic said. She said this diagnosis was a direct result of the inhumane conditions of his detention.

Lazarevic also presented her findings on the injuries of former prisoners Zeljko Kljajic, Ljubomir Drakul, Milorad Sekara and Slobodan Gutaj.

“Injured party Kljajic described Avdovic as a corpulent person, who slapped him in the face. My conclusion is that the intensity of the pain was high,” Lazarevic said.

The defense teams objected to Lazarevic’s findings and her entire examination. They described her conclusions as subjective and deficient.

“One can’t come to a conclusion about injuries unless they know the structure of the person’s personality,” Vintila’s defense attorney Vlado Adamovic said.

Lazarevic also said that the poor living conditions in the central prison and the Viktor Bubanj military barracks significantly contributed to the injuries of the prisoners.

When asked whether she had ever questioned what the injured parties told her, Lazarevic said she hadn’t.

The trial will continue on October 6.
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