Jezik / Language:
3 March 2016

Milorad Topic Trial Begins

Kenan Kavazovic BIRN BiH Travnik
The trial of Milorad Topic, also known as Cica, began before the cantonal court of Novi Travnik. Topic, a former member of the Croatian Defense Council, has been charged with crimes committed against civilians in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf.
Topic has been charged with beating a captured member of the medical personnel of the Bosnian Army all over his body on the premises of a school building in Pajic Polje, near Gornji Vakuf, in 1993.

Sulejman Duratbegovic, a former member of the Bosnian Army’s medical personnel, was the first prosecution witness to testify. Duratbegovic said he was captured at a Croatian Defense Council checkpoint in Pajic Polje, near Gornji Vakuf, with Ferida Bektas.

Duratbegovic said that after being detained on the premises of a school building in Pajic Polje, Croatian Defense Council members took him to a room and beat him. Duratbegovic said Topic was in the room, along with masked members of the Croatian Defense Council.

“He was dressed in military uniform. He tied his hair into a ponytail. He kicked me in the head and said, ‘See how an Ustasha hits.’ The other soldiers started hitting me on the head with bottles and all over my body with chairs and other objects. I was covered in black bruises. Milorad beat me more than the others. I think it lasted half an hour, but it seemed like an eternity to me,” Duratbegovic said.

Defense attorney Ivica Dragun asked Duratbegovic how Topic could have kicked him in the head considering their difference in height. Duratbegovic said he was sitting in a chair when Topic kicked him.

During cross-examination, Duratbegovic was unable to specify the exact month and date of his assault.

Witness Ferida Bektas said she was captured in Pajic Polje and detained with Duratbegovic.

She said she didn’t see the defendant, because she stayed in a room with other detainees. Bektas said Duratbegovic was brought back to the room after he was beaten.

The trial will continue on March 31.
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