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31 March 2015
News

Vintila Speaks in Own Defense

Amer Jahić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying in his own defense, Iulian-Nicolae Vintila said it wasn’t clear to him why he was accused of committing war crimes against Serbs at the former Viktor Bubanj military barracks in Sarajevo.

“I have been thinking about it for four years. And I do not understand why me,” said Vintila, who is on trial along with Ramiz Avdovic.

Vintila said he arrived at the Viktor Bubanj military barracks as a cook in the second half of June 1992. He said that as a cook he couldn’t make decisions about the type or quantity of meals that would be prepared.

He said he could not distribute food to Serb prisoners, because the cooks were prohibited from entering the premises in which they were held.

Vintila commented on charges which stated that he had kicked a detainee while wearing military boots in late June 1992. He said the accusation was “absolutely not true.” He said at the time he used to wear slippers.

Vintila said he became a guard at the Viktor Bubanj military barracks in the fall of 1992.

His defense attorney, Vlado Adamovic, said the indictment alleged that Vintila beat a detainee with his fists until he fell down to the floor.

“I certainly did not do that,” Vintila said.

Vintila said following his assignment at the Viktor Bubanj military barracks, he worked with the police. His job was to guard buildings and persons. Vintila said that when former US president Bill Clinton visited Sarajevo, he was a member of his escort team. Adamovic said Vintila had to undergo strict security checks before becoming a member of that escort team.

Adamovic asked Vintila whether he felt guilty at all. “I feel absolutely not guilty, because I did not do anything,” Vintila said.

He said it was not clear to him why the detainees “pointed their fingers” at him.

The trial will continue on April 21.

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