Jezik / Language:
25 June 2013

Witness Does Not Remember Events in Dretelj

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
At the trial for crimes committed in Dretelj, the witness for the Prosecution said he did not remember the events related to defendants and added that during the investigation the prosecutor led him to responses.
Responding to questions from the Prosecutor, Remzija Smailagic, witness Toni Raic said he did not remember how Srecko Herceg looked like, nor what he did in 1992 in Dretelj. After the Prosecutor presented him a recording in which he responded to such questions, the witness said he was “given the answers”.

“Those were different circumstances. The prosecutor had some information and I was to confirm them. He steered me to answers,” said the witness.

He started his testimony in April, but the trial was adjourned because of his health condition. Raic said then that he had given his deposition during investigation under pressure. After medical examination, it was concluded that the witness is capable of testifying.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovinac charges Ivan Zelenika along with Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic, former members of the Croatian Defence Forces, with crimes committed in 1992 in Dretelj.

According to the indictment, Zelenika was an officer of the Croatian Defence Forces, Herceg was former commander of the Dretelj military prison, Buljubasic was former member of the Croatian Defence Forces and deputy commander of the Dretelj army barracks, and Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic former guards in Dretelj. The indictment specifies that all of them took part in forcing prisoners to hard labour and torturing them, and that the abuse resulted in a certain number of deaths.

Raic said he thought that in 1992 Buljubasic was commander of the army barracks in Dretelj, and that he knew Marina Grubisic. Asked how she treated the prisoners, the witness said he did not know.

He also said he could not remember whether imprisoned men were forced into sexual intercourse. The Trial Chamber issued a warning to the witness because he constantly replied to questions with: “I don’t remember.”

“I only signed the record. I don’t know what’s in the record you’re holding,” he said.

The Prosecution also played 15 minutes of audio recording from the interrogation, where only personal data and instructions to the witness could be heard. His examination will continue on August 13, when other parts of the audio recording will be played and his examination completed.

Medical experts Helena Skobic and Berima Hacam presented their findings and opinion on another witness, Ilija Domazet’s condition. It was emphasised that the witness coming to the trial could pose a risk, because he has problems with blood pressure, diabetes and has psychological problems.
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