Jezik / Language:
7 May 2015

Witness Provides Alibi for Coloman

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The first defense witness at the Jasmin Coloman trial, said he was with Coloman in the village of Krcevine in April 1993, at the time of his alleged crimes.

The Bosnian state prosecution has charged Coloman, a former member of the Seventh Muslim Brigade of the Bosnian Army, with killing and wounding civilians in the village of Poculice in Vitez on April 24, 1993.

According to the indictment, on the day of the killing Coloman went to a center in the village where detained civilians were being held as prisoners. He allegedly opened fire at them with an automatic weapon, killing three and wounding nine.

Testifying in defense of Coloman, former soldier Zihret Avdic said that if “he [Coloman] had done something, I would have known about it.”

Avdic said he knew Coloman, who was a soldier with the Commando Squad of the Second Battalion of the Seventh Muslim Brigade.

“We were in the village of Krcevine in April 1993, since combat operations were taking place there,” Avdic said.

According to Avdic, no crimes were committed by members of the Seventh Muslim Brigade, because there was a code of honour amongst the soldiers.

“I would have known had Coloman done anything. The Seventh Muslim Brigade would have done something regarding the issue,” Avdic said, adding that he had no information about prisoners.

When asked by the state prosecution if Coloman was punished by his superiors in April 1993, Avdic said he wasn’t and that he couldn’t follow the movements of each of his fellow soldiers.

Responding to questions by the trial chamber, Avdic said their command was located in the village of Poculice. He said Coloman was always with him on their way back from military operations.

Narcis Drocic, the second witness to testify at the hearing, said he was a former member of the Green Berets. He said the Seventh Muslim Brigade participated in combat activities in Krcevine in April 1993 with his unit.

Drocic said he believed Coloman was a good soldier, and he “hasn’t heard that he did anything bad.”

When asked by the defense if he knew about what had happened to certain prisoners, Drocic said he heard that some had been killed.

“I heard they were killed in the basement of a mosque, but it turned out later on that it was some kind of center...Croats were detained in it...According to my findings, it was some sort of “local arrangement,” local residents took their revenge for the death of some village residents,” Drocic said.

Responding to questions by the prosecution, Drocic said he didn’t know where the defendant was on April 24, 1993.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 27, when Coloman will testify in his own defense.

Related Articles

comments powered by Disqus

In this article