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10 December 2015
Analysis

Analysis – Fundup Charged With Murder and Fake Executions, Verdict on Friday

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo

After a trial that has lasted nearly nine months, the Bosnian state court will hand down a verdict in the Radoman Fundup trial on December 11.

Radoman Fundup, a former member of the Focanska Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, has been charged with the murder and abuse of civilians in the Foca area. The indictment alleges that Fundup participated in the murder of two children and five women and injured a woman in Cohodar Mahala, in collaboration with two other persons.

Fundup has also been charged with the abuse of three civilians, including two children. According to the indictment, he also intimidated and threatened civilians in the village of Gornje Polje. He ordered civilians in Gornje Polje to form a line, and accompanied by another person, cocked his rifle in order to simulate their execution.

The state prosecution aimed to demonstrate the allegations in the indictment by examining 13 witnesses, one expert, reading one witness statement and presenting material evidence.

The defense claimed that the perpetrator of the Cohodor Mahala crimes was a distant relative of the defendant named Danilo Fundup. The defense examined 11 witnesses, including the defendant, and also presented material evidence.

During the trial proceedings, five witnesses gave statements under protective measures. Some witnesses testified without the presence of the public.

A protected state prosecution witness known as C-1 said she recognized one of the two soldiers who shot and killed her mother-in-law and beat her in Cohodor Mahala on June 10, 1992.

“It was Fundup. Later, I found out that his name was Radoman,” C-1 said. She said one of the soldiers went to the first floor of her house, where she heard screams and gunfire.

State prosecution witnesses Tihomir Vidovic and C-3 said they saw C-1’s injuries, and she told them that Fundup had beaten her.

“Maybe she also said his name, I don’t remember,” C-3 said.

Witnesses Heard of Fundup’s Involvement in Murders

State prosecution witnesses Kadir Dzelilovic, Ifeta Soro, Murat Borovina and Sakib Puris said they found out about the death of their family members from other relatives, friends or neighbours.

Dzelilovic said he was told that Fundup killed his mother and wounded his sister-in-law. Puris said his mother-in-law told him that his parents were killed by Fundup.

Brothers Selvedin and Edin Bico, their mother Sakiba and a protected witness known as C-4 described the circumstances related to the second count of the indictment.

The Bico brothers, who were minors at the time, said two soldiers came to their house in late May or early June 1992. They said one of the soldiers had a scarf tied around his head. They said the soldiers took them and Ferid Hodzic to the banks of the Drina river, where they were ordered to walk down a sharp slope.

“There were two persons on the street, Radoman Fundup and another man, who I didn’t know. Radoman cocked his rifle. I remember I heard my brother and Ferid crying,” Selvedin Bico said. He said he found out Radoman Fundup’s name from his tenant later on.

Edin Bico said he remembered hearing a woman’s voice from a nearby skyscraper saying, “Radoman, what are you doing? Let those innocent children go.” He said the soldier with the scarf around his head turned around and released them.

Testifying in his own defense, Fundup said his cousin Danilo Fundup participated in the Cohodor Mahala crimes, not him.

“A certain distant relative of mine participated in this event. I thought he would come, but there was nothing of it,” Fundup said, adding “the distinguished gentleman doesn’t want to go to jail.”

Danilo Fundup Responsible for Cohodor Mahala Killings, Defense Claims

Fundup said he attended a funeral in Cohodor Mahala on June 10, 1992, and visited the home of the deceased afterwards. He said his cousin Danilo Fundup and a man named Radislav Radovic, both armed, were present.

According to the defendant, Danilo Fundup called upon the people present “to go down and beat them.” Fundup said he told his cousin to sit down and that Danilo Fundup and Radislav Radovic left the house shortly afterwards. Fundup said he heard bursts of gunfire and concluded “that was it.”

He said he didn’t know anything with regards to the second count of the indictment, which charges him with the abuse of civilians.

Defense witness Branko Banovic said that in the summer of 1992 he arrested a man who killed civilians in Cohodor Mahala. He said the man presented himself as Radoman Fundup, but wasn’t the defendant.

Dalibor Stojanovic said he saw his neighbour, Nasuf Purisa, and the bodies of other neighbours in Cohodor Mahala. He said he didn’t see the defendant.

Defense Witnesses Dragan Fundup, Dojcilo Fundup, and Borislav Fundic said they attended the funeral the defendant described and also visited the home of the deceased in Cohodor Mahala in June 1992. They said they saw both the defendant and Danilo Fundup there.

Dragan and Dojcilo Fundup said Danilo Fundup said they should “go kill them.” They said a few minutes after Danilo Fundup and Radislav Radovic left, they heard gunshots. The witnesses said they heard that murders had taken place the next day.

In response to testimony given by defense witnesses, the state prosecution examined Danilo Fundup and read testimony given by Momcilo Bodiroga. Bodiroga was unable to attend the trial due to his poor health.

Danilo Fundup said that after the funeral in June 1992, he went to the home of the deceased in Cohodor Mahala. He said he was on a bus headed home by 2:30pm. He said he was accompanied by Momcilo Bodiroga. Bodiroga confirmed this statement.

Danilo Fundup denied that he was arrested by civilian or military police. He said he was receiving threats over the phone, warning him of consequences if anything were to happen to Radoman Fundup.

Fundup surrendered to the State Investigation and Protection Agency in December 2014. The Bosnian state court ordered him into custody, which was later replaced by prohibitive measures.

The trial began on March 3, 2015.

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