Jezik / Language:
12 November 2013

Banovic and Granic Convicted of Dretelj Crimes

Igor Krstanovic BIRN BiH Mostar
The Cantonal court in Mostar has convicted two former Bosnian Croat fighters, Mijo Banovic and Gojko Granic, of committing war crimes at the Dretelj detention camp in 1993.
Banovic was jailed for a year and ten months and Granic for a year-and-a-half for abusing Bosniak civilians at the camp. Banovic, former member of the Croatian Defence Council was found guilty of abusing civilians Mustafa Hodzic, Salko Maric, Semir Balavac, Halil Kohnic, Almir Obradovic, Medin Kaplan and Jasmin Salda, on July, August and September 1993.

“Banovic beat civilians with a rifle, wooden bat, chains, fists and legs, abusing them in all parts of the body. He forced them to lie down naked for a long time on hot asphalt in order to get burned. He forced them to jump on the stomach and beat each other, which is why they suffered badly”, said Slavko Pavlovic, presiding of the Trial chamber.

Gojko Granic, a military policeman of the Croatian Defence Council was found guilty of beating Mustafa Dizdar, who lost consciousness from the abuse and beating Salko Maric.

“Granic read the name of Dizdar’s son Azem from a piece of paper, aged 14 years old, provoking a reaction from the victim. After the victim did not react, Granic began questioning him about a rifle, hitting him in the stomach with other Croatian Defence Council members”, concluded the verdict.
Explaining the verdict, judge Pavlovic said that the mitigating circumstance is that the defendants were only co-actors

“The facts were not in question, and the Defence accepted them. The Defence tried to present alibis. The Prosecution brought the alibi of Granic into question with two pieces of evidence, from which it is evident that he was in Dretelj on July 29 and August 2, 1993. The testimony of Halil Kohnic and the witness Fabijan Lukic demonstrates holes in the defence of Banovic”, said Pavlovic. He said that witness testimonies were clear, that they recognised Banovic and Granic.

This verdict can be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.
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