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1 September 2015
News

Barukcic Denies Being in Odzak During Alleged Rapes

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Testifying in his own defense, Martin Barukcic said he was on the island of Vir in Croatia at the beginning of June 1992, the time period of his alleged rapes in Odzak.
Martin Barukcic, Marijan Brnjic, Pavo Glavas and Ilija Glavas, all former members of the 102nd Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council, have been charged with war crimes in Odzak. During the summer of 1992 the defendants allegedly abducted civilians from various locations and took them to houses and buildings where they were raped, assaulted, threatened and humiliated.

Barukcic has been charged with participating in the rape of Milica Djekic and Ljubica Lesic on the night of June 4 or 5, 1992. He has also been charged with the rape of protected witnesses D-1 and D-2 in May 1992.

At today’s hearing Barukcic told the trial chamber arrived to Vir on June 1, 1992, with his uncle Ilija, to visit his family.

“These allegations can be confirmed by Ivica Agatic, Jozo Pudic and others, whom I proposed as witnesses, but the court rejected the proposals...We stayed in Vir for a few days. We headed back on the morning of June 7, because I had to return to the command on the following day,” Barukcic said.

Barukcic said his family had gone to Vir in mid-April 1992.

Barukcic said that at the time he was a member of the Second Squad, which was stationed in Doljani in the village of Posavska Mahala.

Barukcic said his squad was under his command for a few days after May 8, 1992, when Novi Grad was occupied. He said there were two other squads in the area, in Brezik and Prnjavor.

He said his squad’s code name was Valter, and that defendant Marijan Brnjic was a member of the First Squad, nicknamed “Vatreni.”

According to Barukcic, Brnjic’s squad members drove a blue minivan, which was covered with a sign that said “Vatreni Konji” (Fire Horses). Barukcic said his squad often used another minivan, which was brown.

Barukcic denied witness Joka Goranovic’s testimony. He said she was his wife’s aunt, and said her testimony was questionable. Goranovic testified before the state court in November 2014, but the public was excluded from the parts of her testimony related to the crimes described in the indictment.

Barukcic denied that he knew the other injured parties.

He said he knew defendant Pavo Glavas, because he was his cousin, but he didn’t see him during the war.

The trial will continue on September 8.
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