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25 August 2015
News

Barukcic in Croatia During Alleged Rape, Wife Says

Džana Brkanić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying her husband’s defense, Martin Barukcic’s wife claimed he was on the island of Vir in Croatia in June 1992, the period when he allegedly raped a civilian in the Odzak area.

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. According to the indictment, during the summer of 1992 the defendants abducted civilians from various locations to houses and buildings where they raped, assaulted, threatened and humiliated them.

The indictment alleges that, in addition to others, all four defendants raped a protected witness known as D-2 in June 1992. Barukcic, Pavo Glavas and Ilija Glavas allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on them and raped her. Brnjic allegedly pushed D-2 onto a bed and then beat her and anally raped her.

Defense witness Vesna Barukcic said she left Posavska Mahala in Odzak with her son Jure a few days before Easter on April 19, 1992. She said they went to Vir, where they remained until the beginning of June 1992.

“Martin's distant relative Ante Barukcic came to pick me up. Martin and his uncle Spiro visited us on Vir on June 3, 1992. I remember the date because while we were at Vir, we called his sister on the following day to wish her a happy birthday,” Barukcic said.

She said it took her husband two days to get to Vir. She said he then travelled to Pakostani with his uncle to visit relatives. She said they departed from Vir on the morning of June 7, 1992 and slept over at her sister-in-law’s home in the Zagreb area on the same night.

“Martin had a permit to leave Bosnia and Herzegovina. We returned at noon on June 8. He then reported to his command,” Barukcic said.

Vesna Barukcic denied that her husband was a nationalist, since she is of Serb ethnicity and they had been married for 26 years.

Tadija Vranjic, a former reserve policeman from Novi Grad, also testified in defense of Barukcic. He said he didn’t know that Barukcic had ever been brought to the police station. He said he didn’t see Barukcic in Serb villages during the war, and added that Barukcic and his wife were a “good family.”

Vranjic said he didn’t see Pavo Glavas in the Odzak area during the war either.

Martin Barukcic’s defense proposed that 17 more witnesses be examined. The trial chamber rejected the proposal.

The trial will continue on September 1, when Barukcic will testify in his own defense.

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