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28 August 2012
News

Basic and Sijak: A Decent Man

BIRN BiH
Testifying in defence of Muhidin Basic, a witness says that he was hiding in the indictee’s house for about 15 days in 1992, adding that the indictee was a decent man.

Witness Tihomir Brdjanovic found himself in Vares, while visiting his father, who was ill, when the conflict broke out in 1992.  
 
“I am a Croat. My aunt came to our place, crying, and told me that some uniformed men were looking for me. We then headed towards Kladanj,” the witness said, adding that he was stopped at a checkpoint controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he asked them to let him go, because he knew Muhidin Basic.
 
After having been released, the witness went to Muhidin Basic’s summer house, where he stayed until the conflict calmed down.
 
“We stayed in the part of the house, where his parents lived. Some other people came later on and hid in the house too. We knew that the Basic’s were decent people and that they would welcome us to their place,” the witness said.
 
Second witness Mario Kapetanovic, an officer with the State Investigation and Protection Agency, who worked on this case, said that the case was marked “confidential” from the very beginning.
 
Kerim Celik, Defence attorney of indictee Basic, presented the witness with official notes. The witness confirmed that he had prepared those notes. Witness Kapetanovic explained that official notes did not represent evidence, adding that they were just waymarks that helped people discover the real truth.
 
One of the notes, dated October 15, 2010, says that he found out, during an interview with a rape victim, that the victim had received a birthday text message from an unknown number.
 
“The message said: ‘Much happiness for your birthday’. I wrote that down in the official note, although I know that our operational system did not allow sending of messages from unknown numbers,” the witness explained.  
 
Kapetanovic said that he knew that his notes were published by some daily newspapers, but he was acquitted of charges, explaining that somebody else gave the documents to a journalist.
 
The indictment alleges that Basic and Sijak, who were accompanied by two unidentified members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, forced protected witness A, who was visiting somebody in the prison in Vares, to have sexual intercourse with them on January 25, 1994.
 
Basic was Chief of the wartime Section of the State Security Service in Olovo and Sijak was military policeman with the 122nd Light Brigade of ABiH.
 
Witness Ivica Kir, who worked as deputy Commander of the Police Station in Careva Cuprija in 1993 and 1994, said that witness C was invited to give a statement in April 1994.
 
“He was examined by Muhidin Basic. Following the interview, he was released home. This was done according to the regular procedure,” the witness said, adding that, as far as he knew, no Croats faced any problems and that they had confidence in police.
 
Witness Resid Plecan said that indictee Basic offered him to work with the State Security Service in November 1993.
 
“I was deployed to Cuniste village. I watched the house of Taib Gogic, former Mayor of Olovo. I monitored who came and left the house,” the witness said.
 
When he came across “certain discoveries” he would inform his boss Muhidin Basic. He recalled that Gogic was once apprehended in order to give a statement in Olovo.
 
The trial is due to continue on September 3, when three new Defence witnesses will testify. 

M.B.
 



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