Jezik / Language:
9 July 2015

Basic Claims He Didn’t Abduct Civilians in Vardiste

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

Testifying in his own defense, Eniz Basic told the cantonal court of Zenica that he didn’t abduct two civilians in Vardiste in 1993.

Basic, a former member of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with abducting two civilians named Luka Sestan and Mirko Letic from a house in the village of Vardiste in the Zenica area in April 1993. Their charred bodies were found a few days later.

Basic told the trial chamber he was a reserve policeman from April 18-24, 1993.

“In the period covered by the indictment I spent most of my time in my brother’s apartment in the town, because it was hard for me to walk to the village every day. At that time I had no official activities in my village of Dobriljeno or the neighbouring village of Bilivode,” Basic said.

“I didn’t take Luka Sestan and Mirko Letic away. I had nothing to do with it. I don’t even know those people,” Basic said.

At the beginning of the conflict, Basic said, he participated in patrolling the area. He said he was tasked with protecting property and returnees.

“Our task was to speak with local residents who had left Bilivode, so they would return to the village. I can’t tell you what the real reason was for their departure, because I wasn’t even there during the conflict,” Basic said.

According to a statement Basic gave during the investigation, he was assigned an automatic weapon as a reserve policeman. He denied this at today’s hearing, claiming he was assigned a pistol. He said he received a rifle later on, when he became an active policeman. He said this could be verified with the police.

The trial will continue on July 24.

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