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17 February 2016
News

Former Bosanska Krupa Police Describe Search and Apprehension of Injured Party

Albina Sorguc BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying at the trial of three former Bosniak policemen charged with wartime crimes in Bosanska Krupa, a state prosecution witness said he participated in locating and apprehending civilian Marko Gakovic in the village of Suvaja. The witness said Gakovic was handed over to a duty officer at the Bosanska Krupa police station.

Defendants Jadranko Saran, Samir Sabic and Zijad Kadic have been charged with committing crimes in Bosanska Krupa. They have been charged with the detention of the Serb and Croat population, as well as inhumane treatment and acts of murder.

Among other charges, the indictment alleges that Saran issued an order to arrest civilian Marko Gakovic, who managed to flee. After Sabic issued a patrol warrant against him and sent policemen to find him, Gakovic went missing without trace. Gakovic’s body was exhumed later on.

Dzevad Komic, a former reserve policeman at the police section in Bosanska Otoka, was the first witness to testify at today’s hearing. Komic said he and his colleagues went to Suvaja in the late autumn of 1995 to search the area and locate certain individuals. He said Gakovic, nicknamed Gak, was the only one they found. He said he was an elderly man, aged 70.

“I didn’t communicate with him, except to check his ID card,” Komic said.

He said one of his colleagues asked Gakovic if he had a gun. He said Gakovic confirmed that he had a rifle. Komic said Gakovic left with two of his colleagues and showed them the location of the rifle. Komic said Gakovic was then handed over to a duty officer in Bosanska Krupa.

Zijad Dzafic, the former assistant commander of the police station in Bosanska Krupa, was the second witness to testify at today’s hearing. Dzafic said the late Fahrudin Hadziosmanagic-Tadzic was his commander and Jadranko Saran was his chief.

Dzafic said he was informed at the beginning of November 1995 that a civilian had fled from the police section in Jasenica. He said he also heard that six policemen from Bosanska Krupa helped policemen from the Jasenica section search for the civilian in Suvaja.

He said Samir Sabic, the commander of the police section in Jasenica, issued the orders.

Dzafic said they were informed that the person who had fled was at home. He said the man they were trying to locate had been arrested before.

“At some stage I heard shooting. I lied down for about ten seconds...I heard somebody shouting ‘Stop,’” Dzafic said. He said the man ran into the forest. He said he thought his last name was Gak.

At the next hearing, scheduled for March 2, the defense teams will cross-examine Dzafic.

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