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8 July 2015
News

Character Witnesses Describe Barukcic as Decent Family Man

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Friends and family members testifying in defense of Martin Barukcic described him as good, decent and non-violent. His aunt and uncle said Barukcic was in Croatia during the time period covered in the indictment.

Barukcic, Marijan Brnjic, Pavo Glavas and Ilija Glavas, have been charged with the rape of Serb women in Odzak from June to August 1992. The defendants are former members of the 102 Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council.

Ilija Barukcic, Barukcic’s uncle, testified at today’s hearing. He said Barukcic shared a name with one of his brothers, a bricklayer who went missing during the war.

Ilija Barukcic said the defendant’s father was a labourer who’d worked in Germany his entire life.

Ilija Barukcic said his nephew had a military engagement in Doljani in Posavska Mahala in the municipality of Odzak. His wife Vesna and his son Jure were refugees on Vir island in Croatia.

“About three weeks after Novi Grad surrendered, it might have been on June 1, 1992, Martin was given permission to go to Vir to bring back Vesna and his child,” Barukcic said.

He said he accompanied Barukcic because he didn’t have a car. The trip lasted about seven days.

In response to a question by Plavo Glavas’ defense attorney, Barukcic said he didn’t see Glavas during the war.

Marija Barukcic, Martin Barukcic’s aunt, said she was staying at her son’s house on Vir island during the war. She said Martin’s wife Vesna and their child were sheltered there.

She said Martin and Ilija Barukcic picked her up when they came to Vir island, and said they visited other relatives and went to a post office in order to call Martin’s sister.

Jozo Pudic, the third witness testifying in defense of Barukcic, said he grew up with him and served in the same local military units.

Pudic said Barukcic had been on the frontline near his house, and went to Vir island to pick up his family.

Pudic said Barukcic had a harmonious interethnic marriage and described him as a good and decent man.

Ivica Agatic, another defense witness, said he was a member of the Second Squad (also called Valter) with Barukcic.

He described Barukcic as friendly, decent and non-violent.

All four defense witnesses said they had never seen Barukcic drunk.

The trial will continue on August 25.
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