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19 May 2015

Frimel Defense Witness Says No Abuse Occurred at Hrasno School

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A defense witness testifying at the Mario Frimel trial said she didn’t see Frimel in a school building in Hrasno, and said she didn’t have any knowledge about the local population being abducted and mistreated.

Frimel, the former commander of the Ivan Krndelj Squad of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with the unlawful arrest, physical abuse and mental abuse of Serbs in the Hrasno neighbourhood of Sarajevo at the beginning of October 1992.

“I stand by my words when I say I didn’t see anyone being taken away, arrested or mistreated in my presence. I wouldn’t have allowed that to happen,” Azra Bulut Mujkanovic told the cantonal court of Sarajevo.

Bulut Mujkanovic said a check-point for aid was established in the school building and that as a member of the Red Cross, she was there 24 hours a day.

Bulut Mujkanovic remembered skyscrapers in the Hrasno neighbourhood being set on fire at the beginning of October 1992. She said people were panicking because they were afraid the wind would carry the fire to the school building.

“Mario had no link to the school building,” Bulut Mujkanovic said. She said she met the defendant once, very briefly.

Bulut Mujkanovic said she neither heard nor saw soldiers taking civilians away or arresting them.

During cross-examination, Bulut Mujkanovic said she had not heard about the Ivan Krndelj military formation. She said nobody was abused inside the school building in Hrasno, because the premises were open and “no one could have done anything without me knowing.”

The trial will continue on June 19.

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