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2 December 2013
News

Indictee Was not Present in School Building

Boris Sekulic BIRN Bijeljina
Testifying at the trial for war crimes in Ugljevik, Defence witness Tomislav Tomic says that indictee Velimir Popovic neither guarded the school building in Ugljevik, where detainees were held, nor communicated with the detainees.
Tomic said that, in his capacity as driver with military police of the Yugoslav National Army, JNA, he was deployed to Ugljevik in February 1992.

“When I got there, I found out about detainees in the school building, because the police were in charge of guarding them. I met Velimir Popovic, whom I had known from before, in Ugljevik a couple of times in May 1992, but, as far as I know, he was not a member of the military police. I did not see him guarding the building, where the detainees were held, or entering the premises,” Tomic said.  

The Bijeljina District Prosecution charges Velimir Popovic, Ostoja Minic and Oliver Rodic with having taken Croat and Bosniak detainees from detention facilities in the school building and “Stari Ugljevik” premises in 1992 for examinations during which they beat them and tortured them.  

Dario Mihalic testified as Defence witness at this hearing. He said that he avoided having been captured on Mount Majevica in 1992 thanks to Velimir Popovic.

“In May 1992 I was on my way back from Subotica to Tuzla. I was stopped at Banj Brdo, along with five or six other trucks. Members of reserve forces took us out of the trucks and lined us up alongside the road. Velimir Popovic in the meantime came in a civil car. After having spoken to the soldiers, Velimir approached me and told me to come with him,” Mihalic said.

The trial is due to continue on January 29 next year.
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