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7 March 2016
News

Injured Party Detained for Own Safety, Krsmanovic Defense Witnesses Say

Albina Sorguc BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Defense witnesses testifying at the trial of Milenko Krsmanovic said injured party Muhidin Kapo was apprehended in the Sokolac police station for his own safety. The witnesses said the police protected him from local residents. Krsmanovic has been charged with crimes in the Sokolac area.

The district prosecution of Eastern Sarajevo has charged Krsmanovic with capturing and robbing Muhidin Kapo, a Bosniak civilian from the Rogatica area, in the vicinity of the village of Pediste in the municipality of Sokolac on July 7, 1992. Krsmanovic allegedly acted in collaboration with another member of the Bosnian Serb Army. Krsmanovic and the other perpetrator allegedly drove Kapo towards the public safety station in Sokolac.

According to the state prosecution, Krsmanovic and the other perpetrator beat the captive continuously and took him out of the car with the intention of killing him, but they decided not to. This caused Kapo severe mental and bodily harm. Kapo was handed over to police forces and transferred to the Rasadnik detention camp in Rogatica.

Defense witness Dragomir Obradovic, the former commander of the Sokolac police station, testified at today’s hearing. Obradovic said he remembered looking out of a window and seeing Krsmanovic and another police officer bringing a man into the police station.

Obradovic said he didn’t know Kapo. He said the man he saw was limping. He said he didn’t commit any crimes, but local residents in the area wanted to beat him.

“He jumped over a fence and hurt his leg. We kept him for security reasons mainly,” Obradovic said.

Obradovic said the injured party was held at police for three days before being transferred to the state security service and then to Rogatica.

Obradovic said Krsmanovic wrote an official note on objects confiscated from Kapo, including golden jewellery, a pistol and a watch.

Obradovic said he visited detainees held in a room at the police station. He said a detainee brought in by the defendant told him that “If Krso hadn’t come, I would have lost my life.”

Obradovic said Krso referred to the defendant.

The second defense witness, Tomislav Puhalac, said he used to work at the state security section in Sokolac. He said that he knew Krsmanovic, who worked as a policeman at the police station in Sokolac.

He said he heard about Muhidin Kapo. Puhalac said he was on the state security premises in Sokolac and a statement was taken from him.

“He said he injured his leg when jumping over a fence. When he returned from Rogatica, his arm was injured as well,” Puhalac said.

Puhalac said Kapo said that the police had saved him.

“According to what he said, Milenko saved him and brought him to the police station. I am 100 percent sure he had no complains about the way the policemen treated him,” Puhalac said.

Responding to a question from the prosecution, Puhalac confirmed that members of the state security visited Kapo at a hospital in Podromanija.

Defense witness Predrag Cajic, another employee at the state security service in Sokolac, said Muhidin Kapo was arrested in 1992. He said that police forces saved him from local residents, who wanted to kill him.

He said he met Kapo at a hospital in Podromanija. He said the state security service received a note that his life was in danger. The note said “other wounded persons caused problems at the hospital” because of Kapo.

Puhalac said he had been stabbed in the fist with a knife. He said a person nicknamed Macola was investigated due to this incident.

The trial will continue on March 21.

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