Jezik / Language:
9 March 2016

Intelligence Sources Confirm Expert Witness Findings in Mile Puljic Trial

Marija Tausan BIRN BiH Sarajevo
An expert witness testified for the prosecution at the trial of Mile Puljic, charged with crimes in Mostar. The witness said he drew upon reports issued by the Intelligence and Security Service (OSA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) when discussing the defendant’s zone of responsibility in his findings.
Expert witness Zemir Sinanovic said Santiceva Street in Mostar was in Puljic’s zone of responsibility as the commander of the Second Battalion with the Second Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council.

According to the charges against Puljic, detainees were taken from the Heliodrom detention camp to Santiceva Street in order to perform forced labour. They were wounded and physically abused at that location in 1993.

Sinanovic confirmed he drew upon on OSA reports from 2013 and SIPA reports from 2010 about ten times in his findings in order to support his conclusions on the zone of responsibility of Puljic’s unit.

Sinanovic said the OSA report is relevant because it contains original documents. Defense attorney Davor Martinovic said it represented an analysis made on the basis of statements given by witnesses, who had never been examined before any courts. The witnesses gave their statements to the former Agency for Research and Documentation (AID).

The defense said the “Partizan” cinema had never been held by the Croatian Defense Council or the Second Battalion. According to Sinanovic’s findings, the cinema was one of the buildings held in the zone of responsibility of Puljic’s unit.

The indictment alleges that 11 individuals were killed while performing forced labour on Santiceva Street. Responding to questions from the defense, Sinanovic confirmed having established nine incidents of death in his findings.
The defense presented Sinanovic with a document on establishment of the Jasenica military and investigation prison within the Heliodrom detention camp. Sinanovic said there was another document on the establishment of the Heliodrom detention camp.

Sinanovic said he came to this conclusion on the basis of documentation from Hague Tribunal cases, which were sent to him electronically by the state prosecution.

“There are a number of original documents I have used. None of my allegations are arbitrary,” Sinanovic said.

The documentation from the Hague Tribunal and SIPA reports weren’t submitted to the defense. Prosecutor Remzija Smailagic said they were confidential documents, because they referred to investigations against other suspects.

Trial chamber chair Darko Samardzic ordered the prosecution to provide the defense with the documentation submitted to Sinanovic during the day.

“If a document is considered confidential for the defense, you should not have submitted it to the expert witness either,” Samardzic said.

The trial will continue on March 16, if the defense familiarizes itself with the voluminous Hague Tribunal documentation by then.
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