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17 November 2009
News

Klickovic et al: Measures That Leave Fewest Scars

BIRN BiH
An expert witness testifying for the Defence of Gojko Klickovic at the trial for crimes committed in Bosanska Krupa says the indictee did not have "effective control" over the military and police structures in the area.
Radovan Radinovic, a military expert witness, said that Bosniaks attacked Bosanska Krupa in April 1992, adding that the Crisis Committee and wartime Presidency of Bosanska Krupa did not have control over the police and military structures.

"Crisis committees are bodies that function in crisis, which needs to be overcome. Their work is regulated by law. (...) Once a crisis committee stops functioning, a wartime presidency is formed. They did not have effective control over the military. Had they had such control, they would not have issued proposals but orders," Radinovic said.

The expert witness said that the Crisis Committee in Krupa was active "from the end of December 1991" to the beginning of the conflict on April 21, 1992, when the wartime Presidency took over its duties.

Gojko Klickovic, Mladen Drljaca and Jovan Ostojic are charged with having participated in crimes against humanity committed in the Bosanska Krupa area during 1992.

Klickovic is charged with having performed the functions of Commander of the Crisis Committee of the Serb municipality of Bosanska Krupa and President of the wartime Presidency in that municipality. He is charged with having had "actual control" over the police and Territorial Defence units, which participated in a joint criminal enterprise in that area.

Among other things, the indictment alleges that, "in line with a written order issued by Gojko Klickovic", Bosniak residents of Arapusa, Velika Jasenica, Veliki Dubovik, Zalin, Potkalinje, Zaluge and Krupa town were forcibly resettled to the Bihac and Sanski Most areas in May 1992.

"At that moment the wartime Presidency assessed that there was no possibility for it to control or ensure the safety of those people. I consider that the evacuation was relatively well prepared and that it caused the fewest possible consequences and scars, which usually come as a result of such a measure being implemented," Radinovic said.

Radinovic said that "the Serbs did not form paramilitary units", adding that the attack on Krupa town was conducted by members of "the Territorial Defence, reserve police forces and Maneuver Unit from Bihac".

The Prosecution charges that the attack against the civilian Bosniak population of Krupa town was conducted by "Serb forces, which were under the actual command of Gojko Klickovic", on April 21, 1992. It further charges that at least 17 people were killed and at least 14 people were wounded on that occasion.

Radinovic explained that various events that took place in 1991 and 1992 caused the conflict in Krupa. He said that these events influenced the establishment of the Serb municipality in the town, which was done without "the use of military force".

"The Serb municipality was not established by using military force, but political methods prior to the conflict. (...) Capturing people in that region came as a logical consequence of military conflict. The Brigade Commander had the biggest responsibility for the detentions and respect of (detainees') rights. He is superior to the security officer and military policemen, who took care of the prisoners," the expert witness said.

The indictment alleges that Jovan Ostojic was Commander of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade as of July 14, 1992. It further alleges that he "had actual control over his subordinates".

The trial is due to continue on November 18, 2009, when the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Defence of Drljaca and Ostojic will cross-examine expert witness Radinovic.
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