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19 November 2009
News

Klickovic et al: Wholehearted Fight for Yugoslavia

BIRN BiH
An expert witness testifying for the Defence of Gojko Klickovic at the trial for crimes committed in Bosanska Krupa says that the wartime Presidency was "the highest authority" in the town, adding that living in one country was "of vital interest" for Serbs.
On the second day of his examination, military expert witness Radovan Radinovic said that there could not have been a prison or detention camp in Bosanska Krupa, adding that Serbs "fought wholeheartedly for the preservation of Yugoslavia".

"Due to the fact that the system was not functioning in Bosanska Krupa, the wartime Presidency took over the competencies of the highest authorities. (...) There could have been a reception center for prisoners-of-war formed by the Brigade, but I cannot precisely say for what purpose the school buildings in Jasenica and Krupa were used, because I do not have sufficient data," Radinovic said.

The State Prosecution charges Gojko Klickovic, Mladen Drljaca and Jovan Ostojic with crimes committed in the Bosanska Krupa area in 1992. The indictment alleges that, from May 1 to August 21, 1992, at least 79 people were detained in the "Petar Kocic" school building in Krupa, where a person named Joja Plavanjac killed 11 detainees at the beginning of August.

Among other things, the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Klickovic and Drljaca with crimes committed in the school building in Jasenica, where civilians and soldiers were detained and held in "inhumane conditions and beaten up".

Radinovic said he did not know what the procedure was "in case a crime was committed in the Brigade's zone of responsibility", adding that he did not know anything about the murder of 11 men in the school building in Krupa.

"If this was the case, every person in the chain of responsibility, starting from the one who brought them there, guarded and examined them to the person who was responsible for them, failed to perform his duty," the expert witness said, adding that detainees "must not be engaged in duties in dangerous areas".

The indictment alleges that the detainees from the "Petar Kocic" school building were "forcibly exchanged and taken away from the Serb municipality of Bosanska Krupa" during May 1992. It further alleges that they were regularly forced to perform hard labour, including removal of corpses and digging trenches.

"The exchanges of prisoners-of-war were intensive and reciprocal. Lists contained a large number of names, so the offers looked more convincing. They contained names of people who had fled to their relatives in Sanski most or stayed in their homes," Radinovic said.

Klickovic is charged with having "issued a written order" for Muslim civilians to be "forcibly resettled" from Arapusa, Velika Jasenica, Veliki Dubovik, Zalin, Potkalinje and Zalug villages to Sanski most and Bihac municipalities during the course of May 1992.

The next hearing is due to take place on December 8, 2009.
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