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26 January 2010

Klickovic et al: Working Meetings in Cafes

A former Chief of the Public Safety Station in Bosanska Krupa claims he did not know about the wartime Presidency in that town, adding that he met Gojko Klickovic at "working meetings" in cafes every day.
Milan Vojinovic, testifying for the Defence of Gojko Klickovic, told the Court that he took notes of events in Bosanska Krupa during the war, adding that he noted down most of his meetings with the first indictee and other members of the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS. The Defence presented the witness with this diary, including, among other things, a note on his meeting of May 7, 1992.

Klickovic said that on that day the wartime Presidency rendered a decision concerning the organization and way of operation of the Serb municipality of Bosanska Krupa. He said the decision indicated that the wartime Presidency consisted of Klickovic, Miroslav Vjestica, Mladen Drljaca, Vojinovic and Milan Strbac.

"This was a working meeting and not a formal meeting of the wartime Presidency. I saw this decision for the first time in 2008, when I found out that I had been a member of the wartime Presidency. We never held a meeting attended by all of these people and nobody ever said that this was a wartime Presidency," Vojinovic said.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Klickovic, Drljaca and Jovan Ostojic with murder, detention, forcible resettlement, torture and other crimes committed against the non-Serb population in Bosanska Krupa during 1992. The indictment alleges, among other things, that Klickovic was President of the wartime Presidency. He is charged with having participated, in collaboration with Drljaca, Vojinovic, Vjestica and other members of the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, in a joint criminal enterprise.

Klickovic said in court that witness Vojinovic's diary contained notes from "18 meetings", adding that he (Klickovic) attended 17, Vjestica 16 and Mladen Drljaca 14 of them.

"I had even more meetings with you and the others that registered in the diary, but those were working meetings held in cafes. We did not have anything else to do. We invested most efforts in securing normal life in Krupa," the witness said.

Vojinovic said that the Public Safety Station had "rather good relations" with civilian authorities in Krupa, but they did not report to them but to the Chief of the Safety Services Center in Banja Luka.

The indictment alleges that Klickovic assisted in planning, preparing and executing crimes, among other things, by establishing control over the Serb police and territorial defence units, which participated in the execution of the joint criminal enterprise plans.

The witness recalled that Gojko Klickovic issued an order in May 1992 for all Bosniaks in Zalug village, Bosanska Krupa municipality, to be resettled to Bihac. Vojinovic said that the Bosniaks were "guarded by police and a couple of soldiers, who were their neighbours".

The indictment alleges that on May 24, 1992 the remaining civilians from Zalug village and Bosanska Krupa town were "forcibly resettled to Bihac", "in line with Gojko Klickovic's written order".

Vojinovic told the Court that "the conflict in Bosanska Krupa" began on April 21, 1992, adding that he was in the school building in Jasenica in those days. He said that "some people were held in the gym".

"I do not know how they were treated. I do not know for how long they stayed there. I know that a solution was sought for letting them go wherever they wanted. Later, some of them stayed there. They were taken to the school building in Krupa, where they were guarded and fed. (...) I do not know who made the decision to use 'Petar Kocic' school building as a military prison. They were guarded by soldiers. The civilian authorities had nothing to do with it," the witness said.

Answering a question put by Ostojic's Defence, Vojinovic said he heard that Joja Plavanjac "did some stupid thing and killed some people in the school building", but he said he did not know when this had happened.

The indictment alleges that, between April 21 and May 1, 1992 more than 50 non-Serbs were detained in the school building in Jasenica, where they were held in inhumane conditions and beaten, before being transferred to the "Petar Kocic" school building in Krupa. It further alleges that at least 79 people were detained in that building until August 21, 1992.

The indictment alleges that at the beginning of August 1992 a person named Joja Plavanjac killed a small number of men who were detained in the "Petar Kocic" school building.

The trial is due to continue on January 27.
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