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23 March 2015
News

Kovacevic Denies Allegations from Indictment

Arnes Grbešić BIRN BiH Doboj

Jovisa Kovacevic, charged with committing war crimes in the Modrica area, testified in his own defense today at the district court in Doboj.

Kovacevic was a commissioner for the municipality of Odzak from February-September 1994, as per a decision by the government of Republika Srpska.

The indictment alleges that Kovacevic examined a prisoner for a couple of hours every day from April-May 1994. While examining the prisoner, Kovacevic allegedly assaulted him with his fists, legs, handles, and sticks.

At today’s hearing, Kovacevic said he’d never examined prisoners during the Bosnian war. He said he saw injured party Hasan Mujanovic for the first time in the courtroom.

“Witness Mujanovic’s testimony is absolutely untrue. It has nothing to do with Jovisa Kovacevic. I wasn’t at the villages of Borovo Polje and Potpolje in 1994. I haven’t visited them since either,” said Kovacevic.

Defense attorney Milenko Radonjic read a statement by Slavko Torbica, the former commander of the military police squad of the Bosnian Serb Army at the Modrica-Gradacac battlefield. Torbica had given the statement to the Prijedor police in May 2012.

In his statement, Torbica had said that no one beat prisoners of war, namely former members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Torbica said the prisoners had been examined by members of the State Security Service prior to his arrival.

Mujanovic appeared in the courtroom, but due to problems with his throat his responses to questions made by the prosecution and trial chamber weren’t audible.

Witnesses Mihajlo Milosevic and Novak Novic said that Kovacevic looked the same as he did during wartime, apart from the eyeglasses he now wore.

Material evidence was presented at the end of the defense’s presentation of evidence.

District prosecutor Slavko Krulj said that he would not give up on the direct examination of the remaining prosecution witness, who is currently abroad.

The trial will continue on April 16.

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