Jezik / Language:
16 February 2016

Mato Baotic Trial Begins

Srdjan Kureljusic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Mato Baotic trial began with a reading of the indictment and the presentation of introductory statements. Baotic has been charged with war crimes committed in the Orasje area in 1992 and 1993.

Baotic has been charged with raping and sexually abusing Serb women several times. He was the former commander of military police with the Croatian Defense Council and eventually became the commander of a detention camp on the premises of a school building in Donja Mahala.

The indictment alleges that Baotic arrested the husband of one of the injured parties, then drove the injured party to a house and ordered her to take her clothes off on the night of May 10 or 11, 1992. He allegedly raped her along with Pero Vincetic, the former commander of the military police of the 106th Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council.

He allegedly drove the injured party to the Hungarian border on the following day and ordered her not to return. The injured party got pregnant as a result of the rape and got an abortion while she was a refugee.

According to the charges, Baotic raped two other women. He also allegedly tortured, abused and beat a number of Serbs detained in Donja Mahala.

In his introductory statement, prosecutor Milanko Kajganic said he would invite 24 witnesses to testify in order to prove the accusations. He said only one injured party was a prisoner of war, while all the others were civilians.

Defense attorney Irena Pehar said the defense would present material evidence and witnesses in order to prove that the allegations contained in the indictment were false. The first prosecution witness was examined in a closed session in order to protect his privacy.

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