Jezik / Language:
26 February 2016

¸Protected Witness Says Muhko Velagic Abused Prisoner

Kenan Kavazovic BIRN BiH Travnik

A protected witness testifying at the trial of Muhko and Safet Velagic said he saw Muhko Velagic beating Iviva Lozancic in Vrbanja near Bugojno.

Testifying before the cantonal court in Travnik, a protected witness known as “I” said that in July 1993 he was detained in Bugojno and forced to work. He said he and ten other inmates were ordered to bury Bosniak bodies in Vrbanja, where Muhko Velagic beat up Ivica Lozancic.

“After burying the bodies we went to Crnici. I saw civilians and soldiers. Marijo Zrno was there, digging a grave. I saw Vinko Zrno. We were so tired, we couldn’t hold shovels. Vinko gave up first, they hit him…Mario also gave up and they beat him, but I didn’t see who,” “I” said. He said said Safet Valagic wasn’t in Vrbanja or Crnici.

Muhko and Safet Velagic have been charged with physically and mentally abusing detainees Vinko and Mario Zrno. They allegedly punched them, kicked them, and beat them with stones, picks and other dull objects.

The indictment alleges that Vinko and Mario Zrno fainted from the abuse. Mario allegedly died from his injuries later on.

Witness Zeljko Milos said he saw Muho and Safet Velagic in Vrbanja and Crnici.

“Muhko hit Marijo with a shovel. Safet was there but he wasn’t aggressive. They grew tired of hitting us and told us to hit each other,” Milos said.

Dragan Kasalo was the third witness to testify at today’s hearing. Kasalo said in 1993 he was a police officer in Bugojno and one of the Bosnian Croats detained by the Bosnian Army. He said that once a group of 10 prisoners was taken away, including Mario Zrno. He said Zrno didn’t return.

Enes Handzic said he heard about Marijo Zrno’s killing from the Bosnian Army. He said he heard that civilians killed him. Handzic has been sentenced to eight years in prison for crimes in Bugojno by the Bosnian state court.

The trial continues.

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