Jezik / Language:
26 March 2013

Prisoners in Smoluca Were Not Mistreated

Adelina Hadzic BIRN Tuzla

As the trial for crime against prisoners in Smoluca (Kalesija Municipality) continues, eight defence witnesses testified that they treated the detained members of Territorial Defence (TO) from Tinja (Srebrenik Municipality) according to rules and that they did not even hear about anyone beating or hurting them.

Witness Lazar Simeunovic stated that on 25 June 1992 he took Nadil Poljakovic, one of the captured TO members, and led him for four kilometres.

"Nobody harmed a hair on his head," Simeunovic said, adding that Poljakovic's face was scratched a little.
Witnesses Miodrag Vukovic and Stojan Milanovic testified that their task was to "only escort the captured Poljakovic to the command in Smoluca“and that "he was not even tied, not to mention mistreated“.
According to the indictment, Poljakovic is one of four captured TO members who were mistreated by the TO of Republika Srpska Army (VRS) from 25 June to 29 July 1992. 

Charged with this crime are Milorad Cvijanovic Micko, Milorad Cvijanovic (son of Milan), Svetomir Ilic and Vaso Ilic. According to the indictment, after the captured men were taken to Smoluca, they were kicked, punched, hit with batons, knives and rifle butts.
The Defence counsel for the accused, Miodrag Stojanovic, presented the witnesses with the written records of the investigation conducted by the State Investigation and Protection Agency in March 2009 wherein it is stated, among other things, that  Poljakovic was mistreated, stretched at the door and tied with wire. The witnesses denied it.
Witness Stanislav Jovanovic, who, as a student of final year of medical school, was forced to work in an improvised dispensary in Smoluca in 1992 as a doctor, testified that on more than one occasion he bandaged captured Edin Malkic, who was wounded in the groins.
"For his position as a detainee, we even comforted him and provided him with all necessary help," Jovanovic said also adding that he did not recall if Malkic had any other injuries.  

Witness Zarko Micic stated that he was "a small player" denying the allegations that he wanted to help detained Avdo Hodzic by confronting a VRS member. 

"It was difficult to guaranty security to anyone," stated witness Vlado Todorovic, who came to Smoluca in 1992 from Husinska buna Military Barracks in Tuzla as a captain of the Army of Yugoslavia.

Witness Todorovic stated that in this period a military court was established in Smoluca, and that he was never informed that the detainees were mistreated. 

"Svetomir Ilic was in charge of the security of detainees" said Todorovic whose confrontation with Nadil Poljakovic was requested by the prosecutor Alma Dzaferovic.
The trial will continue on 26 March.

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