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13 January 2016
News

Saran Ordered Arrest of Bosanska Krupa Serb for Safety Reasons, Former Policeman Says

Albina Sorguc BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Testifying at the trial of three former Bosniak policemen charged with crimes in the Bosanska Krupa area, a state prosecution witness said one of the defendants told him he was to apprehend a Serb in the village of Suvajcina and bring him to the police for safety reasons.

Defendants Jadranko Saran, Samir Sabic and Zijad Kadic have been charged with war crimes in Bosanska Krupa, such as detaining Serb and Croat civilians and one prisoner of war, as well as murder and inhumane treatment.

Among other charges, the indictment alleges that Saran issued an order to arrest civilian Marko Gakovic, who managed to flee. After Sabic issued a patrol warrant against Gakovic and sent policemen to find him, he went missing without trace. Gakovic’s body was exhumed later on.

Himzo Krupic, the chief of the crime service with the public safety center in Bosanska Krupa, testified at today’s hearing. Krupic said Saran invited him to his office in October or November 1995 and told him he should apprehend a man with the last name of Gakovic, nicknamed Gak, for safety reasons. At the time Saran was the chief of the public safety center in Bosanska Krupa.

“He was supposed to be registered in our office. There were armed people. There were soldiers from Sarajevo and Zenica,” Krupic said. He said he went to the village of Suvajcina with four or five policemen and an inspector to apprehend Gakovic.

He said he and the other men told Gakovic about the presence of armed people in the area and said it would be good for him to accompany them to the police station to be registered. He said Gakovic told them that armed men had confiscated flour and sugar from him.

“Our task was to bring him to the duty office, so we could prevent an evil thing from happening, God forbid,” Krupic said.

Krupic said they handed Gakovic over to a duty policeman, but didn’t know what happened to him afterwards.

When asked whether his section received reports on property confiscations from September 1995 to the summer of 1996, Krupic said they had received one.

“There was one report filed by Jovo Jelac, who reported that his tractor and dump cart had been taken away. We worked on that case. We found the perpetrator, filed a criminal report and returned the tractor. The criminal report was filed against Samir Sabic,” Krupic said.

Safet Medosevic, Sabic’s defense attorney, asked Krupic whether he had been in conflict with his client for a number of years. Krupic responded by saying they had communicated about their disputes through official channels.

The trial will continue on January 20.

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