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19 February 2009
News

Savic and Mucibabic: Police management meetings

BIRN BiH
An additional Prosecution witness says "the deportation and capture of Bosniaks" was not discussed at police management meetings convened by indictee Savic.

Aleksandar Krulj, who appeared as an additional Prosecution witness at the trial for crimes committed in eastern Herzegovina, said that indictee Krsto Savic "organized and chaired the meetings" of the Safety Services Center, SSC, Trebinje and public safety stations, PSS, from Bileca, Gacko, Nevesinje, Ljubinje and Kalinovik in 1992.

"At those meetings participants did not discuss crimes against Bosniaks, or forcible resettlement or detention of Bosniaks. I cannot say that the police evicted Bosniaks from that area," said Krulj, who was Chief of the PSS in Ljubinje at the time.

The witness said that he "recalls" Savic being Chief of the SSC in Trebinje.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Savic, former Chief of the CSS in Trebinje, and Milko Mucibabic, a former policeman, with crimes against humanity committed in Nevesinje, Kalinovik, Bileca and Gacko.

The indictees are charged with unlawful detention, torture, rape, forcible disappearances, arbitrary demolition of property, causing severe suffering, and intimidating and terrorizing people. 

During the examination the State Prosecution presented Krulj with a diary containing minutes from police management meetings covering the eastern Herzegovina area. However, the witness could not confirm whose diary this was. 

"I do not remember the meeting at which it was decided to arrest all Muslim and Croat men capable of serving in the military. I know that the military asked us to arrest all men capable of serving in the military, irrespective of their nationality," the witness said, adding that he "cannot remember" the other task, which consisted of arresting Serb men capable of serving the military.

The second additional Prosecution witness, Davorin Kozomara, a medical expert, presented his findings and opinion concerning the state of health of Hata Merhemic, who was supposed to be examined as a Prosecution witness at this hearing. 

"This woman is 73 years old and can hardly move. She walks with a crutch, holding onto pieces of furniture while walking around the house. She does not go out at all. She has respiratory, cardiac and urinary problems," the court expert said, adding that it would be "inconvenient" for her to travel "due to her aches". 

Kozomara said that the witness' mental state was normal, adding that there was no reason to "distrust the credibility of her statement in that sense".

The trial is due to continue on February 25.

 
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