Jezik / Language:
4 February 2016

Sehagic Defense Witnesses Claim No Knowledge of Mistreatment of Kakanj Prisoners

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica
A defense witness testifying at the Jasmin Sehagic trial said he wasn’t mistreated during his detention in an old mine directorate building in Kakanj. Other witnesses said they were unaware of any abuse of prisoners at the site.
Sehagic, the former manager of a detention facility situated in the old brown coal mine directorate building in Kakanj, has been charged with participating in the torture of Croat detainees.

The cantonal prosecution of Zenica alleges that Sehagic failed to undertake necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the torture of prisoners. He also allegedly failed to report the abuse to his superiors and punish the perpetrators.

Testifying at today’s hearing, Marko Batinic said he was taken to a detention unit in the old mine directorate building in Kakanj twice during the war, as he failed to respond to calls for military mobilization.

“Military policemen from Zenica brought me in at around noon. I was released at around 6 p.m. A doctor, an officer and a military policeman were present. They asked me why I had failed to respond to the call. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t mistreated. Instead of joining the army, I returned to my company. I wish I had met Sehagic on that occasion, because I know him and I know he would have helped me,” Batinic said.

Batinic said Sehagic helped his brother-in-law, Mladen, by preventing others from beating him during his detention.

“I never heard that Sehagic beat anyone,” Batinic said.

Also testifying in Sehagic’s defense, Stjepan Sljivic said his two brothers in law were detained in the mine directorate building for a couple of days and were treated correctly.

Sljivic said he had nothing but positive comments about the the defendant.

Hajrudin Kubat, a former member of the Territorial Defense in the municipality of Kakanj, also testified at today’s hearing. Kubat said he used to pass by the old brown coal mine directorate building every day, but had never heard of any mistreatment of prisoners.

“I don’t know who was brought there, how and why,” Kubat said.

Sehagic said he handed over the detention unit archives to the witness when he was released from duty, but Kubat was unable to remember this.

Kubat was presented with a report made by the handover commission, in which Kubat recognized his signature.

Two more witnesses were examined during the hearing in the absence of the public.

The trial will continue on March 3. The defense will present material evidence and closing statements will be presented at the next hearing.

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