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16 September 2015
News

Trial of Three Former Bosanska Krupa Police Officials Has Begun

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The trial of three former Bosniak police officials charged with war crimes in Bosanska Krupa began at the state court with a reading of the indictment and the state prosecution’s introductory statement.

Jadranko Saran, Samir Sabic and Zijad Kadic have been charged with detaining Serb and Croat civilians as well as one prisoner of war. The defendants allegedly killed and inhumanely treated the detainees. They have also been charged with unjustifiably delaying the dismantling of concentration camps in several buildings in Bosanska Krupa from September 1995 to July 1996.

According to the charges, Saran was the head of the public safety station in Bosanska Krupa, Sabic was the commander of the police section in Jesenica and Kadic was a police officer.

Saran allegedly ordered the detention of civilians in the Jasenica concentration camp. The civilians were observed by guards, over whom Sabic had effective control. The prosecution alleges that the civilians were held in inhumane conditions and taken to other locations to perform forced labour. Two children were imprisoned as well.

Under one of the counts in the indictment, Zijad Kadic has been charged with wounding civilian and former prisoner Milka Curguz while he was performing forced labour.

Sabic has been charged with interrogating two civilians named Slobodan Topolic and Milos Bundalo in Jasenica from September 22 to October 9, 1995. Zijad Kadic allegedly beat the civilians in the presence of Saran and other unidentified police officers. The indictment alleges Saran failed to prevent this and other instances of abuse directed at detained civilians and the prisoner of war.

The indictment alleges Saran ordered the arrest of civilian Marko Gakovic, who managed to run away. However, Sabic issued a patrol warrant and ordered police officers to find him. Gakovic’s body was eventually found and exhumed.

Prosecutor Ozrenka Neskovic said the defendants held the elderly and children in detention, contrary to all existing conventions, even after the signing of the Dayton peace accord in 1995.

She said that “material evidence is more dominant than subjective evidence” in this case, due to the passage of time. She said there are fewer than ten living witnesses.

The defense teams of the defendants denied that their clients had committed any crimes. They said they would present their introductory statements once the prosecution had completed its evidence presentation.

The indictment was confirmed in January 2015. Fahrudin Hadziosmanagic-Tadzic was originally indicted with Saran, Sabic and Kadic, but the case against him was separated.

The first Bosnian state prosecution witness will be examined on September 30.
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