Jezik / Language:
7 November 2013

Verdict against Banovic and Granic on November 12

Igor Krstanović BIRN BiH Mostar

Testifying in their defence before the Cantonal Court in Mostar, indictees Mijo Banovic and Gojko Granic say that they almost never visited the Dretelj detention camp.

Gojko Granic said that, in his capacity as Commander of the Second Squad with the Third Company of military police of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, he was tasked with visiting seven check-points and that he did not perform any tasks in Dretelj.

“I spent only one tenth of my working time inside the camp. The military police just assisted in keeping order in the detention camp. I did not beat anyone. I am not that kind of person. I was without a pistol in the barracks on many occasions. I never carried a baton,” Granic said.

He said that he assisted people of all ethnicities, brought them food, arranged the kitchen in the hospital.
He said that they used to call him Grana, not Goja. As he explained, there were several men named Gojko in his Company.

“I saw the prisoners for the first and last time in the courtroom. I saw Banovic in court for the first time. We did not know each other before,” Granic said.

The indictment alleges that Granic and Banovic beat and mistreated prisoners in Dretelj from July to September 1993. 

Granic said that he was not in Dretelj after July 14, 1993.

Banovic spoke about his exile at the beginning of July 1993, denying having participated in the crimes in Dretelj.

“I came from Posusje to Capljina on July 13. After that I participated in an attack on Gubavica as a member of the military police. I was not in Dretelj detention camp in July and August. I visited Dretelj only once and never again,” Banovic said, adding that he neither knew Gojko Granic nor Goja.

Defence witnesses Ivica Bekavac and Fabijan Lukic were examined at this hearing. They said that indictee Banovic could not have been present in Dretelj detention camp on July 13, 1993.

Witness Lukic said that he participated in the attack on Gubavica, along with indictee Banovic, on that day. Bekavac was not able to confirm that.

Following the completion of the evidence presentation process, the Prosecution presented its closing statement, calling on the Court to pronounce the indictees guilty and pointing to “the large number of crimes, their frequency, persistence and the manner” of execution of their acts.

In its closing statement the Defence called for a verdict of release, pointing to contradictions between Prosecution witnesses’ statements and “switching of identities”.
The pronouncement of a verdict against Banovic and Granic is scheduled for November 12.

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