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28 October 2015

Witness Describes Being Assaulted by Defendant at Krsmanovic Trial

Emina Dizdarević BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A district prosecution witness testifying at the Milenko Krsmanovic trial said the defendant beat him until he broke his ribs and his right ankle.

Krsmanovic has been charged with beating a Bosniak civilian from the village of Pediste in the Rogatica area with another member of the Bosnian Serb Army on July 7, 1992. The indictment also alleges that while driving the civilian towards the police station in Sokolac, the defendant and the other perpetrator took the civilian out of the car with the intention of killing him, but decided not to.

Today’s hearing began with a reading of the indictment and the presentation of introductory statements, followed by testimony by a prosecution witness named Muhidin Kapo.

Prosecution witness Muhidin Kapo told the district prosecution of Eastern Sarajevo that Krsmanovic captured him in the village of Pediste in the territory of Sokolac on July 7, 1992.

“Krsmanovic and another person, known as Crni, showed up. They were police officers. He asked me what I was doing there. They searched my backpack. My handgun, which I had a permit for, was taken away. They handcuffed me and put me in a car...They had the ‘Munje’ emblem on their uniforms. Crni punched me in the face while standing behind me,” Kapo said.

According to Kapo, some time later Krsmanovic stopped the car and took him to a nearby forest.

“They started kicking and punching me...When they broke my right ankle, I fell down...I could see my leg moving around as if it was totally broken. My ribs were broken. I couldn’t breathe...At that moment Crni cocked a handgun and pointed it at my temple as if he was going to kill me. Krsmanovic grabbed him by the hand and told him not to kill me, because they might need to exchange me,” Kapo said.

Kapo said he was then handed over to police forces in Sokolac. He said a reserve police officer took him to a clinic, where a splint was put on his leg.

“After I had spent two nights in prison, two policemen came, handcuffed me and drove me towards Rogatica. We arrived in front of Rasadnik...I was exchanged on August 23, 1992,” Kapo said.

Responding to questions from the defense, Kapo said both Krsmanovic and Crni beat him. He said he couldn’t say which of them beat him more. He also said he didn’t notice plaster on Krsmanovic’s hand at that time.

“One thought passed through my head – they are going to kill me here. Nobody will even know where my grave is,” he said.

The trial will continue on November 16.
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