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21 September 2015
News

Witness Statement Describes Odzak Rapes

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Ilija Juric’s defense read a witness statement in which described the sexual abuse the witness experienced at the hands of Martin Barukcic and Marijan Brnjic in June 1992.

The indictment alleges that Ilija Juric, a former member of the 102nd Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council, raped and sexually abused a Serb woman in a house in Posavska Mahala in the municipality of Odzak in the night of June 4 or 5, 1992.

The Bosnian state prosecution has also charged Juric with intercepting and mistreating two Serb women with other soldiers in July 1992. The women were with their children, walking towards a school building in Odzak, where their husbands were detained.

Juric’s defense read a statement given by deceased witness Ljubica Lesic to the state prosecution in March 2014. In the statement, Lesic said soldiers came to Drago Ninkovic’s house at around midnight on June 4 or 5, 1992.

“Two vehicles came. Four uniformed soldiers with stockings over their heads came out of the cars. I recognized Glavas, Barukcic and Brnjic by their voices. I knew they were members of the Vatreni Konji. They drove me in front of a house and forced me to call some women to come out...Then they drove us to Posavska Mahala,” the statement read.

In the statement, Lesic said Martin Barukcic drove her to a forest near Jela Barukcic’s house. Lesic said Barukcic tore her clothes off and forced her to kiss a cross.

“He loaded me into the car. He tore my skirt and blouse off...He took his trousers off and began raping me. I was screaming. He transferred me to the backseat, where he continued raping me. It lasted about an hour,” Lesic said in her statement.

She said after her rape she was transported to a house, where they beat her and put the dull side of a knife on her throat. The soldiers continued raping her in that house.

“I fainted due to the hits and feeling nausea,” she said.

In her previous statement, Lesic said she was raped by Pavo and Ilija Glavas, as well as Martin Barukcic and Marijan Brnjic.

The trial will continue on September 28, when the prosecution will present its closing statement.

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