Jezik / Language:
10 February 2015

Witnesses Say No Prisoners Were Held at Ivan Krndelj HQ

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial of former Bosniak commander Mario Frimel, defense witnesses say that no civilians were detained at the headquarters of Frimel’s unit.

The Sarajevo Cantonal Prosecution has charged Mario Frimel, the former Commander of Ivan Krndelj Squad of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the unlawful detainment and abuse of Bosnian Serbs in the neighbourhood of Hrasno in Sarajevo.

At today’s hearing, a former driver at the headquarters, Midhat Hota, said “as far as I know, no civilians were detained at the headquarters.” He added that they were not associated with the military police, whose premises were situated in the same building.

According to Hota, he could “guarantee that Mario did not arrest anybody.”

At the same hearing, defense witness Adnan Burina also stated that no civilians were detained at the headquarters. Burina said that he organized the Ivan Krndelj Unit in collaboration with the defendant.

When asked by defense attorney Midhat Koco where Frimel was when buildings at the Trg Heroja Square in Hrasno were set on fire, Burina said that he was at the headquarters the entire time.

In the same hearing, witness Sefko Hodzic said that while working as a reporter with the daily newspaper Oslobodjenje, he was often at the Trg Heroja Square and at the headquarters of the Ivan Krndelj Unit.

“Serb forces conducted fierce attacks on Trg Heroja, because they considered it belonged to Serbs,” Hodzic said.

According to the indictment against Frimel, Mladen Blagovcanin was one of the persons he mistreated.

Witness Branimir Dzamonja said that he had worked with Mladen Blagovcanin. He said that Blagovcanin had health problems in late 80’s, and that he frequently visited both a neurologist and a psychiatrist.

“I heard that he was an alcoholic and that he underwent treatment,” Dzamonja said.

Prosecutor Nedzad Corovic asked Dzamonja whether he was competent to assess Blagovcanin's health. Dzamonja said that he was “just conveying his words.”

At the same hearing, defense witness Boris Savic recalled a meeting with Blagovcanin in Pale in 1993.

“He told me that he was arrested and beaten up and that Dzamonja did not help him,” Savic said. He added that Blagovcanin did not tell him who beat him up.

The next hearing is scheduled for February 27.
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