Jezik / Language:
22 June 2015

Witnesses Say Sehagic Didn’t Abuse Kakanj Detainees

Dženana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

Two defense witnesses testifying at the Jasmin Sehagic trial said the defendant treated them correctly and didn’t beat them during their detention in Kakanj.

Segahic, the former manager of the detention facility in the old directorate building of the Kakanj coal mine, has been charged with participating in the torture of Croat detainees. According to the indictment, Segahic failed to undertake necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the torture and report the perpetrators to his superiors.

Defense witness Zdenko Knezevic told the cantonal court of Zenica that he was captured as a civilian with a group of approximately 50 other Croats. He said they were taken to the mine directorate building in Kakanj.

“We were in the workers’ council hall. Some members of the Bosnian Army used to come to the windows to bang on them and curse at us. Sehagic told us to move away from the windows and closed the door. He calmed us down, and said he would shoot at anyone who would come in and try to attack us,” Knezevic said. He said they were all released home on the following day.

Defense witness Grga Vukancic said he and four other members of the Croatian Defense Council were captured on June 25, 1993. Vukancic said he was detained in the Kakanj mine for 12 days. During that time he was beaten twice.

“They took me to some hall. A man called Dzems examined me, while soldiers who were members of his security guard beat me and mistreated me by keeping the barrel of a rifle in my ear. On another occasion soldiers entered the room where the four of us slept at night. They threatened and cursed us. Then they beat us so brutally that I peed my pants due to the pain,” Vukancic said.

Vukancic said a man named Role was on duty that night, not Sehagic.

“I can say that Jasmin [Sehagic] didn’t even touch us. He treated us correctly,” Vukancic said. He said he was transferred to Zenica 12 days later.

The trial will continue on July 9.

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