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Testifying in defence of Radoslav Knezevic, who is charged with crimes committed at Koricanske stijene, two witnesses says that Damir Ivankovic told them that he “was not sure” whether indictee Knezevic participated in the murders committed in August 1992.
Milenko Trifunovic and Aleksandar Radovanovic, who were sentenced, under a second instance verdict pronounced by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for having assisted in the commission of genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, testified at Thursday’s hearing.
The two witnesses said that during their stay in the Detention Unit of the State Court, they spent a lot of time with Damir Ivankovic, Ljubisa Cetic and Gordan Djuric, who admitted guilt for crimes committed at Koricanske stijene.
Witness Trifunovic explained that prior to concluding a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivankovic said that he “knows that a couple of other people participated in the murders, but there are some people about whose participation he is not sure”.
“Concretely, nobody was sure about Radoslav Knezevic. Not Djuric, Cetic nor Ivankovic. Nobody even mentioned his name until Ivankovic entered into negotiations with the Prosecution,” Trifunovic said, adding that Ivankovic said, while he was in the detention unit, that he had to reveal seven names to the Prosecution, “or else the agreement would not be concluded”.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Knezevic, Sasa Zecevic, Marinko Ljepoja, Petar Civcic and Branko Topola with having participated in escorting a convoy of more than 1,000 civilians from Prijedor to Travnik on August 21, 1992.
They allegedly separated and killed about 200 men at Koricanske stijene.
The indictment alleges that Civcic was Commander of the First Section with the Interventions Squad of the Public Safety Station in Prijedor, Zecevic, Ljepoja and Knezevic were members of the Squad and Topola was member of the Territorial Defence.
Aleksandar Radovanovic confirmed that Ivankovic said, in the Detention Unit, that he was not sure whether Knezevic participated in the murders, but he had to reveal seven names at the request by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Prior to the conclusion of the agreement, Ivankovic never even mentioned Knezevic. As the signing of the agreement was approaching, he kept telling all of us that the Prosecution was putting pressure on him and he would probably have to say some names, although he was not sure if those men had participated in the murders on that day,” Radovanovic said.
Radovanovic told the Court that Ivankovic admitted that he “made a deal” with the Prosecution in order to get a shorter sentence.
After having admitted guilt for the murder committed at Koricanske stijene and concluding an agreement with the Prosecution, Damir Ivankovic, Gordan Djuric and Ljubisa Cetic were sentenced to 14, eight and 13 years in prison respectively.
The next hearing is due to be held on May 20.