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Local Justice – Koler: Prisoners Treated in a ‘Correct Manner’

27. May 2011.00:00
Two witnesses testify in defence of Ivan Koler before the Cantonal Court in Tuzla and say that the indictee treated prisoners in the District Military Prison in Tuzla in “a correct manner”.

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Two witnesses testify in defence of Ivan Koler before the Cantonal Court in Tuzla and say that the indictee treated prisoners in the District Military Prison in Tuzla in “a correct manner”.

Mehmed Palavric, who testified in defence of Ivan Koler, is a former guard in the District Military Prison in Tuzla. He said that he did not have weapons or a police baton, adding that he “did not need them”.

“The guards did not go inside the room, except for security reasons. They did not have guns or batons. These were kept in drawers,” Palavric said.

Palavric said that indictee Koler was a guard in the District Military Prison in Tuzla in 1992, adding that they worked the same shift.

“I never needed to warn Ivan for having done something,” Palavric said.

The Tuzla Cantonal Prosecution charges Ivan Koler, former member of the Military Police Company with the District Headquarters of the Territorial Defence in Tuzla, with having treated prisoners of war, members of the JNA, in an inhumane manner while working as a guard in the District Military Prison from the beginning of June to the end of August 1992.

Zijad Hamidovic, who testified as a second witness in Koler’s Defence at this hearing, said that the prison guards did not have batons.

“There was one baton in the whole Section, but there was no need to carry it,” witness Hamidovic said.

When asked by Emir Isabegovic, Defence attorney for Koler, how the indictee treated prisoners, Hamidovic said that he treated them in a correct way, adding that they were not mentally or physically mistreated.

When asked by Trial Chamber Chairwoman Fetija Pasic if prisoners had to stand up when guards entered the room, witness Hamidovic said that “the house rules” requested that they do so, while witness Palavric said that they could remain seated.

The main trial is due to continue on June 14.

A.H.

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This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)