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Muderizovic et al: The information from the ground

13. January 2012.00:00
Drazen Djeric, a member of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), explained before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina that he found out from “the operational link” that indictee Besim Muderizovic questioned Soniboj Skiljevic about the detainees who were in the “Viktor Bubanj” barracks in Sarajevo.

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“I did not see Besim coming to East Sarajevo and I did not contact Soniboj, and I think neither of my colleagues did”, said Djeric, who testified upon the call of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the motion of the Defences of Ramiz Avdovic and Besim Muderizovic to release them from custody.

Djeric explained that “the operational link” is the name of the person who submits the information to the SIPA officials and that it is a matter of operational information from the ground.

Speaking about Avdovic, Djeric said that Zeljko Kljajic, who was detained in “Victor Bubanj”, said that the indictee was coming to his restaurant in East Sarajevo, and begged him not to testify.

“In Kljajic’s restaurant, I was talking to ‘the operational link’ who knows him and called him. So the casual story started, and we talked about ‘Viktor Bubanj’ too. Kljajic said that they were coming and begged him not to testify. He told me that Avdovic came, and also some others too”, said Djeric.

According to the State Prosecution’s charges, Muderizovic and Avdovic participated, as wilful participants in a joint criminal enterprise, in the establishment and maintenance of a system of abuse of Serb civilians, who were held in the “Viktor Bubanj” military barracks, from the end of June to the end of November 1992.

According to the charges, Muderizovic was Deputy Manager on the fifth floor of the District Prison in Sarajevo and Commander of a military prison in “Viktor Bubanj” barracks, Avdovic was Commander of Guards in those facilities. Iliuan-Nicolae Vintila, born in Romania, is charged under this same indictment. It is alleged that he was a cook and guard in the former military barracks. Vintila is defending himself while at liberty. Muderizovic and Avdovic were arrested in October this year. They have been held in custody since.

At the hearing held on January 11 this year, witness Skiljevic, who was acquitted of crimes in the Correctional Facility (KPD) “Butmir” near Sarajevo by the second instance verdict in July this year, said that Muderizovic had not contacted him nor that he knows him. At the same hearing, witness Kljajic said that neither Avdovic nor anyone else had come to him and begged him not to say that the indictee participated in the abuse of prisoners in the “Viktor Bubanj” barracks.

Djeric said he had made an official note in October last year, according to which Muderizovic was coming to Skiljevic and was interested in the former detainees of the military prison in “Viktor Bubanj” barracks, lobbying that they do not say that he participated in the abuse.

According to the same note, Avdovic came to Kljajic and begged him to not say that he participated in the abuse of the detainees.

In addition to Djeric, Mesud Ormanovic, Dragan Markovic and Emir Vardo, members of the SIPA, were also interrogated. They said that they were collecting information, but that they were not engaged with the alleged departure of the indictees to East Sarajevo.

After the interrogation of the witnesses, Dzevad Muratbegovic requested that the indictees remain in custody saying that an official note of the SIPA is not put into question, while defence attorneys believe that the information in the note were superficial and requested that Muderizovic and Avdovic be released from custody.

The Court will bring its decision at a later stage.A.J.

This post is also available in: Bosnian