Vlahovic: A Jump for Life

15. March 2012.11:15
Testifying at the trial of Veselin 'Batko' Vlahovic, a State Prosecution witness says that a person told her, in 1992, that a man nicknamed Batko held her detained in an apartment.

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In 1992 Kristina Breski-Kovacevic worked as a nurse in a military hospital in Podromanija, near Sokolac, when a patient, who had a spinal injury, was admitted to the hospital. Breski-Kovacevic said that the patient, whose last name was Balvanovic, told her that she injured her spine while jumping through a window and told her how it happened.

“She said that they took her family away, while an unknown man kept her in the apartment for a couple of days,” the witness said.

According to Breski-Kovacevic, patient Balvanovic told her that someone called the man’s name, “Batko”, loudly and that the man then left the room. After that, she jumped through the window and ran away.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Vlahovic with having killed and participated in the murder of several persons in Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici, Sarajevo in 1992 and participated in the abuse of Bosniak and Croat civilians and confiscated their money and other valuable possessions.

Second protected witness S46 said that, in 1992 people knew that they should stay away from Vlahovic, adding that she met the indictee one day.
“We were queuing for bread. He came by and said: ‘Muslims, step out of the queue’. Some people stepped out. He took them away. I stayed in the queue,” the protected witness said.

Senadin Arapcic was examined at this hearing too. He said that he was at his parents’ in Kovacici, along with his brother, in 1992 and that he tried to flee. After that he and his brother were taken to the Digitron Buje building, where he was mistreated.

Arapcic said that “Serb paramilitary members” then came and informed him that they could go to the other side provided that they left their apartment to them.

“A VW Golf came one day. When I went down to help my neighbours carry their things, I saw that the driver had a revolver in his hand,” Arapcic said, adding that he did not know if that was the indictee or not.

Arapcic told the Court that, only after he had left Kovacici, his father told him that the indictee used to take some of his neighbours away and mistreat them.

The next hearing is due to be held on March 21, 2012.

Mirna Buljugić

This post is also available in: Bosnian