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Vlahovic: Buying of Life

29. March 2012.00:00
Testifying at the trial of Veselin 'Batko' Vlahovic, a State Prosecution witness says that the indictee took her husband from their apartment and beat him up.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Witness S16, who lived in Grbavica with her husband in 1992, said that the indictee took her husband away on May 22, 1992. As she said, her husband called her in the afternoon on that day and told her that he could not tell her where he was, but he was ordered to “write something on a piece of paper”.

“He called me again on the following day. When I heard him, I realised that he had difficulties speaking. He sounded as if he was beaten up. I comforted him by saying that I was trying to find a way to bring him back with the help from our neighbours and friends,” the witness said.

The witness told the Court that two armed soldiers brought her husband back home that night. As she said, she found out later on that the shorter soldier was indictee Vlahovic.

”When I saw my husband at the door, he was covered with bruises,” witness S16 said, adding that the shorter soldier took her husband to a separate room and asked for money. When they came back from that room, the witness said that her husband looked at her and said: “Please give them all the jewelry. You are buying my life back”. She then gave all the jewelry to the soldiers.

Witness S16 said that the two soldiers then took her husband away again. Her husband called her over the phone later on. As she said, judging by his voice, she felt that he was beaten up again.

“He told me that he did not know if he would survive. He told me to convey his regards to our children,” witness S16 said.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Vlahovic with having killed and participated in the murder of several persons in Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici in 1992 and participated in the abuse of Bosniaks and Croats and confiscated their money and other valuables.

Witness S16 said that, in mid November 1992 left Grbavica with a Red Cross convoy and met her husband in Zagreb.

“He said that Batko and six other soldiers beat him up with police batons and that the indictee then said that he would solve the problem if he gave them money,” she said.

The trial is due to continue on March 29, 2012.


This post is also available in: Bosnian