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Local Justice – Popovic: Verdict Due on Thursday

3. July 2012.00:00
Testifying at the trial of Mirko Popovic, who is charged with crimes in Bosanska Gradiska, Prosecution witness Ferid Begovic says that an acquaintance of his told him that he saw the indictee with three Bosniak boys, who were later killed.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Following the examination of this and two other witnesses, the parties presented their closing statements at the trial of Popovic. The pronouncement of a verdict is scheduled for July 5.

According to the charges, on August 10, 1992 Popovic and three other persons took Aldo Husedzinovic, Ferid Cehajic and Resid Ajanovic from the Husejinovic family’s house and took them to the River Sava, where they killed them.

Begovic said that the town’s residents were in panic following the murder of 15 young soldiers from Gradiska on August 8, 1992.

“I found out about my nephew’s murder the following day. We found the bodies and buried them five days later. 40 days after that I went to Germany, where I saw my sister Hava, who told me that she recognised Popovic by voice that evening, when her son was taken away,” said Begovic, whose nephew was Aldo Husedzinovic.

The witness said that an acquaintance of his, whose nickname was Zuk, told him, in 2002, that, in 1992 indictee Popovic forced him to come out of a minivan and drove it about 50 metres away.

As Zuk told him, the minivan was stopped by Popovic, his two sons and another unknown person.

“Zuk and the two other men, who were with him, went to the minivan to check what was going on. They saw three guys, who were loaded into the minivan, and my nephew Aldo, who asked him to help him. When Zuk approached Popovic in order to ask him what he was doing, he asked him if he wanted to come with him and pointed his rifle towards him,” Begovic said.

Testifying in defence of the indictee, the married couple Ilija and Ljubica Cvijic said that they knew the indictee and that he was their neighbour, adding that they visited Popovic in the evening on August 10 and spoke about the burial of Serb soldiers.

“We have proved, through the testimony by Hava Husedzinovic, who personally witnessed the taking away of those guys, and other witnesses, that the indictee committed this crime, in collaboration with three other people. Following the burial of soldiers in Gradiska, people wanted revenge. Data available to us suggest that between ten and 15 people were killed in that period of time,” Prosecutor Branko Mitrovic said, presenting his closing statement.

On the other hand, Defence attorney Mirko Dabic said that the indictment was based on the statement given by Husedzinovic, who said that she “recognised Popovic by his voice, although she had not heard him talking for years before that”.

Dabic said that the Cvijic couple confirmed that they were at the indictee’s place when the crime was committed.

This post is also available in: Bosnian