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Bosnian Serb Paramilitaries Accused of Beatings and Theft

21. March 2013.00:00
A witness at the war crimes trial of ex-fighter Zoran Dragicevic testified that paramilitaries robbed, abducted and brutally assaulted him in Sarajevo in 1992.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Prosecution witness Esad Coho told the court in Sarajevo on Wednesday that defendant Dragicevic came to his home with Veselin Vlahovic (alias Batko) in May or June 1992 and took him to the Digitron Buje building, a residential block in the Grbavica neighbourhood of the capital, for alleged ‘questioning’.

He said that when the paramilitaries arrived, Vlahovic stole 4,000 German marks and his watch and rings. Then he was taken to a room where he was beaten up by both Vlahovic and Dragicevic, who he knew by the nickname ‘Krompir’ (Potato).

“Krompir hit me first in the head and kidneys, and then Batko told me to lie down and he hit me. During that time, Krompir jumped on my back,” said Coho.

He recalled losing consciousness several times during the beating, and said that another man also came in and hit him.

“My eyes shut from the abuse. I saw nothing and then Batko grabbed my neck and took me to another room,” said Coho.

Dragicevic is charged with robbing and abusing non-Serbs in the Sarajevo settlements of Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici between May 1992 and December 1994, as well as with rape.

Vlahovic has been tried for war crimes in a separate case and the verdict is expected soon.

Coho said that after he was assaulted, he was detained by the paramilitaries for a day, during which another man was also brought to the room and beaten up.

“That night they came again. Batko told me I should have been killed but he got an order to release me,” said the witness.

The trial will resume on March 27.

Mirna Buljugić

This post is also available in: Bosnian