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Bosnian Serb Fighter’s Wife: Rape Charges False

14. August 2013.00:00
The wife of ex-fighter Zoran Dragicevic, who is on trial for war crimes in Sarajevo in 1992, said that her husband never raped anyone during the conflict.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

“I am saying with 100 per cent certainty that he did not rape anybody,” said Vojka Dragicevic, testifying before the Sarajevo court on Wednesday.

“He would not hurt anybody because he is a wonderful father and husband,” she said.

The indictment charges Dragicevic, a former serviceman with the Bosnian Serb Army, with having committed crimes, including rape, torture, robberies and assaults, against non-Serb civilians in the Grbavica, Kovacici and Vraca neighbourhoods of Sarajevo from May 1992 to December 1994.

Dragicevic’s wife said that for some of that period, however, he was in the town of Pale.

“I came to Pale in October 1992 after having been informed that Zoran was wounded. We stayed in the vicinity of Pale until the fall of 1993, when Zoran returned to Grbavica,” she said.

She added she left the country with her husband in the spring of 1994.

Dragicevic is accused of committing some of his alleged crimes with Veselin ‘Batko’ Vlahovic, who was jailed for 45 years in March for 60 war crimes including around 35 murders and 11 rapes.

Dragicevic’s wife however said that she did not know Vlahovic.

“I know that he did some things that he should not have done. Zoran told me that he would have stopped him, had he been able to do it,” she said.

Interior ministry employee Aida Risljanin also testified about the rape accusation at the hearing on Wednesday.

Risljanin confirmed that she took a statement from a protected witness in the trial, codenamed A-1, who claimed to have been raped by Dragicevic on July 14, 1993.

“I remember the witness because she was crying the whole time,” Risljanin said.

A-1 testified in April that Dragicevic took her to his apartment, where they had sexual intercourse, but that he was “not violent”.

During the hearing, defence attorney Dusko Tomic requested that the rape charge be reclassified, saying that it was not a crime against humanity.

The trial is due to continue on September 4.

Džana Brkanić

This post is also available in: Bosnian