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Alibi and Discrediting

28. October 2013.00:00
Testifying in defence of Dragomir Soldat at the trial for crimes in Carakovo village, near Prijedor, a witness says that the indictee drove her to a bus station in Prijedor so that she could travel to Belgrade.

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“He drove me on three mornings and waited at the station in order to find out whether the corridor was open for travel. I managed to leave on the fourth day,” said Milka Papic, whose husband is the indictee’s relative.

She said that she left on July 24, 1992, adding that she remembered the date, because it was her daughter’s birthday.  

According to the charges, on July 23, 1992 male residents of Carakovo were taken out of their houses and shot in front of a local mosque. Besides Soldat, Zoran Babic and Velemir Djuric are on trial for that crime.  

Witness Papic said that Soldat was busy on the fourth morning, so Radenko Siljak drove her to the station. Siljak too testified about that event.  

“Soldat called me in the evening and asked me to drive her, because he had some other obligations. There was a huge crowd of people at the station, because buses had not departed for three days,” said Siljak, whose sister is Soldat’s wife.  

The Defence examined married couple, Ajka and Hazim Jukan as its witnesses with the intention to discredit Prosecution witness Sefik Karupovic.

“We are trying to prove that Sefik Karupovic lied in the courtroom. He did it due to a property-related interest,” Defence attorney Savan Zec explained, when Trial Chamber Chairwoman Mira Smajlovic warned him that he should not examine the witnesses about the sale of Soldat’s house in Zagreb in such a detailed manner.

Witnesses Ajka and Hazim Jukan said that Karupovic sold Soldat’s house in Zagreb by fraud.

They said that, when leaving Zagreb in late 1991, Soldat allowed them to use his house, but, later on he authorised to Karupovic to sell it.  

“He brought some buyers in 1993. We contacted Drago, who knew nothing about it. Karupovic told us that Drago had died,” Hazim Jukan said.

Testifying in May, Karupovic said that Soldat saved him and his family from Carakovo and that, while he was held in detention in Trnopolje later on, he heard from Sead Susic that Cica, which, as assumed by Karupovic, was Soldat’s nickname, participated in the shooting in Carakovo.  

Ajka and Hazim Jukan said that Karupovic and his family said that Soldat helped them and that they did not mention his participation in any crimes.   

Ajka Jukan said that refugees, Croats from Prijedor, who were sent by Soldat and his wife, arrived at the house in Zagreb in 1992. The refugees told them that Soldat helped them leave the village.

The trial is due to continue on November 11.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian