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Witnesses Testify at Saric Trial on Alleged Abduction

5. February 2015.00:00
Testifying at Bruno Saric's trial before the Cantonal Court in Novi Travnik, defense witness Nenad Bogdanovic said that he heard that members of the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) from Herzegovina took away victim Aleksa Kostres.

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Saric, a former member of the Croatian Defense Council (HVO), has been charged with abducting Aleksa Kostres from his residential building in Travnik on May 24, 1992. Saric was allegedly accompanied by two other soldiers, Zoran Tuka and Srecko Veber (both now deceased). Kostres went missing afterwards, and his remains were exhumed in the vicinity of Vitez in 2005.

“I did not know Aleksa Kostres, but I heard that HOS members from Herzegovina took him away. The rumour was that he had fought as a volunteer in Vukovar and the HOS found out about it,” Bogdanovic said.

According to his testimony, Saric had good relations with Serbs.

Witness and former HOS member Dragan Suvak said that he had not heard anything about Aleksa Kostres’s abduction on May 24, 1992. He said that he knew Zoran Tuka and Srecko Veber, whose names are mentioned in the indictment. However, he said that they were not members of the Rosa Brandis Company, the company Suvak served in.

“I am saying that they were not members of our Company. As far as I know, we did not arrest anybody,” Suvak said.

Witness Milan Matekalo also said that Tuka and Veber were not members of the Rosa Brandis Company of the HVO.

“I do not know Aleksa Kostres, but I heard rumours that he had been taken away because he was on the side of the Serbs. He was allegedly taken away by HOS and HVO members from Herzegovina, who were under Tuka’s command. They mainly arrested Serbs who were members of JNA,” Matekalo said.

The trial is scheduled to continue on February 12. Two more defense witnesses will testify.

Kenan Kavazović

This post is also available in: Bosnian