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At today’s hearing of the Bruno Saric trial at the Cantonal Court in Novi Travnik, defense witnesses said that Aleksa Kostres was abducted by members of the Croatian Defence Council from Herzegovina.
Saric, himself a former member of the Croatian Defence Council, has been charged with abducting Aleksa Kostres from his building on May 24, 1992. Kostres went missing afterwards, and his remains were exhumed in the area of Vitez in 2005. The abduction allegedly took place with the assistance of Zoran Tuka and Srecko Veber.
Witness Dalibor Adzaip, a former member of the Rosa Brandis Company of the Croatian Defence Council, said that several military formations, mostly from Herzegovina, were in Travnik in 1992.
“Aleksa Kostres’ name is known to me, because according to rumours some men came and took him away. He used to work with my father at the Remontni Zavod facility, so that’s how I heard about the incident. There were allegedly some findings indicating that Kostres was in some way associated with actions of the Yugoslav National Army in Croatia,” Adzaip said.
Witness Adzaip pointed out that the Rosa Brandis Company was involved in humanitarian work.
Boris Veber, the second defense witness, said that Croatian Defence Council forces from Herzegovina used to come to Travnik to abduct people and steal vehicles.
“Those units came, they were better equipped than us. They had some documentation and took away people associated with the war in Croatia,” he said.
According to Veber, local residents said that Aleksa Kostres was taken away by men from Herzegovina.
Veber said that Saric couldn’t be associated with suspected accomplices Zoran Tuka or Srecko Veber (Boris Veber’s brother, now deceased).
“I find it strange that Bruno is associated with my deceased brother and the deceased Tuka. I think it’s unbelievable,” Veber said.
Prosecutor Ahmed Mesic said that he would give up on examining witness Josip Obradovic, who lives abroad.
The trial will continue on March 3. Saric is expected to testify in his defence.