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Defense Witnesses Claim Sladoja and Bogdanovic Innocent

24. March 2015.00:00
Testifying before the cantonal court in Sarajevo, defense witness Mladen Jovicic said the defendant drove a wounded soldier to the hospital.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Former Bosnian Serb Army soldiers Goran Sladoja and Slobodan Bogdanovic have been charged with abducting Bajro and Suad Besic from their house and taking them to a garage on June 13, 1992. The defendants allegedly beat Bajro and Suad Besic in the garage before using them as human shields at the Jewish cemetery. Suad Besic was killed as a result.

Mladen Jovicic, who served with Sladoja in the Bosnian Serb Army, described Sladoja’s wartime activities to the trial chamber.

“I remember on June 12 and 13, 1992, extensive combat and attacks were taking place at the Jewish cemetery. I participated in them as a soldier,” Jovicic said. He said Bosnian Serb Army soldier Zoran Klaric was killed, and Bosnian Serb Army soldier Sinisa Tosovic was wounded in those attacks.

In response to questions by defense attorney Midhat Koco, Jovicic said Sladoja drove Tosovic to the hospital in an attempt to save his life.

Jovicic said he was on the frontline with Sladoja. He said Sladoja was a moral man and didn’t commit the crimes he has been charged with.

Jovicic said he didn’t know Bajro Besic, and said he heard about him later on. He said there were some other people from Rogatica and Sokolac present in the area, who probably pillaged houses.

Testifying in Bogdanovic’s defense, Mirko Bozalo said the defendant was under his command as a member of the reserve police force at the police station in Vraca.

In response to questions by Bogdanovic’s defense attorney, Radvoje Lazarevic, Bozalo said fierce attacks were conducted on Milinkladska Street in June 1992. He said approximately eight persons lost their lives in those attacks. As a result, he deployed members of the police force to the division line. According to Bozalo, Bogdanovic was one of those police officers.

Bozalo said the police and the reserve forces were not involved in any operations at the Jewish cemetery.

Cantonal prosecutor Aida Catovic asked Bozalo whether he knew Besic. Bozalo said he didn’t. He said citizens had filed reports related to members of the Rogaticka Brigade.

Bozalo addressed the court, and said he was sure Bogdanovic was innocent.

The next hearing will take place on April 21.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian