Custody Measures for Vlacic Requested Due to Threats to Witness

26. May 2015.00:00
The district prosecution of Eastern Sarajevo called for custody measures be imposed on Blagoje Vlacic due to threats sent to a witness. The defense objected to the proposal.

Prosecutor Tarik Crnkic said threats were sent to a key witness, and said it wasn’t important whether the defendant or someone else threatened the witness.

Crnkic said the witness received threats related to the trial over the phone, and said that he told him during a brief telephone conversation, that he was “afraid to come and testify.”

Vlacic, a former member of military police with the Bircanska Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, has been charged with the murder and inhumane treatment of detainees in the Lovac facility in Sekovici in 1993.

According to the indictment, Vlacic took three detained civilians out of their prison cells and beat them until they died. It is further alleged that he then ordered another prisoner to carry their bodies back to the cells and threatened him not to tell anyone about their deaths.

Vlacic’s defense attorney Dejan Bogdanovic said he believed it was too early for a custody order motion and said this was the second time the witness claimed to have received threats.

According to Bogdanovic, the prosecution wanted to increase public interest in the testimony by claiming the witness had received threats. He said his client didn’t call the witness and didn’t have anyone call the witness for him.

Bogdanovic proposed that the witness be asked about the threats and that they determined where the call was placed from. Also, he provided the court with a recording made by a security camera in a cafe in Zvornik, “in which one can see that my client was there with his family at the relevant time.”

The court said it would render a written decision. The trial is scheduled to continue in September.

Lamija Grebo