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Defense Witness Says Begovic Never Worked as a Prison Guard

7. October 2015.00:00
A defense witness testifying at the Gligor Begovic trial said the defendant was a conscript of the Yugoslav People’s Army at the Batkovic collection centre in the municipality of Bijeljina.

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Gligor Begovic, a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, is on trial for participating in the beating of Bosniak civilians and prisoners of war in the Batkovic detention camp in the summer of 1992.

Ljubomir Misic testified at today’s hearing in the presence of his legal counsel. He is currently a defendant in a criminal proceeding against him. He said that as a corporal, he was transferred to the collection centre in Batkovic in June 1992.

“I found a number of young soldiers who were doing their military service there. Gligor Begovic was also there…In late September and early October 1992, I didn’t see him there anymore,” Misic said.

He said that soldiers stayed in the barracks in the centre of Bijeljina, and that every morning they were brought to Batkovic, where they performed some light tasks.

Responding to questions during cross-examination, Misic said the soldiers weren’t guards.

“I don’t remember that Gligor performed the function of a guard. Not in my presence,” Misic said.

Defense witness Slavko Vukovic said Begovic was with him was in Bijeljina while he was a conscript.

“I worked as a driver and went to Batkovic as necessary. I transported food. Begovic with me all the time in the barracks,” Vukovic said.

The prosecution asked Vukovic if Begovic had ever worked as a guard in Batkovic. Vukovic said he didn’t know what was going in Batkovic.

“I unloaded the food and left. I never went into the facility,” Vukovic said. He said he never saw Begovic at the gate.

The third witness at today’s hearing was Nedim Mustacevic, who testified for the prosecution in December 2014.

The defense presented him with his testimony from January 1995, in which he described how he had been beaten and harassed.

“I stand behind my last statement when I said that Begovic brutally beat me. Zahiragic and Piklic also tortured us…As far as the defendant is concerned, I don’t have the slightest reason to lie. I take a variety of pills because of what happened to me in the detention camp,” he said.

The trial will continue on October 21. Begovic is expected to testify in his own defense.

Emina Dizdarević

This post is also available in: Bosnian