Witnesses Claim Zlatko Husidic Didn’t Mistreat Captives

12. February 2016.00:00
Witnesses testifying at a trial dealing with war crimes committed in Velika Kladusa said they knew defendant Zlatko Husidic but hadn’t heard that he had beaten anyone.

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Husidic, the former commander of the First Battalion of the First Brigade of the National Defense of the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region, has been charged with physically abusing and mistreating two members of the Bosnian Army in March 1995.

Testifying at today’s hearing, Vahidin Suljanovic told the cantonal court of Bihac that he was captured as a member of the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Army on March 18, 1995.

“We handed over our arms. We were beaten…We were transported to Trnovo. A soldier approached me and asked me what my name was. When I responded, he said, ‘Salaja, here is your neighbour.’ Husidic then approached me and asked me how I was doing and where my brother was,” Suljanovic said.

Suljanovic said the defendant was uniformed, had a band on his right arm and carried a pistol.

“As far as I could see, he didn’t hold a rifle and didn’t hit anyone,” Suljanovic said.

Witnesses Husein Kapic and Sulejman Behric also said they were captured on March 18, 1995. They said they knew the defendant, but hadn’t heard that he had beaten anyone.

Jasmin Libic, the former deputy commander of the First Battalion, said Husidic was shot in the right arm. He said they agreed to withdraw and meet again in the Trnovo area.

“The commander, the driver and I went to a house where our forward commanding point was located. Between 15 and 20 captives were lined up in front of the house. There were about 30 or 40 of us. I recognized a cousin of mine and approached him. The commander approached a soldier whom I didn’t know. I heard that somebody called him and then he left,” Libic said.

Libic said no one was hit or abused on that occasion.

Adil Cerimovic, a former member of the “Golubovi” commanded by Husidic, also testified at today’s hearing. Cerimovic described what happened when he was in Husidic’s company in a local cafe, owned by Djani Cano, who previously testified at the trial.

“When Husidic returned from America, we sat in Djani’s cafe together. Djani filed a report against Husidic due to some fight. He told him that he had been the commander and asked him to identify the person who had beaten him or give him 20,000 Euro. He said, otherwise they would meet in court,” Cerimovic said.

The trial will continue on February 15. At the next hearing, the defendant will testify in his own defense and closing statements will be presented.

Dženita Duraković

This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)