Witnesses Give Differing Testimony on Alleged Shooting of Ostra Luka Civilian

9. March 2016.00:00
Witnesses for the prosecution and the defense had differing testimony on whether defendant Ratko Marinovic wounded Milomir Antunovic in the Ostra Luka area in 1992.

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Marinovic, a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, has been charged with firing several bullets in the direction of injured party Antunovic in his family home in the village of Ovanjska in June 1992. Antunovic was shot in the chest and upper arm.

Thus far 13 witnesses in the trial have been examined before the district court of Banja Luka.

Testifying for the prosecution at today’s hearing, witness Milorad Avramovic said he heard that Marinovic wounded Antunovic.

“I was on my way back from the Ljubija mine and heard gunfire. After that people began fleeing towards the woods. I heard from them that Marinovic had wounded Antunovic,” Avramovic said.

Prosecutor Igor Cimesa read a statement given by witness Stipe Blazevic during the investigation phase of the case. Blazevic was unable to appear in court due to health problems.

“I was standing in front of my house in Ovanjska and saw Marinovic, Antunovic and Radovan Ivancevic walking in a line. When they disappeared behind a hill, I could no longer see them. Later on I heard automatic fire and individual gunshots,” Blazevic said in his statement.

Blazevic said several houses that belonged to people who had left the village were set on fire on that day.

“I met Antunovic after the war. He told me he had been wounded by Marinovic,” Blazevic said in his statement.

Defense witness Nikola Marin said he knew the defendant and injured party for many years. He said he hadn’t heard of any events involving the two of them.

“Marinovic treated everybody, particularly the Croat population, in a very correct manner. Three or four Croat families stayed at his place and mine during the war,” Marin said.

Witness Rade Milojica said he asked his comrades on the battlefield about Antunovic’s injuries. He said they they told him that the name of the person who had wounded Antunovic became public knowledge and it was not Marinovic.

“Marinovic is a very good man. During the war he went to Prijedor by car in order to pick up a woman who had delivered a baby and brought her and the baby to her husband in Ovanjska. This was a Croat family,” Milojica said.

Other defense witnesses mainly said that Marinovic was an army commander and that he treated the non-Serb population very well. None of them had heard that he wounded Antunovic.

The trial will continue on March 18.

Goran Obradović

This post is also available in: Bosnian