Trnovo Trial Witness Recalls Beatings, Humiliation

12. July 2016.17:43
A prosecution witness said he was beaten and humiliated while he was being detained in a police building in Trnovo, where he saw one of the trial defendants, Edhem Godinjak.

Witness Savo Timotije told the state court in Sarajevo on Tuesday that he was captured by members of the Bosnian Army in 1992 and held for 12 days in a school building in Dejcici.

He testified that while he was there, a prisoner called Milenko Miovic died after being beaten up by soldiers in the school building, but said that he was not assaulted himself.

Timotije said he was then transferred to a police station warehouse in Trnovo, where he was beaten three times, mostly with cables.
“Once they brought two girls to hold lanterns so they could see better while beating us. They took us out one by one and beat us. The girls were standing there, laughing at us,” the witness said.

During cross-examination, he said he did not know the men who hit detainees in Dejcici and Trnovo.

However, during his brief detention in Dejcici, Timotije said he saw defendant Edhem Godinjak two or three times. He said he also sometimes saw him in Trnovo, where he was detained for about a year.

As well as Godinjak, Medaris Saric and Mirko Bunoza are charged with crimes against prisoners and civilians in the Trnovo area.

They are all accused of participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at detaining and killing Serbs in villages in the Trnovo area.

According to the charges, Godinjak was the chief of the Public Security Station in Trnovo, Saric was the commander of the Territorial Defence Headquarters and Bunoza was the commander of Croatian Defence Forces units.

Also on Tuesday, testifying at the trial of Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic, who are charged with crimes in the Srebrenica and Bratunac area in 1992, a court medical expert said that head injuries were the probable cause of death of victim Slobodan Ilic.

Expert witness Rifat Kesetovic, who prepared findings and an opinion on the cause of Ilic’s death on the request of the prosecution, said Ilic’s skull had multiple fractures.

“I have not been able to determine how the injury was made, whether it was made with a dull object or a bullet. Head trauma is the probable cause of death,” Kesetovic said.

Oric and Muhic, former members of the Territorial Defence force with the Bosnian Army, are charged with participating in the murder of three Serb prisoners in the villages of Zalazje, Lolici and Kunjerac in 1992.

The indictment alleges that Oric killed Ilic by stabbing him in his neck with a knife.

It further alleges that, when Ilic fell to his knees, Oric kicked him in his face with his boot, knocking him down.

According to the charges, Oric was the commander of the Territorial Defence Headquarters of the Bosnian Army at the time, while Muhic was a member of his forces.

Marija Taušan