Trial examining the killing of elderly Serb civilians in Croatia hears from former special police.
Comrades of two Croatian former special policemen on trial for the killing of five elderly Serbs in 1995 told a court on Monday that they had not seen any evidence of the atrocities.
The two ex-policemen, Frano Drlje and Bozidar Krajina, are standing trial at Zagreb County Court, accused of the killings that took place on August 25 and 26 in the village of Grubori near Knin.
Asked by the judge how they could not have seen any smoke or heard any shooting, Mihalincic replied that he had been wearing a raincoat which muffled sound. When the judge stated that smoke could be seen from a neighbouring village, Kebet said he could not see any smoke because of the shape of the local terrain.
Ivan Cermak, the military governor of the liberated area around Knin at the time, has been cleared by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of responsibility for the war crimes in Grubori. The court released him in April last year, declaring that Cermak did not have responsibility for preventing the crime or punishing the perpetrators, although he covered it up in the media.
Mladen Markac, a wartime Croatian special police commander, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment at the same trial at the ICTY, partly for war crimes in Grubori. He has appealed against that conviction.
The trial at Zagreb County court started last November. Originally, a third former special policeman, Igor Beneta, was also indicted along with Drlje and Krajina, who deny the charges.
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