news 29 Oct 12

Kerestinec Trial: Last Witness Testifies

Milivoj Radovanovic, a former prisoner in the Croatian military prison Kerestinec, was the last witness to testify at the trial of five ex Croatian solders charged with war crimes in committed in that prison.

Boris Pavelic
Zagreb

Radovanovic, a Serb from Zagreb who is residing in Belgrade now, testified on Friday that he was arrested on May 21, 1992, by two plain-clothes policemen at his work place in Zagreb.

Having spent three months in a civilian prison, he was transferred to Kerestinec, without any indictment filed against him.

He was offered to be exchanged for Croat prisoners in Serbia, but he refused, wanting to stay in Zagreb with his family.

Radovanovic said that he was often beaten in Kerestinec, adding that one day two or three men took him out of the prison to a field and fired a bullet near his head, threatening to kill him.

He was released on August 19, 1992.

Radovanovic showed photographs where his injuries are visible, adding that after his release from the prison he was sacked and his wife suffered a nervous breakdown.

The Kerestinec prison commander Stjepan Klaric and his four subordinates, Drazen Pavlovic, Viktor Ivancin, Zeljko Zivec and Goran Strukelj, are charged with the physical and psychological torture of 34 detainees, and the sexual abuse of  male and female prisoners from December 1991 until May 25, 1992.

The trial started at the County Court in Zagreb on March 27, based on the indictment that was filed in November last year.

The prosecution and the defence are expected to present their closing arguments on October 29. 

The presiding judge, Marijan Garac, has not announced yet the date when the verdict will be passed.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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