At the trial of six former members of the Bosnian army for murders in the village of Trusina, near Konjic, a prosecutor revealed that the prosecution has made a plea bargain with Rasema “Zolja” Handanovic.
The prosecutor, Vesna Budimir, told the Bosnian court that, as part of her plea bargain, Handanovic would testify on Friday, March 16, at the trial of Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic, Nihad Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago.
The court would make a decision on this motion by the end of the week.
Handanovic, a former member of the Zulfikar Special Purposes Detachment, is suspected of killing three Croat civilians and three soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council who surrendered in the village of Trusina on April 16, 1993.
In late December last year, Handanovic was extradited from the United States to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she is currently being held in custody.
Before the discussion about Hadanovic’s testimony, Ivan Sagolj, a witness for the prosecution, testified before the court that he fled Trusina when it was attacked on April 16, 1993.
Sagolj, a former head of the Croatian Defence Council’s "Herceg Stjepan" Brigade, said that he learnt about the massacre in Trusina the day after the attack.
"They killed Smiljko Kreso in his own home. They burnt down his house and his body was never recovered,” said the witness.
The six indictees are charged with the murder of 18 Bosnian Croat civilians and four members of the Croatian Defence Council in Trusina in 1993.
According to the indictment, Memic, Salcin and Hodzic, former members of the Zulfikar special detachment of the Bosnian army, and Hakalovic, a former member of the 45th Neretvica brigade, took part in the murder of civilians and prisoners of war.
The indictment specifies that Bojadzic, the former deputy commander of the Zulfikar detachment, ordered his soldiers not to spare anyone in the village, and that he commanded the attack via radio from the hills above the village of Trusina.
Alispago, former commander of the Zulfikar detachment, is charged with not punishing the soldiers who took part in the murders.
Recalling the attack on Trusina, Ivan Sagolj said that in the morning he heard fierce shooting, and together with several men, fled to Kriz Hill. He could not say which soldiers attacked the village.
Continuing his testimony, the witness said that Milka Drljo came to Kriz Hill and told her son Ivan to surrender because the soldiers had taken her daughter and threatened to kill her if he did not comply. He added that besides Ivan Drljo, several other soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council surrendered too.
The witness said that he left for Buturovic Polje, and learned about the murders in Trusina the next day.
"We sent Katica Mlikota to see what was going on. When she returned, she told us about the massacre, that bodies were lying in the streets,” Sagolj testified.
The trial will resume on March 16.
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