At the Sisak war crimes trial on Wednesday, former Croatian soldier Alen Radic testified that he had heard the cries of prisoners being beaten at the prison he was guarding.
Testifying at the trial of Vladimir Milankovic, the wartime deputy police commander of the Sisak area, and Drago Bosnjak, a former member of the Sisak special police unit “Wolves”, Radic said that he had also seen civilians being driven out of the prison and that he had never seen them again. He was unable to say what had happened to them.
Milankovic is charged with allowing, encouraging and failing to investigate the physical and psychological torture, illegal detention and humiliation of Croatian Serb civilians in the Sisak area from July 1991 until June 1992.
He is also charged with personally torturing and ordering the illegal arrest of a large number of Serb civilians from Sisak, which resulted in the death of 24 people.
Bosnjak is indicted for organising and leading a group that detained and tortured Serb civilians, allegedly killing eight of the 24 victims named in the indictment.
Radic said he was on guard duty on September 16,1991, the night that Ljubica Solar was killed. He heard the shooting, but does not know who shot and killed the girl.
Ljubica Solar was a 19-years old girl from Sisak, whose unexplained death became the public symbol of the unwillingness of the local judiciary to investigate war crimes perpetrated by the Croatian forces in Sisak.
Ljubica was in her boyfriend's apartment that night, when somebody shot through the window, killing her. No proper investigation took place and nobody was ever prosecuted.
Radic explained the hierarchy of the “Wolves“ special police unit, saying that the commander was Jadranko Garbin, and his deputy was Drago Bosnjak. Their superiors were Djuro Brodarac and Vladimir Milankovic.
Jadranko Garbin died in a car accident in August 1992.
Milankovic and Bosnjak were arrested on June 20 last year along with Djuro Brodarac, a wartime police commander in Sisak and an influential official of the former ruling party, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ.
On July 13, 2011, Brodarac died in custody from a heart attack, which terminated his case.
They were arrested only ten days before Croatia finished its EU accession negotiations.
The indictment was filed after strong pressure from the EU, which unofficially indicated that Croatia would not complete its EU accession negotiations unless the crimes in Sisak were investigated.
The trial continues July 9.