Former special policeman Mario Bozic testified on Tuesday at a trial for war crimes in Sisak, that he investigated the murder of Ljubica Solar, a 19-year old girl from Sisak, in September 1991.
Bozic testified at the trial of Vladimir Milankovic, wartime deputy police commander of the Sisak area, and Drago Bosnjak, a former member of the Sisak special police unit “Wolves”.
Milankovic is charged with allowing, encouraging and not investigating the physical and psychological torture, illegal detention and humiliation of 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.
Bozic testified that on the night of September 16, 1991, Milankovic sent him out to investigate a shooting.
Without going into details, Bozic said that he observed a woman being killed, and that the shooting came from the outside the building she was in. At that time, he said, he did not know that the victim was Ljubica Solar.
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 happened and nobody was ever prosecuted.
But Ljubica's mother, Vera, has campaigned to keep the crime in the public eye. Her personal efforts, supported by independent media and human rights NGO's, have been greatly responsible for the EU's close attention to the prosecution of war crimes committed in Sisak by the Croatian forces.
The media and local human rights activists claim that over one hundred Croatian Serb civilians were killed in Sisak during the war.
Under 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 indictment was filed.
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.
The trial continues on Wednesday.