Serbia Tries Bosnian Serb Ex-Fighter for Wartime Rape
The trial of Dalibor Krstovic, a Bosnian Serb fighter during the Bosnian war who is charged with raping a Bosniak woman in the town of Kalinovik in August 1992, started on Monday at the Higher Court in Belgrade.
According to the indictment, which was read out in court by prosecutor Ljubica Veselinovic, in August 1992 Krstovic came to the Miladin Radojevic elementary school in Kalinovik in south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, where captured Bosniak civilians from the town and other nearby towns were being held.
He raped one woman and allowed a soldier who was with him to rape her too, it is alleged.
Krstovic, who said he was a policeman but that in the summer of 1992 was incorporated into the Bosnian Serb Army, denied the charge.
"I do not consider myself guilty," he told the court.
He said that he went to the school in Kalinovik because his relatives were in captivity on Bosniak-controlled territory and that he heard "from soldiers, from people" that there was going to be an exchange of captured civilians for Serbs captured by Bosnian forces.
As no one at the school could give him more information about the exchange or his family members, he left. He denied raping anyone there.
Protected witnesses were also scheduled to testify on Monday but judge Zorana Trajkovic said they refused to come to Belgrade because of health problems and the long distance they would have had to travel.
Krstovic was originally indicted in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017 and the case was then handed over to the Serbian authorities.
The next trial hearing will be held in March.