US forensic psychologist has testified about the emotional and cognitive state of the accused Milan Lukic. In an interview in the UN Detention, the psychologist learned that Lukic’s favorite book was The Bridge on the Drina and his favorite movie Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

George Hough, svjedok odbrane Milana LukićaGeorge Hough, svjedok odbrane Milana Lukića

At the trial of Milan and Sredoje Lukic, the defense of the first-accused called another US expert, forensic psychologist George Hough. Hough analyzed the credibility of three prosecution witnesses based on the transcripts of their evidence and evaluated the current emotional and cognitive state of the accused.

In his analysis of the evidence of Zehra Turjacanin, Dr. Hough noted that it had to be heard with a ‘third ear’, as her memory could be distorted by trauma and this could result in ‘mistaken identity’. Zehra Turjacanin is the only survivor from the house in Bikavac. According to the indictment, on 27 June 1992 the two accused detained and burned alive dozens of women, children and old men there. In Hough’s words, the ability of witness VG-115 to offer relevant and coherent information was diminished by the post-traumatic stress disorder. VG-115 is a Serb woman from Visegrad who claims to have witnessed a number of murders perpetrated by Milan Lukic and the ‘living pyres’ in the Pionirska Street and in Bikavac. Hough described the evidence of the third witness he evaluated, VG-63, as ‘clearly a case of misperception’ because the witness mentioned a tattoo Milan Lukic didn’t have today.

Taking the court through Milan Lukic’s life and times, Dr. Hough concluded that the accused was ‘a peaceful man’, showing no signs of hostility towards other ethnic groups and no ‘indications of psychopathic behavior’. In their interview in the UN Detention Unit the accused admitted he had ‘killed people, but only in combat’. After the first kill, Lukic told Hough, he ‘realized he didn’t want to kill any more’, but remained an active-duty soldier. Lukic also denied that he took part in the crimes against civilians, claiming that he was convicted by a kangaroo court in Serbia. Lukic was sentenced to 20 years for abduction and murder of 16 Muslims from Sjeverin. In Milan Lukic’s words, the trial in Serbia reminded him of ‘Stalin’s times’.

According to the US psychologist, Milan Lukic is ‘not a deeply intellectual person’ although he has read some books. As Lukic confided in the interview, his favorite book is The Bridge on the Drina and his favorite movie is Pretty Village, Pretty Flame.

Many witnesses have said that Milan Lukic killed Muslims on the Old Bridge in Visegrad and then threw their bodies in the Drina River; the indictment charges him with setting up two ‘living pyres’ where some 140 women, children and old men were burned alive. Seen in this light, his choice of the favorite book and movie seem like yet another morbid message similar to the image of Milan Lukic in the dock prominently displaying the holy book of Islam, Qur’an.

The US psychologist will be cross-examined tomorrow by the prosecution.