Milenko Dafinic began his evidence at Goran Hadzic’s trial. From 1991 to 1997 Dafinic held a number of security jobs in the SAO Eastern Slavonia: he secured the Government building and was Goran Hadzic’s body guard at one point

Milenko Dafinic, defence witness at Goran Hadzic trialMilenko Dafinic, defence witness at Goran Hadzic trial

The defense of Goran Hadzic, former prime minister of the SAO Eastern Slavonia, called yet another witness whose evidence has not been made available to public for the most part. Milenko Dafinic’s testimony in court is based on his statement to the defense, whose contents were not disclosed. Only a few amendments were mentioned in court today.

The defense tendered into evidence official identity cards showing clearly that Dafinic was part of the security detail in the Erdut castle, where Hadzic’s government had its seat. In 1992, the witness was issued an ‘official identity card’ authorizing him to detain citizens and search premises. In 1996, the witness was promoted to Goran Hadzic’s personal bodyguard and driver. At the time Hadzic was the president of the Srijem-Baranja district.

The changes Dafinic made in his statement indicate that he participated in the attack on Dalj on 1 August 1991. Also, it was disclosed that Dafinic did not allow Radovan Stojicic Badza and Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan to enter the government building armed on two occasions.

In the cross-examination, the prosecutor put it to Dafinic that he was a member of a unit called the ‘Serbian National Security’ headed by Stevo Bogic. Dafinic claimed that he was never a member of any unit; he was part of a ‘group’ that consisted of several men. When the prosecutor showed a document signed by Bogic, Dafinic replied that he was just a ‘guard, doorman and security officer’ and didn’t know anything about it.

Dafinic also claimed that he didn’t know anything about the prisoners being beaten in Arkan’s training center, located opposite the Government building. ‘I never heard any screams or wailing. The only thing we could hear was Arkan’s men singing and exercising in the morning’, Dafinic claimed.

The prosecutor then suggested that Dafinic’s group was responsible for a number of crimes in the Erdut area. According to the documents the prosecutor showed, Dafinic participated in the detention and interrogation of the detainees in Arkan’s training center. Dafinic replied that he ‘passed by the center’ but couldn’t ‘go in’. Although he was authorized to do that, there was no reason for him to detain and interrogate prisoners, Dafinic explained. It was the job of the police, he said.

Dafinic denied the allegations made by Katica Dagovic, who said that Dafinic personally arrested her and brought her to Arkan’s barracks, where a ‘discotheque, a coffee house and a brothel for the Tigers unit’ were constructed right next to the main building. Dagovic also claimed that Dafinic ‘had girls at his disposal’ in the brothel, as had Arkan.

Dafinic also contested Dusan Vukovic’s claims that the witness had bragged about Miodrag Ulemek Legija killing people and about ‘orgies and rapes’ in the winery. ‘I cannot believe that this man actually said that; he must have been under duress’, Dafinic said. Dafinic is Hadzic’s last defense witness for this week. The trial continues on Monday.