SPLIT – Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, on Tuesday pleaded “absolutely not guilty” to charges of war crimes committed against Croatian soldiers and civilians during the war of the 1990s.
The much-publicised, high-security trial before the county court in Split, Croatia, will resume on October 18 with witness testimonies.
Vasiljkovic told the trial chamber he understood the indictment but that he felt absolutely not guilty of any of the prosecution’s charges against him.
Croatia has charged Vasiljkovic, a Serbian-Australian military instructor of the former Krajina Serb forces, with responsibility for crimes committed in Knin in 1991 and the vicinity of Benkovac in 1993, where he allegedly tortured, abused and killed captured Croatian soldiers and policemen.
The charges carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Vasiljkovic was arrested in 2006 in Australia, where he worked as a golf instructor under the name Daniel Snedden.
He was sent to Croatia in July 2015 after losing a nine-year legal battle to block his extradition.