Orić Accused Turković of Planning to Murder Kelmendi

Naser Orić, former defense minister of Srebrenica, said before the Court of BiH that Zijad Turković, the lead defendant in the Turković et al case planned to murder Kosovo businessman Naser Kelmendi.

Orić said that Kelmendi told him that the assassination of Naser is in the works and told him to watch his back because he did not know which Naser was the target – Orić or Kelmendi.

Orić said he started investigating the matter. From a friend in Belgrade whose identity he did not reveal, he learned that Milenko Lakić was paid for the contract killing and Zoran Veličković a.k.a Zoka from Tuzla told him more about the guy from Bijeljina.

Veličković told him that he was not sure if Lakić was a man for the job, but he got in touch with him later and he gave him Orić’s number.

“Lakić called me and said that I should not be afraid,” testified Orić.

Orić also told the court that Kelmendi informed him about a plan to set explosive devices in Hotel Radon Plaza in February 2010 for the wedding of his son, or in the Academia Café in a Sarajevo neighborhood of Hrasno. He also said that Kelmendi travelled with two escort cars full of bodyguards.

He said that Kelmendi nodded in the direction of a bald man who sat reading newspapers iin the corner in the Academy one evening. Orić found it strange that the man was reading a daily in the early evening hours and that this person was to keep Turković in the loop about Kelmendi’s whereabouts.

At the previous hearing, Kelmendi said that Turković attempted to kill him both at the Academy and in Radon Plaza.

Turković’s and Lakić’s lawyers Fahrija Karkin and Dejan Bogdanović respectively, announced that they would subpoena Orić for cross-examination in one of the coming hearings. They said that the prosecutors interrogated Orić about the events that he did not mention in his testimony before the police.

Turković is also charged with murder of Midhat Mekić and his girlfriend Lucija Cortes. Mekić’s mother Ramiza and brother Muharem testified today.

Even though all media reported that Midhat was killed three months earlier, Ramiza Mekić said that the last time she talked with her son was in June 2010. She was positive that her son was on the other side of the line, but his voice was different, sad and pessimistic.

Muharem Mekić said that he last saw Midhat in Amsterdam in 2000 when he paid him a visit in prison. He said that he rarely met with his brother who lived in Germany and hang out with bad guys, such as Turković. The witness said that he was convinced that Turković had killed his brother.

He said that Turković was involved “in prostitution and thievery” in Germany. The statement angered Turković who started swearing at Muharem and he was taken out of the courtroom.

According to the indictment, Turković and Lakić fired 19 rounds into Mekić and his girlfriend from a heckler automatic rifle in a house in Binježevo near Sarajevo where the couple lived. Then Turković arranged for their bodies to be taken to a village of Šavnici, near Sarajevo where Sead Dumanjić, Isljam Kalender and Rajko Milovanović dumped the corpses into an open grave and covered them in limestone.

They bought limestone from Goran Kašić who sells it on the Stup market. Kašić told the court that he found it strange that someone wanted 50 kg of limestone, but he did not ask what for. He could not say who the buyers were. He said that they arrived in a dark Mercedes SUV and that a person sitting next to a driver told him through the slided window to haul limestone sacks into the trunk.

Zijad Turković is charged with organized crime, drug trafficking, armed robbery, extortion, arms trafficking and other crimes. The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina alleges that he organized a group that trafficked in heroin and cocaine between 2005 and 2010. He is also charged with five murders, three attempted murders, an airport robbery of 2.5 million KM in Sarajevo and illegal takeover of shares of Socks Factory and money laundering.

Next hearing is scheduled for May 10.