Trial of gendarmes begins, accused plead not guilty
The trial of eight members of the Gendarmerie, charged with beating the brothers of the prime minister and the Belgrade mayor began on Thursday.Source: Tanjug
The incident that also involved two military police officers coincided with the Gay Pride parade held in Belgrade on September 28.
The trial started with the reading of the indictment, which charges the police officers with criminal acts of assault on a military person discharging their military duties and co-perpetration of abuse and torture, and one of them is also accused of abuse of official powers.
The accused officers, deployed in Belgrade on the day to provide security for the parade, all pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor proposed two police officers, one military police officers, a journalist and a cameraman of the N1 broadcaster, who recorded the incident, and two other eye-witnesses as witnesses to be called at the trial.
The prosecutor also asked that the plaintiffs, Andrej Vucic and Predrag Mali, be questioned, as well as members of the military police Sasa Stankovic and Sasa Jovanovic.
Responding to the indictment, lawyer Zoran Saveljic who represents one of the accused, Predrag Mitrovic, said that the charges were constructed in the wrong manner, as his client's actions did not contain elements of a criminal act.
He said that Mitrovic was unaware that members of the military were involved in the incident, and that Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's brother, Andrej Vucic, is not a member of the military, nor was performing a military task.
Saveljic wants Interior Minister Nebojsa Stevanovic, Gendarmerie commander Milenko Bozovic, and five police officers called as witnesses.
The defense lawyer also asked for the plaintiffs to be confronted with the accused, and for the army's security plan and patrol orders of the two military police members to be entered as evidence.