The death of David Dragičević ‘disrupts’ the pre-election world in Banja Luka

The death of David Dragičević ‘disrupts’ the pre-election world in Banja Luka

Davor Dragičević, a Banja Luka citizen, will never forget March 18 when his twenty-one-year old son, David, did not come back home from his night out. David had gone out with friends at 19.00p.m. local but never returned and was declared missing on that day. His body was found days later in the small river Crkvena, in Banja Luka downtown.

For more than 45 days, Davor was holding a protest on the main city square, putting under question the official version, issued by police, about the death of his son. Police said that David, in the night when he disappeared, had a fight with some people, robbed one house and ended his life in the small river Crkvena, a few kilometres far from where his body was found.

During the last month a big crowd stood by Davor’s side and every evening at 18:00 p.m., about 200 of them walked to the square to be with him. What Davor demands is the truth and justice.

But, although many politicians refuse that, showing their support to Davor turning the case into a politicised issue. Davor blamed the RS Minister of Interior, Dragan Lukač, the local police chief, Darko Ćulum, prosecutors and inspectors that they are covering the real perpetrators and protect them from being properly questioned. The pressure was so big that MPs in the National Assembly of Republika Srpska decided to hold a special session about the case and at the same time about the issue of security in this BiH entity. At the session, Davor was given ten minutes to address the Assembly, though the protocol allows no such thing.

“My son was tortured and brutally murdered and police protects the criminals who did it. Minister Lukač, director Ćulum and others are collaborators in this case”, Davor Dragičević said in front of the 77 MPs.

He explained that he has his own evidence, which was gathered from some persons not linked with judiciary institutions. Davor cried for truth and justice blaming high-rank police officials for his son’s death.

Minister Lukač rejected the allegations and asked who had the right to accuse anyone of such a grave criminal offense without a single piece of evidence.

“None of what we heard from Davor Dragičević is a surprise. This is obviously a prepared performance to accuse me personally, as well as the institutions of Republika Srpska without a single piece of (tangible) evidence”, Lukač stated.

He said he would file criminal reports against anyone who unfoundedly accused him, alluding to blogger Slobodan Vasković, as well as certain MPs.

“Slobodan Vasković is instructing Davor Dragičević, as do certain politicians who want to use this case in a morbid way. I understand Davor Dragičević’s pain. There are institutions in Republika Srpska whose job is to establish what had happened”, Lukač underlined.

Based on the two autopsy findings conducted by different experts and results of ongoing investigations, Lukač reconstructed the last night of David Dragičević. He said that the investigation is still in progress and the case has not been closed. Lukač mentioned that David Dragičević had a criminal file, used drugs and, in several cases, had street fights. Denying the Davor Dragičević statement that 15 persons on the main Banja Luka square abducted his son and that the group of them killed him, minister Lukač stated that the video surveillance tapes show that David Dragičević left the square uninjured.

The MPs discussion on the issue showed several different problems in the RSNA. First of all, it was obvious that the election campaign is in full swing and that MPs are trying to promote their parties presenting them as “protectors of the law”. Second of all, the election campaign will be the dirtiest since the end of the war. Third of all, solving the case of the death of a young man is not a priority anymore, as what matters most right now is that opposing MPs are trading barbs.

At the end of the session, there was the desperate figure of a father who wonders what has happened to his child and on the other “bank” a thousand different political interests… / IBNA

Main Photo: Davor Dragičević addressing the Assembly