A CONVICTED murderer denied yesterday that he attacked a former Bosnian Serb soldier in Wakefield Jail in revenge for his involvement in the killing of Muslim men from Srebrenica.
Indrit Krasniqi told a jury at Leeds Crown Court he was not one of the three prisoners who burst into the cell of Radislav Krstic on D Wing at the high security jail on May 7 last year slashing his neck and face.
He said at the time he had gone to borrow some tobacco from a friend on the landing above the cell where Krstic was attacked.
The friend was not there, but he was helping himself to some of his, when he suddenly heard prison officers shouting “lock up D Wing” so returned to the landing below and his own cell.
He told the court he was a practising Muslim and learned of Krstic’s background serving a sentence for war crimes soon after Krstic arrived at the jail.
“I was aware he was on the wing but never spoke to him, never had a conversation with him or anything like that.”
Asked by his barrister Icah Peart QC if he played any part in the attack on the former soldier he replied: “No I didn’t”.
“The Crown’s case against you is that you were motivated to do what you did against Mr Krstic in order to avenge what he did to those thousands of Muslim men and boys who were killed at Srebrenica, what do you say about that suggestion,” asked Mr Peart.
“It’s the wrong suggestion,” Krasniqi replied.
“Did you think it was your place to avenge those murders,” asked Mr Peart.
Krasniqi said: “Obviously once you heard you can’t help but have feelings towards the people that were there but I’ve got my own problems to deal with.”
He said he thought Krstic might have named as one of the attackers because he was Muslim and an Albanian national.
Krasniqi, 23, Quam Ogumbiyi, 29 and Iliyas Khalid, 24, each deny attempting to murder Radislav Krstic and the alternative of wounding him with intent.
The trial continues on Monday.