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Kravica: Dark Spots in Sandici

17. January 2008.00:00
Court experts examined by the defence speak about 450 Srebrenica residents in Sandici, and of Milos Stupar's "disputable and indisputable signatures".

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Dragan Obradovic, a geodetic expert invited by the defence, said that “groups of people, trucks and buses” were present in Sandici on July 13, 1995. He said that, on the basis of the photographs, he concluded that 450 Srebrenica residents were there.

“On the basis of scanned photographs taken from Zoran Petrovic’s film, and air images, I concluded that the dark spots on the meadow in Sandici represented groups of people and that 450 prisoners were on that meadow on July 13, 1995,” said Obradovic.

The Prosecution of BiH charges ten former members of the Sekovici Second Special Police Squad and one member of the Republika Srpska Army (VRS) with the shooting of more than 1,000 Srebrenica residents in Kravica village near Srebrenica in July 1995.

“I used mathematical methods to calculate the number of people who were on the meadow at that moment, and I presumed how many could have been standing on one square metre,” said Obradovic, and concluded that the number could be “smaller or greater”, because he noticed that the photographs of the groups of people presented in the courtroom had been taken at 4pm, while the photographs he used had been taken at 2pm on the same day.

Dane Brankovic, a graphical technology engineer, was invited by Milos Stupar’s defence to provide expertise concerning “disputable and indisputable signatures” on the documents originating from the period between 1990 and 2005. He concluded that “the disputable signatures were written by two different persons”.

“I must stress that all indisputable signatures were written using Latin letters, that the speed of writing was the same as well as the space between the words and letters, the angle of writing and so on, which means that one person, Milos Stupar, handwrote all those signatures. Also, I am absolutely sure that the disputable signatures were handwritten by two different persons, and not by Stupar,” said Brankovic.

Court expert Brankovic examined Stupar’s signatures on his retirement benefit contract, bankcards, list of members of Sekovici Second Squad and other agreements and requests made in 1994.

During the cross-examination, Prosecutor Ibro Bulic asked court expert Brankovic to share his opinion about the signatures written in Cyrillic, which indictee Stupar wrote in 2003 and 2004. The court expert refused to do it as he “cannot provide an expert opinion by doing a rough analysis only”.

“The attorneys gave me the [disputed] signatures. What I did was to analyse them. I cannot tell you roughly whose signatures are these, as I would need to perform a slow, fine and serious process,” said Brankovic.

As per a request made by Stupar’s defence, the Trial Chamber decided that Brankovic should undertake a complementary analysis and provide findings on the basis of the documents provided by the Prosecution of BiH.

It therefore ordered indictee Stupar to “sign a blank paper several times, using printed and script letters, as well as Cyrillic and Latin letters, so that the court expert could compare those signatures with the others,” which Stupar did once the hearing was over.

The trial is due to continue on January 23, 2008.

This post is also available in: Bosnian