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Some time in July 1992 Hasan Tankovic was forced to leave his house in Nevesinje. At the trial of two former policemen Krsto Savic and Mile Mucibabic, conducted before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, Hasan said that some masked men came and “forced us to go”.
“We put a few things in a bag and moved on. We had no other choice,” he recalled, adding that he had his slippers on when he left the house.
Savic and Mucibabic, who the witness identified in the courtroom, are charged with several crimes, including the deportation of Bosniaks from Nevesinje municipality.
Tankovic left his home “together with two grandchildren, wife and old mother”. He was forced, just like other Nevesinje residents, to go to the municipality building. After that, women, children and the elderly were taken by buses to Bileca, but they were then returned to Nevesinje. The next morning they were taken to Busak village. They were ordered to take the main road and walk towards Mostar.
“My mother and three other people were not able to walk, so they stayed behind. They killed them there. Later on their bodies were exchanged,” Tankovic recalled, adding that, besides his mother’s, the bodies of Becir Sikalo, Husref Handzar and Dragica Rotim, their neighbour, were also exchanged.
“We did not know where else to bury her at the time. She was our neighbour,” the witness said.
In 1993 the four people were buried next to each other. After the war the Rotim family transferred the remains to a Catholic cemetery near Mostar.
The Prosecution examined Milan Djeric, former policeman, explaining that an investigation against him was ongoing in Trebinje for his alleged leadership in the attack on Canje village, which is charged upon the two indictees as well.
A few witnesses, who appeared at this trial, mentioned Djeric as a person who participated in the crimes in Nevesinje but he denied the allegations.
The trial is due to continue on September 18, when two more Prosecution witnesses will be examined.