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Vukovic and Tomic: Forming a Ring Around Detainees

27. March 2009.00:00
A Prosecution witness says he witnessed the shooting of Srebrenica residents in Kravica on July 13, 1995, adding that members of "special police" participated in the shooting.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Ilija Nikolic, a former member of the Bratunac Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, testified as a Prosecution witness. He spoke about the participation of police members in the capture, detention and murder of Srebrenica residents in July 1995.

The witness said that on July 13, 1995 he saw “between 150 and 200” captured Bosniaks who were “guarded by police members” in Sandici.

“On that day me and my friend went to Milici, but policemen did not let us go. A short time later the two of us went to the cooperative in Kravica, where captured Muslims were brought afterwards. They were escorted by policemen,” Nikolic said.

Radomir Vukovic and Zoran Tomic, former members of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici, are charged, among other things, with having helped to capture and escort about one thousand Bosniaks from Sandici village to the Kravica Agricultural Cooperative warehouse on July 13, 1995.

The indictment alleges that members of the Second Squad then killed the captured Bosniaks. Vukovic allegedly threw grenades at them while Tomic shot them, using a machine gun.

“I remember that, on their arrival at the hangar, a Muslim took a gun from a policeman and killed him. He was soon disarmed. Later on policemen formed a ring around the hangar and started shooting. Then they placed a bus at the entrance, so nobody could run away,” Nikolic said, adding that the policemen
were dressed in “blue camouflage uniforms” and they were armed with machine guns.

Although he said he did not know the two indictees, during the course of cross-examination he said that he “remembers faces very well”, adding that he did not see the second indictee, Tomic, in Kravica.

Nikolic said he headed towards Bratunac on foot. On his way he saw “seven or eight thugs” driving some men and “three or four buses”. He said he found out later that the buses had transported women and children from Srebrenica.

“As I was walking I heard shooting and detonations coming from the hangar. A few days later Momir Nikolic told me that members of special police participated in the murder of captured Muslims. He told me that those people were buried in Glogova village. I saw that the soil had recently been dug up in
that village,” Nikolic said.

Momir Nikolic, former assistant commander for security and intelligence affairs with the VRS Bratunac Brigade, was sentenced, by a second-instance verdict handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, to 20 years’ imprisonment for crimes committed in  Srebrenica.

As alleged by Nikolic, some captured Bosniaks from Srebrenica were also detained in the “Vuk Karadzic” school building in Bratunac in the course of July 1995.

The trial is due to continue on Wednesday, April 1.

This post is also available in: Bosnian