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Vukovic and Tomic: Witness Not Sworn In

3. July 2009.00:00
A Defence witness, who is being investigated for his role in the crime at Srebrenica, claims he did not see defendant Zoran Tomic do anything to the prisoners on the road in Sandici.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Cvijan Ristic, a former member of the First Company of the Special Police Unit from Zvornik, was deployed in July 1995 on the road in Sandici together with the Second Squad of the Special Police, where he saw Zoran Tomic. However he denied seeing Tomic commit the act of which he is charged.

Tomic, together with Radomir Vukovic, is charged by the Prosecution with participating on July 13 1995 in the capture and murder of more than 1,000 men in the Kravica Agricultural Cooperative. According to the indictment, both were members of the Second Squad of the Special Police from Sekovici.

Ristic, who is currently working as a policeman in Zvornik, is being investigated by the Prosecution over the same criminal act, involvement in the genocide in Srebrenica. Because of this, in accordance with a decision of the Trial Chamber, he was not sworn in before giving his testimony.

The witness said that on July 11 1995 his unit was sent to Bratunac, where the following day they were assigned to “guard the road communication” in the village of Sandici.

“A little before us, the Sekovici Squad arrived, and we were deployed next to them. We stayed there on the night between July 12 and 13. We were assigned to ensure undisturbed traffic and make sure that there were no blockades of the road,” said Ristic.

According to the indictment, Vukovic and Tomic participated in “maintaining the traffic flow on the roads, closing down and opening traffic in accordance with the plan for the forced transport of women, children and elderly of the Bosniak nationality.”

“I did not see Zoran Tomic opening or closing down the road, or anyone doing that,” the witness said.

Ristic said that on July 13, 1995, “unknown soldiers who were not from our neighbourhood” took away a group of around 60 to 70 prisoners.

“As far as I know, Zoran Tomic did not call on Muslims to surrender. We would know such a thing. People would talk about it, he would brag about it. I did not see him take away gold and money from anyone and I am certain I did not see him abuse the prisoners,” the witness said.

The Prosecution believes that on July 13, 1995, Tomic “participated in the capture of several thousand Bosniak men who tried to flee the protected zone,” that he searched them “taking away their money and valuables” and that he ordered them to get rid of food, clothes and everything else they had in their bags.

According to Ristic, on the evening of July 13 the First Company of the Special Police Unit was withdrawn to Bratunac, while the Sekovici Squad “left towards Zvornik.”

Responding to questions from the Trial Chamber, the witness said that he had heard about the murders in Kravica from the media in 2005.

“It was a long time ago, a man does not pay attention to what happened. I was not interested in it,” said Ristic.

At the next hearing, on July 8, the Defence of the first defendant Vukovic will examine two witnesses.

This post is also available in: Bosnian