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Kos et al: Blindfolded with White Cloth

25. February 2011.00:00
A Prosecution witness testifies at the trial of four indictees charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica and says that he saw Srebrenica residents being taken to Branjevo farm on July 16, 1995, adding that he then heard gunshots coming from that direction.

This post is also available in: Bosnian


Bogoljub Gavric, former teacher in the Kula school in Pilica, said that on July 14, 1995, Srebrenica residents were brought by buses to the school building. He said that two days later they were taken to Branjevo military farm.

“Prior to the arrival of the bus, which brought the Srebrenica residents, local soldiers gathered at the location. There were about 15 of them. They were armed with automatic guns. A short time later the buses came, bringing the Srebrenica residents. (…) About ten buses brought about 500 men, aged between 18 and 66,” Gavric said.

During the course of his testimony, Gavric said that “two soldiers escorted” each of the buses. He said that some Srebrenica residents were dressed in military and police shirts.

Gavric explained that the Srebrenica residents were taken by bus to Branjevo military farm on July 16. He said he then heard shooting coming from that direction.

“Soldiers blindfolded them with white strips of cloth. They had to keep their hands on their necks while being loaded onto the buses. The soldiers who had come with them got on the buses again and left. We heard artillery shooting afterwards,” the witness said.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja with having participated in the murder of more than 800 Srebrenica residents on Branjevo military farm in Pilica, Zvornik municipality in July 1995.

The indictment alleges that Kos was Commander of the First Bijeljina Squad, while Kojic, Golijan and Goronja were members of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad with the VRS Main Headquarters.

Witness Gavric said that a prisoner was killed on July 14, right after the buses had arrived in Pilica.

“I saw a prisoner was so tired that he staggered and slipped near the school building. One of the soldiers who had brought the prisoners thought he was trying to run away. Then I heard one or two gunshots,” Gavric recalled, adding that he saw his body and two or three other corpses, which were covered, in the vicinity of the school building on July 15.

During the course of cross-examination the witness said he did not know the soldiers and he could not remember having seen indictee Goronja.

Gavric said that in an informal conversation with other soldiers, he heard that the Srebrenica residents would be exchanged, adding that he made the same conclusion because Srebrenica was a UN protected zone.

In April 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 819, declaring Srebrenica a protected zone.

The trial is due to continue on March 11, when the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina will examine three witnesses.



This post is also available in: Bosnian