Kos et al: Crime not to be Spoken about

27. October 2011.14:10
At the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, a Defence witness says that he found out that civilians were killed on Branjevo, but people were not allowed to speak about the crime.

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Testifying in defence of indictee Franc Kos before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Daliborko Djukic, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, said that he was in Modrica when the crime was committed on Branjevo, but he found out about it later.

“Upon my return from Modrica I found out that a part of the unit had been on Branjevo. The people, who had been there, looked strange afterwards. I asked that their weapons be taken away from them, as they seemed to be out of their minds,” the witness recalled.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja with genocide in Srebrenica by participating in the murder of more than 800 men and boys on Branjevo military farm in July 1995.

The indictment alleges that Kos was Commander of the First Unit with the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the VRS Main Headquarters, while Kojic, Golijan and Goronja were members of that Squad. It further alleges that they jointly shot prisoners, some of whom were tied and blindfolded.

Witness Djukic said that, following his return from Modrica, he found out that Stanko Kojic and Zoran Goronja had been on Branjevo farm. As said by the witness, Goronja was under stress following his return from Branjevo.

“Goronja slept in the bed next to mine. I know that we had to tie him, as he was under stress…” witness Djukic said, adding that they were not allowed to speak about the things that had happened on Branjevo.

When asked by the Defence of indictee Kos who could have sent the soldiers to Branjevo, the witness said that it could have been done by Milorad Pelemis and the men who were above him, pointing out that members of the Squad could not refuse to carry out the order.

“I found out that bad things happened on Branjevo, but I did not find out who issued the order for that operation. When you are a member of such a unit, you’d better not be interested in those things,” Djukic said.

The witness said that he first met indictee Kos in the military barracks in Bijeljina, adding that they participated in two military operations together, as per an order issued by Pelemis.

“Kos was a good man and good and disciplined soldier. He took care of his men,” Djukic said.

During this hearing the Defence of indictee Golijan presented 15 pieces of material evidence related to reports on results of operations conducted by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH in the Srebrenica and Zepa area in 1995.

The Defence of indictee Golijan asked the Trial Chamber to order a psychiatric examination of the indictee. The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina objected to the request.

The next hearing is due to be held on October 28 this year.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian