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Kos et al: 350 People Killed on Branjevo

14. December 2011.00:00
At the trial of four indictees, who are charged with genocide in Srebrenca, a Defence witness says that he found out that Branjevo military farm was one of the locations where Srebrenica residents were executed in July 1995, adding that, as far as he knew, 350 people were killed on Branjevo.

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Testifying before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zelimir Knezevic, former member of the Commission for Investigation of the Events in and around Srebrenica of the Republika Srpska Government, said that the Commission said that 1,200 people were killed on Branjevo military farm, despite the fact that he found out that the number was smaller.

“We marked the execution locations. We said that 1,200 people were killed on Branjevo military farm. We took the number from a statement given by Drazen Erdemovic before The Hague Tribunal. However, I found out that about 350 people, who had been brought by about seven buses, were killed at that location,” Knezevic said.

Witness Knezevic said that the Commission for Investigation of the Events in and around Srebrenica, was tasked with determining the sequence of events that took place in the Srebrenica area from July 10 to July 19, 1995.

Knezevic said that, in their work they used data obtained from The Hague Tribunal’s verdicts, international organisations and statements given by persons, who participated in the events that took place in that area.

Erdemovic, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad with the Main Headquarters of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, was sentenced before The Hague Tribunal to five years in prison after having admitted guilt for the murders on Branjevo.

Knezevic testified at the trial of Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja, whom the State Prosecution charges with genocide in Srebrenica and participation in the murder of more than 800 men and boys on Branjevo military farm in July 1995.

According to the charges, Kos, former member of the First Unit with the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the VRS Main Headquarters, and Kojic, Golijan and Goronja, members of that Squad, jointly shot prisoners, some of whom were tied and blindfolded.

When asked by Slobodan Peric, Defence attorney of indictee Kojic, why the Commission said that 1,200, and not 350, people were killed on Branjevo, the witness said that “pressure was put” on the Commission.

“We did not have sources. Also, pressure was put on the Commission. We had to come to a conclusion that eight thousand people were killed. I think that the international community too was putting pressure on us at that time,” the witness said.

Knezevic said that the VRS began its attack on Srebrenica from the southern part of the enclave, adding that the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad was among the units, which participated in that attack.

“The VRS began its attack on Srebrenica, but it did not deploy many of its forces. It had about two thousands soldiers in the southern and eastern parts. According to the data we obtained, the 28th Division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH consisted of more than seven thousands members,” the witness said.

The next hearing is due to be held on December 16, 2011.S.U.

This post is also available in: Bosnian