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Kos et al: Organizers of Murders

16. March 2012.00:00
A Defence witness says, at the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, that a few people prepared the crime that happened in Srebrenica in 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Jugoslav Petrusic, former member of the French Intelligence Service, told the Court that he knew that Petar Salapura gave an order to Milorad Pelemis to form a multi-ethnic unit, but the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the Main Headquarters of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS never actually existed.

“Parallel structures existed in the Army and police. They needed pawns to execute their caprices. Salapura could not have made the decision on his own. He had to wait for the right moment that would be politically suitable for Republika Srpska. After that Srebrenica happened. (…) The people, who are on trial now, are used as instruments for hiding those who organised all this,” Petrusic said.

Witness Petrusic said that he believed that members of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad could not refuse to execute the order and shoot people on Branjevo military farm, as they would have probably been killed had they done it.

Salapura was Chief of the Intelligence Administration with the Main Headquarters of VRS, while, according to witnesses’ statements, Pelemis was Commander of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja 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 was Commander of the First Unit with the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of VRS, while Kojic, Golijan and Goronja were members of that Squad.

Witness Petrusic said that he was charged in Serbia with “having been Commander of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad and organized of a group that committed crimes in the Srebrenica area”.

Petrusic told the Court that Stanko Savanovic, whose last name was now Kojic, described to him how he committed the murder of prisoners on Branjevo.

“Savanovic told me that he took golden jewelry from people on Branjevo in exchange for water. He told me he had a revolver, which he used for shooting people on their elbows and knees. He shot each wounded man several times in order to torture him as much as possible,” the witness said.

At this hearing Petrusic said that many documents about the crimes in Srebrenica had been changed since the end of the war in order to conceal the truth.

“Savanovic was controlled. He was held by either Pelemis or the guys from the Army and State Security. It has been known, since 1996, who committed the murders. Pelemis and Salapura had all the documents,” Petrusic said, adding that those who were on trial were just “pawns”.

Dusko Tomic, Defence attorney of indictee Kos, said that witness Petrusic had received threats because of his testimony before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The next hearing is due to be held on Friday, March 23, when the direct examination of the witness will continue.S.U.

This post is also available in: Bosnian