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Memic et al: Shooting as per Nihad Bojadzic’s Order

30. March 2012.00:00
State Prosecution witness Rasema Handanovic says that six to seven men were shot in Trusina in April 1993, as per an order given by indictee Nihad Bojadzic, adding that she participated in that.

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Handanovic, former member of the ‘Zulfikar” Special Purposes Squad with the Main Command Headquarters of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, retold a conversation, via walkie-talkie, between indictees Nedzad Hodzic and Bojadzic, who used code name “Blek”.

“Nedzad called Blek to ask him what to do with the prisoners. He got an answer to kill all of them,” Handanovic said.

As she said, Hodzic then came to the civilian prisoners and said: “Stand in a shooting formation and shoot!”

“All of us were shooting. Everything was over in less than a minute. Many people and guides were present,” Handanovic said. When asked whom she saw shooting the prisoners, she mentioned Hodzic, Edin Dzeko, Mensur Memic and a person named Popara, former member of “Zulfikar” Squad.

Handanovic said that she was shooting too. Also, she said that indictee Salcin guarded the prisoners before they were shot. She said that, prior to the shooting, she went through Trusina, trying to find Hodzic.

The former member of “Zulfikar” Squad said that Bojadzic commanded the attack via walkie-talkie, from a hill near Trusina.

The witness said that, before they entered Trusina Bojadzic ordered them “not to leave any survivors” in the village. As she said, both Bojadzic and indictee Zulfikar Alispago, who informed the soldiers about the operation, attended the lining up of soldiers in Parsovici village prior to the attack on Trusina.

Handanovic, who was extradited by the United States of America, USA, in December 2011, is charged with crimes committed in Trusina as well. She reached a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has still not considered it.

The State Prosecution charges the murder of 18 civilians and four HVO members in Trusina village on April 16, 1993 upon Memic, Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Hodzic, Nihad Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago.

According to the charges, Memic, Salcin and Hodzic, former members of “Zulfikar” Special Squad with the Main Command Headquarters of ABiH, and Hakalovic, former member of “Neretvica” 45th Brigade of ABiH, participated in the attack on Trusina and murder of civilians and prisoners of war.

The indictment alleges that Bojadzic, former Deputy Commander of “Zulfikar” Squad, commanded the attack on Trusina. Alispago is charged with having failed to punish the soldiers, who participated in the murders.

Handanovic said that she witnessed a murder of a husband and wife, two civilians, whom Dzeko “killed by opening burst fire at them”. Dzeko, who is suspected of crimes committed in Trusina, has been extradited from the USA to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is being held in custody. She said that she saw a killed man in Trusina, whose “head was blown up”.

Handanovic told the Court that members of “Zulfikar” Squad then left Trusina and went to a school building in Parsovici and to Mount Igman, where their command was situated.

She said that she joined the “Zulfikar” Squad at the beginning of April 1992, adding that Alispago was Commander of the Squad and Bojadzic was his Deputy at the time. She left the Squad in the summer of 1993, when, as she said, Bojadzic was Commander.

Handanovic said that she felt sorry for the people from Trusina, “because they lost their dearest ones during the war”.

Prior to Handanovic’s testimony, the Defence called on the Court not to allow her examination at this hearing. A brisk dispute between the Defence attorneys and Prosecutor Vesna Budimir followed.

The Defence teams objected, because, as they said, the Prosecutor did not reveal “all of the facts” related to Handanovic, which would enable them to prepare for her testimony.

Vasvija Vidovic, Defence attorney of Bojadzic, said that the documents, including the guilt admission agreement Handanovic reached with the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had not been submitted to the Defence, pointing out that those documents would bring Handanovic’s credibility into question.

The trial is due to continue on Monday, April 2 this year and the Defence teams will examine Handanovic on April 16. A.J.

This post is also available in: Bosnian