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Local Justice – Popovic: Recognized by Voice

14. June 2012.00:00
Witness Hava Husedzinovic says before the District Court in Banja Luka that she recognised Mirko Popovic by his voice, adding that he killed her son Aldo and two other boys.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

“I went to the ground floor at around 10 p.m. in order to pray to God. As I was going back, I saw some uniformed people in front of the house. One of them put his hand on a boy’s shoulder and cursed him. I recognised Popovic by his voice, because we had socialised with each other before,” Husedzinovic said.

The indictment filed by the District Court in Banja Luka charges Popovic with having participated in the murder of civilians in August 1992. It is alleged that Popovic and three other persons, who were armed with rifles and dressed in camouflage uniforms with stockings over their faces, came to a civilian’s house in Gradiska on August 10, 1992.

“When they came to the courtyard, they saw the three injured parties. They took them to a nearby street and drove them by minivan to River Sava, where they killed them using fire arms,” the indictment alleges.
The witness said that, when she saw the uniformed individuals in front of her house, it seemed to her that they were small and had buckets on their heads.

“They began beating them right away. They hit them on their spines with something, but I could not see what it was. Then they dragged them towards the minivan, beating them all the time. They loaded them into the minivan and drove them in unknown direction. I went down to the basement and told the other family members what had happened,” the witness said.

She said that, half an hour later she heard a burst of fire. The witness said that they found the bodies of the killed people five days later, adding that the bodies were in a state of decay and full of worms.

Husedzinovic said that she told everybody that Popovic had done this, adding that it was particularly hard for her, because they had been friends for so long.

Mejra Husedzinovic told the Trial Chamber that she was in the basement with children, when her brother-in-law Avdo was killed.

“When those men came, I heard my brother-in-law telling them: ‘Neighbour, what are you doing to us?’.

When they left, my mother-in-law said that we should go to the first floor, as they might come back, so we did that. They came back soon. I saw one of them throwing a bomb into the basement, while the other one set a truck tank on fire and it exploded,” Mejra Husedzinovic, said that, on the following day she found a puddle of blood and a chair in front of her house, but she did not know whose blood it was.

The witness said that, five days later she found out that three bodies were lying on the banks of River Sava. She went there and identified the killed people on the basis of their clothes.

The trial is due to continue on June 14.

This post is also available in: Bosnian