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During the continuation of Ratko Mladic’s trial, a protected Hague Prosecution witness says that he survived shooting of Srebrenica Bosniaks, including that of his father, in Orahovac village, near Zvornik in mid July 1995, adding that he was seven years old at the time.
Testifying under the pseudonym of RM-313, the witness said that members of Serb forces loaded him, his father and other local residents of a village near Srebrenica onto a truck and blindfolded them.
“We were on the truck. My father wanted to get up and tie my kerchief, but a soldier did not allow him to do it. My father went back to his seat. The soldier approached me and tied it. He tied it very tightly,” RM-313 said.
Some time later the truck stopped. The witness, his father and other men were ordered to come out to a meadow…“We went out. They untied our handkerchiefs. They ordered us to lie down and then began shooting at us… It was dark. Nothing else could be seen,” RM-313 said.
According to witness RM-313’s testimony, prior to the shooting a captive “got up and began running away”. As he said he was then killed.
RM-313 said that he was shot on his leg and arm. He showed the wounds to judges. When asked where his father was at that moment, he said: “I do not know where he was. We were not close to each other”.
“I got up… A white SUV with a red cross sign was coming towards us. I approached it and asked for permission. They let approach. I got close and got into the white SUV,” the witness said, adding that he was transferred to Zvornik, where he underwent medical treatment.
Mladic, former Commander of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, is charged with genocide against about 7,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica in the days that followed the occupation of the United Nation’s protected enclave by VRS on July 11, 1995.
Prior to RM-313’s testimony, The Hague Prosecution read a statement by a VRS Zvornik Brigade driver, who said that, following a mass shooting in Orahovac village on July 14, 1995, he saw a wounded boy appearing out of a pile of bodies and calling his father’s name out.
The driver, whose identity was protected by the pseudonym of RM-247, said that “a lieutenant colonel with moustache” ordered soldiers to kill the boy, but none of the soldiers executed the order. The lieutenant colonel then ordered the driver to take the boy back to the school building in Orahovac, but the driver drove him to a hospital in Zvornik instead, because, as he said, he was afraid that the boy might be killed.
According to the charges against Mladic, VRS members killed about 1,000 captives in Orahovac on July 14, 1995.
The trial of Mladic, who is also charged with the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terror against civilians in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage, is due to continue on Friday, June 7.