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Digging Graves in Podrinje

25. February 2014.00:00
As the trial of Aleksandar Cvetkovic for genocide in Srebrenica continues, State Prosecution witnesses say that they participated in the digging and filling of graves.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Cvjetin Ristanovic said that, as member of the Engineering Company of the Zvornik Brigade, he was tasked by Chief Dragan Jokic to transport a backhoe to Orahovac on July 14, 1995.

“Soldiers were present there. They stopped us and told us to unload the machine. I was told to dig at a marked location on the meadow,” Ristanovic said, adding that, sometime later a soldier told him to come out of the machine and turn away.

Ristanovic said that a truck arrived after that. He heard shooting. As he said, he saw dead bodies afterwards.

“I continued digging. They stopped me like that several more times,” the witness said.

As per an order by his Commander, he dug a hole in the vicinity of Orahovac the following day. On July 17 he was ordered to go to Branjevo.

“A loader was there as well. (…) I saw people in overalls and dead bodies, but I do not know how many there were,” Ristanovic said.

Second witness C-4 said that he dag holes, on four occasions, on a dam in Petkovci, behind “Vitinka” Factory in Kozluk and on Branjevo.

C-4 said that he saw about 30 corpses on the dam in Petkovci and that more dead people were brought by a tractor later on. He dug the hole in Petkovci on the first day and filled it with soil on the following day.

“It was hot. Swarms of flies and unpleasant smell were unbearable,” C-4 said.

As he said, he saw “a pile” of bodies on Branjevo as well. He saw a truck unloading the bodies into a hole, which he had previously dug along with a backhoe. He saw people in overalls “loading” bodies into the hole.

Ristanovic and witness C-4 said that they did not see indictee Aleksandar Cvetkovic at the mentioned locations.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Cvetkovic, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, with having participated in murders of at least 900 Srebrenica residents on Branjevo farm on July 16, 1995.

Protected witness C-3 testified at this hearing too, but the Court ordered a ban on publishing his testimony.

The trial is due to continue on March 4.

Džana Brkanić

This post is also available in: Bosnian