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Piling Dead Bodies

26. February 2014.00:00
Testifying at the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, a protected State Prosecution witness says that he dag a hole, in which corpses were buried, on a dam near Petkovci, Zvornik municipality, in mid July 1995.

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The witness, who testified under the pseudonym SM-108, said that, while performing his civil duty, he was sent to Petkovci in order to build bulwarks on military positions using a loader truck. As he said, he met three persons, who, as he assumed were officers, in the Battalion Command in Petkovci. One of them sent him to the dam.

As he said, he did not see indictee Ostoja Stanisic among those persons. Stanisic and Marko Milosevic are on trial for having participated in crimes committed on Petkovci dam, where about 1,000 captives from Srebrenica were executed in mid-July.

According to the charges, Stanisic was Commander of the Sixth Battalion of Zvornik Brigade with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, seating in Petkovci, while Milosevic was his Deputy.

Several soldiers joined the witness in Petkovci on his way to the dam. As he said, upon his arrival, he saw corpses.

“They were dressed. Some were barefoot. They were lying on their stomachs. I could only assume that they were Muslims,” he recalled.

As he said, the soldiers, whom he saw on the dam, were “upset and arrogant”. Some of them had white bands on their shoulders, but he did not know any of them.

He said that, as per an order, he dag a 20-metre long, 4-metre wide and two-metre deep hole. According to his testimony, Muslims, who had previously been brought by tractor trailer in which he saw corpses, loaded the corpses into the hole. He noticed that the tractor made several round trips.

“They were in the hole, piling the bodies. I only heard a gunshot. I did not see them leave,” the witness said.

As he said, on the following day he was given a task to go to the dam and fill the hole with soil.

The witness told the Court that, in the autumn of 1995 he and some other persons were sent to the dam near Petkovci again in order to “perform a special task”.

“Nobody knew what we would do until our arrival to that place. Our task was to perform burial,” he explained, adding that they were transported by trucks to an unknown location.

The trial is due to continue on Wednesday, March 5.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian