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Hiding in a Forest on Kozara

11. July 2014.00:00
Testifying in their defence before the District Court in Banja Luka, indictees Semir Alukic and Fikret Hirkic say that they did not kill Bozo Indjic and Ostoja Baltic in Kozarac, near Prijedor, in August 1992.

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Alukic said that he was member of the Territorial Defence in August 1992, but he was hiding from Serb forces on Mount Kozara.
“I found out about Baltic’s murder the day after, because we brought batteries to the forest in order to listen to the radio. I heard on the news what had happened. They said that two soldiers had been in a vehicle. While we were running away from the woods, I noticed that Indjic’s house was burnt, but, at that time, I did not know that he was killed,” Alukic said.
He said that he found out about those murders from Hamdija Beslagic in Kljuc.
“I asked him why he said that I had participated in those murders. He told me about an agreement, saying that, in case a person was captured by the Serb Army, he would blame everything upon those, who were on the run,” Alukic said.
He explained that he took care of the wounded on Mount Kozara and that Hirkic was in charge of cooking.
“When an attack on Kozarac began, I was in our house with my parents. My mother was almost totally immobile. I proposed that we run to the woods, but my father said that we, the younger ones, should go and that they would stay. I fled to the woods after that. When I returned later on, I saw that our house was set on fire. I found them sitting on a bed in the basement. They told me that some soldiers came and that they said they would take them away. When I came for the second time, I found them killed in front of the house. Petrol was poured over their bodies,” Alukic said.
As he said, a neighbour of his told him the names of sic persons, who killed hi s parents. When asked if he wished to kill them, he said that he would have never done that, because he was not a murderer.
Alukic and Hirkic are charged with crimes against Serb civilians in Prijedor in 1992.
Second indictee Fikret Hirkic said that he was hiding in the woods during the attack on Kozarac and that his only task was to cook food.
“During my stay on Kozara I went down to Kozarac to fetch some food only once, because I had some flour and beans at home. When I came to the village, I saw that everything was destroyed and burnt. We did not find any food. We then went to a nearby village, but we did not find anything there either,” Hirkic said.
Following the indictees’ testimonies, the District Prosecution and Alukic’s Defence presented their closing statements. Prosecutor Branko Mitrovic called on the Court to pronounce the two indictees guilty, while Defence attorney Asim Crnalic said that the Prosecution had not managed to prove that his client committed the murders.
The trial is due to continue on Monday, July 14, when Hirkic’s Defence will present its closing statement.

Goran Obradović

This post is also available in: Bosnian