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A Convict Claims that Cvetkovic Did not Kill

20. January 2015.00:00
Testifying in defence of Aleksandar Cvetkovic, a witness says that the indictee did not participate in the shooting of Muslim captives on Branjevo in July 1995.

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Zoran Goronja, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, said that Cvetkovic brought members of his Squad to the Branjevo farm, where they were told that they would guard captives.

“Upon the arrival to the farm, Cvetkovic began walking away from us. I noticed that he was going towards a building,” said Goronja, whom the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, sentenced to 30 years in prison for having committed shooting of men on Branjevo.

Goronja said that, a short time after that the first bus brought captives to Branjevo and the executions began. When asked by the Defence whether he saw Cvetkovic during the murders, Goronja answered negatively, adding that the indictee “had already been in one of the buildings”.

“I am a hundred percent sure that this man did not participate in it. This is why I responded to the invitation to testify,” said Goronja.

Cvetkovic, former member of the tenth Reconnaissance Squad, is charged with having participated in the murder of 900 Bosniaks from Srebrenica on Branjevo military farm in July 1995.

The witness said that he next saw the indictee, when they were departing Branjevo, adding that he was coming from the direction of one of the buildings.

When asked by Defence attorney Petko Pavlovic whether it was true that the indictee told him on Branjevo: ‘Come on, young man, get your hands bloody…,’ Goronja said that it was not him, but witness C-1, who told him that.

Second Defence witness Srdjan Brezo, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad, confirmed that Cvetkovic was a driver with that Squad.

“He was also tasked with collecting humanitarian aid, including clothes, footwear and food, in Serbia. The aid was distributed to us. Also, he transported firewood for us, the soldiers,” Brezo said.

He said that he did not see Cvetkovic, when they participated in an operation in Srebrenica in mid-June 1995.

The trial is due to continue on January 27.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian