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Father Killed by Neighbours

28. January 2015.00:00
Testifying at the trial for crimes in the Prijedor area, a State Prosecution witness says that she found out about the murder of her father from her mother, who told her, during their detention in Trnopolje, that her father was killed by their Serb neighbours.

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Edina Kavaz said that an attack on Kozarac and the surrounding villages began at the beginning of June 1992 and that she was hiding in a stream bed with her family for a couple of days.

As she said, she was about to deliver a baby, so, as agreed with her family, she dressed herself in white and surrendered.

“I went to the nearest road. A tank driver came by. They took me to Trnopolje. Soldiers then took me to a hospital in Prijedor in order for me to give birth to my baby. They took me back to Trnopolje with my baby,” witness Kavazovic explained.

As she said, when she arrived in Trnopolje, she saw all of her family members except her father.

“None of my family members knew what happened to my father. They told me that all of them ran away to different places during the attack on the villages in the Kozarac surroundings and that nobody had seen my father since,” the witness said.

She explained that she heard about her father’s fate from her mother, who found out later on that her father and five other neighbours were found dead.

“My mother told me that she heard that our closest neighbours had killed him. I did not believe that,” witness Kavaz said.

According to the charges, while conducting a search in Kozarac on June 4, 1992, Mitar Vlasenko, Rade Vlasenko and Drago Koncar found a group of eight civilians, who were hiding in a house, and killed them.

When asked by the Prosecutor whether any names were mentioned, the witness said that she heard about Mitar and Rade Vlasenko, as well as Drago, whom she remembered from childhood.

During the cross-examination the witness explained that her mother had never told her who the neighbours were who had killed her father, adding that they heard about their names from their neighbours, the Talics, whose son was also killed.

“They said that they saw the shooting from Mitar and Rade Vlasenko’s house, so this was an assumption, but I did not see that,” witness Kavaz said, adding that she had known the family of Mitar and Rade Vlasenko, as well as Drago Koncar, since childhood.

She mentioned that she left Trnopolje in late June 1992 and that she found her father’s body in 1998, adding that it was found, along with bodies of the other killed neighbours, in a well in front of an old house.

The next hearing at which one more Prosecution witness will testify is scheduled for Wednesday, February 4.

Dragana Erjavec

This post is also available in: Bosnian