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Vukovic on Division Line in Brstenik Village

29. January 2015.00:00
As the trial of Milenko Vukovic continues before the District Court in Trebinje, a Defence witness says that, on June 17, 1992 the indictee was on the division line in Brstenik village and not in Nevesinje.

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Radenko Bacina, a former Commander of the Military Police Squad, whose member the indictee was, said that, on June 17, 1992 Vukovic was on division line in Podvelezje, or more precisely at a checkpoint in Brstenik village about 15 kilometres away from Nevesinje.

Bacina said that the Squad’s task was to guard the Military Command in Brstenik, which was located halfway between Mostar and Nevesinje. According to Bacina, at that time active combat was conducted in that area, so I was not possible for anyone to leave the area and go to the Military Command in Nevesinje.

The District Prosecution in Trebinje charges Vukovic with having treated civilians Senad, Hajrudin, Musan and Hajro Sarancic from Canje village, Nevesinje municipality, in an inhumane manner in the Yugoslav National Army, JNA, Centre in Nevesinje on June 17, 1992.

Second Defence witness Branislav Milanovic confirmed that the Military Police Squad, whose member he was, just like the indictee, was on the front defence lines in mid-June 1992.

Milanovic said that he was the only one, who came to the Military Command in Nevesinje in the evening on the 17th in order to collect ammunition, adding that his comrades, including indictee Vukovic, stayed at the checkpoint about 15 kilometres away from Nevesinje.

He said that, while he was in the JNA Centre corridor, he saw a group of people, among whom he recognised his former schoolmate Musan Sarancic.

“I asked him: ‘What is going on?’. He responded: ‘So, we have come’. They were standing in the hallway. No one else was with them. Nobody guarded them,” Milanovic said, adding that, after having collected the ammunition, he went back to the checkpoint in Brstenik and that he did not inquire about the fate of the group of people, including Musan Sarancic.

Third Defence witness Milovan Milovic said that, following the beginning of combats in Podvelezje, the local Muslim population moved out from Canje village.

As he said, in the morning hours on June 17 Sucro Sarancic came to his house in Zaluzje village, asking for help.

“We sat in the car. Sucro, his two sons, Hajro and his son, Musan Sarancic and two or three women were there. We went to the JNA Centre, where we met Commander Krsto Savic, whom I told that I had brought some shepherds and asked him to make sure that nobody would harm them,” Milovic said, adding that he did not enter the JNA Centre and that he did not know what happened to them afterwards.

The trial is due to continue on February 26.

Milanka Kovačević

This post is also available in: Bosnian