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Witness says he heard of Petkovci dam killings on TV

20. February 2015.00:00
A former Bosnian Serb commander testifying at the trial of Bosnian Serb fighter Srecko Boskovic said that he found out about the execution of civilians at a dam near Petkovci from watching the news.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The witness, Ratko Josipovic, was a former commander of a squad with the First Company of the Brnjicki Battalion of the Army of Republika Srpska. He said that in July 1994, company commander Jovo Lazic had told him not to leave the frontline, because Srebrenica had fallen.

“I was on the frontline on Saint Peter’s Day. The line was near Nezluk. The company commander [Jovo Lazic] informed me that no one should leave the line. He called me over the phone from the battalion command, because Srebrenica had fallen and people were brought to a new school building in Petkovci,” Josipovic said. He said that the men who were brought to the school were captives and military personnel from Srebrenica.

Josipovic said that Lazic called him again, and told him that men from other places were going to guard the Srebrenica captives detained at the school building. Josipovic said that the fighters on the frontline were afraid for their families in the village of Djulici. Djulici was guarded by elderly men, he said.

Responding to questions by prosecutor Predrag Tomic, Josipovic said that he hadn’t heard anything about the killings at the Petkovci dam while on the frontline.

“Later I heard on the TV that some men had been killed. They said they were killed on the dam, close to the dam,” Josipovic said.

When asked whether he found out who killed them, Josipovic responded negatively.

Josipovic said that he knew the defendant, Srecko Boskovic, whom he recognized in the courtroom. He said that Boskovic was his neighbour, and lived about a hundred meters away from his house in Djulici.

When asked if he saw Boskovic on the frontline in July 1995, Josipovic said he hadn’t. He saw Boskovic upon his return from the frontline, he said.

Brano Stevanovic, a former soldier of the Army of Republika Srpska as well as the president of the local community of Djulici, was the second prosecution witness to testify. He said that he was on the frontline in July 1995. He said that he was under emotional duress, as his brother had been killed on June 21, 1995.

When asked whether he’d heard that Srebrenica residents were in Petkovci, Stevanovic said he hadn’t.

Stevanovic said he had turned down a request of a foreign organization to go to the Petkovci dam and investigate the presence of bones there.

Boskovic, a former member of the Army of Republika Srpska, is charged with murdering a boy in the village of Djulici in July 1995, while Serb soldiers were killing Bosniaks following the fall of Srebrenica. Boskovic allegedly told the boy that he was free to leave, and then shot him with an automatic gun when he began to walk away.

The trial will continue on February 27.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian