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Witnesses Describe Abduction of Civilians at Sladoje and Bogdanovic Trial

21. April 2015.00:00
At the trial of Goran Sladoje and Slobodan Bogdanovic, a defense witness told the cantonal court of Sarajevo that unknown perpetrators abducted civilians Bajro and Suad Besic and took them to the frontline.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Goran Sladoje and Slobodan Bogdanovic have been charged with abducting civilians Bajro and Suad Besic from their house on June 13, 1992. They allegedly took them to a garage, where they were beaten. The defendants then allegedly used them as human shields at the Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo, where the frontline was located. Suad Besic was killed as a result.

Gavro Jovovic said that at the beginning of the war Bajro and Suad Besic were guarding their house, and the frontline was at the Jewish cemetery at Vraca. He said that on June 12 or 13, 1992, they asked for help and the people who responded to their call for help weren’t from Vraca or Kovacici.

Jovovic said he knew the entire Besic family, and went to school with Suad Besic. He said the people “who allegedly came to help, forced Suad to cross the wall.”

Jovovic said he saw Suad and Bajro Besic being taken to the frontline, but didn’t see them being beaten.

The prosecution asked Jovovic if Suad and Bajro Besic hid in a garage on Trebevicka street, to which he replied “there were hundreds of garages and basements.”

Milan Dragas, a former neighbor of the defendant, also testified at this hearing. He said the war started in April 1992, and that “the people who lived on the street tried to organize themselves,” as attacks by unknown perpetrators were taking place.

Dragas said he was with Sladoje on the frontline at the Jewish cemetery. He said he remembered that Zoran Klaric died on June 13, 1992, and that his brother and Goran Sladoje drove him away from the area.

With regards to Suad and Bajro Besic, Dragas said that on the same night, people from Rogatica abducted Suad and Bajro Besic. He said they climbed the wall, and shooting started from the other side. Dragas said he heard a cry, but wasn’t allowed to enter the cemetery.

Dragas said people from Rogatica came earlier to help the residents of the area, but later on imposed themselves on the locals. He said the settlement near the Jewish cemetery was ghostly, since more than hundred houses were empty at the time.

The prosecution asked Dragas if he had heard that Bosniak civilians living in the area had been harassed. Dragas said he had heard that Bosniaks were being harassed ten months later.

The trial will continue on May 12.

Lamija Grebo

This post is also available in: Bosnian