Analysis – Srecko Boskovic: Verdict in Srebrenica Murder Case Forthcoming

2. July 2015.00:00
After a six month trial, the Bosnian state court will hand down its verdict in the Srecko Boskovic trial on July 3. Boskovic has been charged with war crimes in the Zvornik area.

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The state prosecution has called for a guilty sentence, on the grounds that Boskovic murdered a boy after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995, a claim confirmed by a number of state prosecution witnesses.

The defense has argued that the evidence against Boskovic is insufficient, and that he should be granted an acquittal.

Boskovic, a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, has been charged with murdering a civilian minor in July 1995. The prosecution claims the murder occurred while Serb soldiers were killing Bosniak civilians at the Red Dam, near Petkovci, in the municipality Zvornik after the fall of Srebrenica. Boskovic allegedly told the victim, a Bosniak boy, that he was free to leave. He then shot the boy with an automatic weapon.

The state prosecution presented testimony from ten witnesses and experts and also provided material evidence.

Protected state prosecution witness SB-1 said he heard Boskovic admit to killing the boy in July 1995, in a conversation he overheard Boskovic having with Jovo Lazic.

“Jovo asked him why did you kill him, and Srecko said, ‘He started to run…When they carried him over, I saw the wound on his temple,’” SB-1 said. Jovo Lazic died after the war.

SB-1 said the boy was murdered at a dam near the village of Petkovci in the municipality of Zvornik, where a mass execution of men from Srebrenica was carried out.

SB-1 he didn’t see the boy’s murder because he was turned back when he heard one or two shots. He said when he went to the direction from which the shot was heard, he saw Boskovic, whom he had known for many years.

Body of Victim Still Not Located

SB-1 said Boskovic was armed at the dam, but he wasn’t sure whether he was holding a PAP or M48 gun.

State prosecution witness Milorad Kucalovic testified primarily in closed hearings and made amendments to his statements. Kucalovic said he didn’t remember describing the boy’s murder in a statement he gave to the state prosecution during the investigation phase of the case. He said he wasn’t present on the Petkovci dam at all. He said that in July 2014, he had requested to make amendments to his statement, and then denied his previous altogether.

Kucalovic said no one threatened him and that he didn’t want to be a witness. He said he gave his initial statement due to stress, and said he felt “lost” in his dealings with the state prosecution.

In his closing arguments, prosecutor Predrag Tomic said Kucalovic told him he’d seen a soldier kill a boy who could be older than 16 or 17.

Forensic expert Rifat Kesetovic, testifying for the state prosecution, presented his findings on the remains found in the mass grave at the Petkovci dam. He said 77 remains belonged to individuals younger than 18 – he said 12 of those remains had remained unidentified.

According to the indictment, the body of the murdered boy has yet to be identified.

The defense presented two witnesses and filed six pieces of material evidence. Testifying for the defense, Dusan Nikolic and Radovan Djokic claimed to have never been at the Petkovci dam, even though protected witness SB-1 claims to have seen them there. The hearing in which the defense witnesses and SB-1 both testified was closed to the public.

Differing Claims on Boskovic’s Whearabouts

In his closing arguments, prosecutor Tomic said SB-1 stuck with his statement that he saw Nikolic and Djokic at the dam.

The defense asked Nikolic whether Boskovic had any involvement with the killings on the dam. Nikolic said Boskovic didn’t participate in the killings.

A protected witness known as SB-4 said he dug a pit for bodies at the Petkovci dam in July 1995, and said he didn’t see Boskovic at that time.

SB-4 was able to recognize Boskovic in photos presented to him by the state prosecution. SB-4 said he knew Boskovic from before the war.

State prosecution witness Spomenko Milosevic said he didn’t see Boskovic with a rifle after the fall of Srebrenica.

During the trial, Boskovic defended himself at liberty under certain prohibitive measures.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian