Uncategorized @bs

Witnesses Describe Attack on Bosniak Civilians in Zvornik

31. August 2015.00:00
Testifying at the trial of nine former members of Bosnian Serb military and police forces, a state prosecution witness described an attack on a group of Bosniak civilians travelling through Zvornik in 1992.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The defendants, Goran Maksimovic, Ljlilan Mitrovic, Slavko Peric, Mile Vujevic, Vukasin Draskovic, Gojko Stevanovic, Cvjetko Popadic, Rajo Lazarevic and Mico Manojlovic, have been charged with abducting, detaining and attacking 76 Bosniak civilians in the municipality of Zvornik. 67 of them were allegedly killed by the defendants at various locations.

Maksimovic was the commander of the Interventions Unit of the Ugljevik public safety station and Mitrovic was his deputy. Peric was the commander of the Lokanjska Company of the Zvornicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army. The other defendants were members of that company.

State prosecution witness Habib Dautovic testified at today’s hearing. He said he and about 120 civilians from the Teocak area trekked through a forest to reach the village of Vitinica in Zvornik, which was under the control of the Bosnian Army in 1992. After having walked for some time, Dautovic said, enemy soldiers began firing at the civilians in the vicinity of Zecija Kosa.

“You could clearly see bullets cutting through the bushes,” Dautovic said.

Dautovic said the civilians dispersed, and he found himself near a field while the shooting continued. He said he was with a woman and her two children, and that he took her baby and carried it across the field to Vitinica. While crossing the field, he said he saw a member of his group killed. According to Dautovic, the civilians who remained in the woods were killed and only some civilians managed to reach Vitinica.

“I don’t know who killed them,” Dautovic said. He said he went on the journey because he wanted to buy cigarettes, and that none of the travellers intended to transport weapons.

Bakir Mesic was the second state prosecution witness to testify at today’s hearing. Mesic said he guarded a group of civilians who left Teocak and walked through the woods on July 14, 1992. He said he and thirty other soldiers under his command accompanied the group. Mesic said they left before dusk and escorted the civilians for some time. When the guides decided there was no need to accompany them further, Mesic and his soldiers returned to Teocak.

Mesic said he heard later on that day that the civilians had been attacked. He said no one knew what happened to the civilians who didn’t make it to Vitinica until an exchange took place later that year.

The trial will continue on September 7.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian