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Former Member of Zvornik Police Testifies on Srebrenica Combat Operations

3. September 2015.00:00
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of five former Bosnian Serb fighters said members of First Platoon of the Zvornik police forces took part in combat operations in Srebrenica in July 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The Bosnian state prosecution has charged Dragomir Vasic, Miodrag Josipovic, Branimir Tesic, Danilo Zoljic and Radomir Pantic with genocide committed in Srebrenica in July 1995. They are charged with participating or assisting in the forcible resettlement of the local population from Srebrenica, separating men from their families, as well as capturing and executing men and boys in Bratunac, Srebrenica and Zvornik.

According to the charges, at the time Vasic was the commander of the Zvornik police headquarters, Josipovic was the chief of the public safety station and Tesic was the deputy commander of the police station in Bratunac. Zoljic was the commander of special forces of the public safety center in Zvornik and Pantic was the commander of the First Company of the Special Units of Zvornik’s public safety center.

Luka Bogdanovic, the former commander of the police department at the Zvornik public safety center, testified at today’s hearing.

“The [First] Platoon was ordered into battle by the minister,” Bogdanovic said, adding that the commander of the First Platoon was defendant Radomir Pantic.

Bogdanovic said there was an order to mobilize the First Platoon and to place them under military command.

Bogdanovic said he went to Bratunac on July 11, 1995 and talked to defendant Miodrag Josipovic.

“I asked him if the platoon had come and he confirmed that it had. He said that Ljubisa [Borovcanin] had taken command of it and that it was near the Yellow Bridge. The order said the platoon would be placed under the command of Ljubisa Borovcanin,” Bogdanovic said (the Hague Tribunal sentenced Borovcanin to 17 years in prison for crimes in Srebrenica).

Bogdanovic said he called defendant Dragomir Vasic and told him that the platoon had arrived on time. Bogdanovic confirmed that Vasic was the commander of the Zvornik public safety station. He said Vasic told him to go to Bratunac, because he had small children.

Bogdanovic said he saw Vasic on July 12, 1995 near or inside the Bratunac police station. He said Vasic told him there had been no combat activities the previous night. He added that on July 12, 1995 they found out that an agreement had been struck to transfer Bosniaks to Kladanj.

“Vasic said the politicians should come to an agreement upon the creation of a new police station in Srebrenica…He came to name a commander, a deputy and to get the station up and running,” Bogdanovic said.

Bogdanovic said the First Platoon searched the area near Potocari on July 12, 1995, and that one man was killed in the operation.

“They searched the first frontline between Muslim and Serb forces. There were houses nearby, more Muslim houses, but also some Serb houses,” Bogdanovic said.

He said the First Platoon was also active in Sandici. He said he’d heard that shots had been fired in the area before he got information about Bosniaks surrendering on July 13, 1995.

“Whoever surrendered to the army, the army took them over, whoever surrendered to the police, they gave them up to the army,” Bogdanovic said.

The trial continues on September 10.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian