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Serbian Democratic Party Armed Serbs in Hadzici, Witness Says

3. September 2015.00:00
Testifying at the trial of eight former Bosniak fighters, a defense witness said the Serbian Democratic Party wanted to ethnically divide the municipality of Hadzici.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember have been charged with the unlawful detention, inhumane treatment, physical and mental suffering and forced labour of detainees in Hadzici.

According to the charges, Djelilovic was the president of the assembly, crisis committee and wartime presidency of the municipality of Hadzici, while the other defendants were members of military and police authorities and managers of detention camps. Kalember was a guard at the Silos detention facility.

Nurudin Dupovac, a former member of Hadzici’s municipal assembly, testified at today’s hearing. Dupovac said the Serbian Democratic Party wanted to ethnically divide the municipality in such a way as to give the area’s infrastructure and businesses to the Serb community. The undeveloped parts of the municipality, according to Dupovac, was supposed to be given the Bosniak community.

Dupovac said other political parties in the assembly rejected the plan to divide Hadzici. The Serbian Democratic Party, in collaboration with the Yugoslav National Army, then began arming the Serb population.

“This influenced the local population of Hadzici. We, the Muslims, were not armed,” Dupovac said. He said Serb forces attacked and occupied the Hadzici police station in May 1992.

Dupovac said he and a few other residents of the village of Dupovci went to Pazaric. He said the crisis committee decided to confiscate the weapons of residents who hadn’t joined the Territorial Defense.

“Muslims mainly joined the Territorial Defense or handed their weapons over. At the same time, Serbs didn’t hand their weapons over. This was followed by a search of houses. Weapons were found in Serbs’ homes,” he said.

When asked by the defense whether all the Serbs from that area were detained, Dupovac said they weren’t, and listed the names of a few Serbs who joined the Bosnian Army and the civil protection unit.

Dupovac, who was briefly a member of a commission on prisoner exchanges in 1992, said the commission requested that Serb prisoners be exchanged for Bosniak prisoners from Hadzici.

“We didn’t even know if they were alive. We requested the information, but we couldn’t get it,” Dupovac said. He said the bodies of approximately 90 Hadzici residents remain missing.

When asked by the defense whether Mustafa Djelilovic could have helped solve the issue of the Serb detainees held in Hadzici, Dupovac said he thought he could not.

The examination of Muhidin Kapo, a former judge with the district court martial in Sarajevo, was completed at this hearing. Kapo examined Serb detainees held in the Silos detention facility in Hadzici during the war.

The trial will continue on September 10.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian