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Witnesses Describe Murder of Civilians During Zecovi Attack

4. September 2015.00:00
A former Bosnian Serb Army fighter testifying at the trial of fourteen former members of the Bosnian Serb Army described the murder of two civilians in Zecovi.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Defendants Dusan Milunic, Radomir Stojnic, Radovan Cetic, Dusko Zoric, Zoran Stojnic, Zeljko Grbic, Ilija Zoric, Zoran Milunic, Bosko Grujicic, Ljubisa Cetic, Rade Grujcic, Uros Grujcic, Zdravko Antonic and Rajko Gnjatovic have been charged with committing acts of murder, torture, sexual violence, as well as destructing and confiscating property from the local residents of Zecovi.

According to the charges, they participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the civil and military authorities of the municipality of Prijedor, which involved a widespread and systematic attack on the village, conducted by the Bosnian Serb military and police from July 23-28, 1992.

Milunic was the commander of the Rasavacka Company of the Sixth Battalion of the 43rd Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army. Stojnic was the commander of the reserve police station in Rasavci. Cetic was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party and crisis committee in the village of Rasavci. The other defendants were members of the Bosnian Serb military, police and other formations.

Dusan Mrsic, a former member of reserve police forces with the Rasavacka Company, testified at today’s hearing. Mrsic said he participated in the Zecovi operation and participated in the confiscation of weapons from civilians. He said he met brothers Izet and Ismet Bacic during the search of the village. He said he accompanied them to their home, and then sent them to a nearby school building. Defendant Radomir Stojnic was there.

Mrsic said he saw the two brothers talking to Stojnic in the school building. He said Stojnic ordered him to go to a community center and search for documents belonging to the Bosnian Army.

“Grom [Stojnic’s nickname] followed me to the office to see if there was anything in it. He didn’t stay long. When the shooting began, he left,” Mrsic said. He said he left the building shortly afterwards and saw that the Bacic brothers were dead.

“At that moment Grom asked, ‘What have you done? Nobody should have done this.’ He looked upset,” Mrsic said.

When asked how he felt at that moment, Mrsic said he felt bad because he used to go to school with Ismet Bacic.

“After I saw that, I turned around and started walking away. For me, the command and nothing else no longer existed after that,” Mrsic said. He said he saw a second body while leaving the area.

Ale Kahteran was the second state prosecution witness to testify at today’s hearing. Kahteran told the trial chamber he was in his father’s home in Gradina on July 13, 1992, when soldiers came and ordered him and four other men to go to the school building. Kahteran said they were lined up and then ordered to go to the local butcher’s shop.

Kahteran said he saw several bodies while walking towards the butcher, so he decided to run away. He hid in the woods for a few days before finding out that civilians had been killed in Gradina.

“Two children came from Gradina. We asked them what happened. They said everybody had been killed in that place. They said masked soldiers came to the house and opened fire,” Kahteran said. Kahteran was eventually intercepted while walking towards Carakovo and was taken to the Trnopolje detention camp.

The trial will continue on September 11.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian