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Witness Describes Murder of Family in Zecovi at Trial of Former VRS Fighters

2. October 2015.00:00
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of fourteen former members of the Bosnian Serb Army said his wife, children, mother and other relatives were killed during a Bosnian Serb Army attack on the village of Zecovi in 1992.

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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. The indictment states 29 women and children were also killed in the nearby village of Gradina.

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.

State prosecution witness and Zecovi native Mesud Horozovic testified at today’s hearing. Horozovic said in May 1992 Bosniak children stopped going to school, and Bosniaks weren’t allowed to leave the village.

“Zeljko Grbic, Ilija Zoric, and Radovan Grbic and Bozo or Bosko came to our house one night. They were all armed, and Ilija Zoric threatened me,” Horozovic said.

Horozovic said that on a separate occasion Ilija Zoric and Zeljko Grbic came to his house, demanding gold and money.

“The fat, dark one, I can’t remember his name, he took my watch. They took my two daughters, and I told Salko Bacic and he brought them back,” Horozovic said. He couldn’t explain why he had said that only one of his daughters had been abducted in a previous statement.

Horozovic said Serb forces eventually to came to clear Zecovi of Bosniaks. He said he was told to surrender, but fled to a cornfield instead.

“We saw dead animals. Behind Fikret Bacic’s house we saw five or six dead men and a dead woman. I recognized Mehmed Music,” Horozovic said. He said he saw another body in the field.

Horozovic recalled hearing his neighbors while he was hiding.

“The next night my family came to the woods. We were together for half an hour and I never saw them again. They went to my father in law’s place,” Horozovic said. He said his wife had been raped.

Horozovic said he spent the next several days hiding in the woods. He said he saw burning houses and heard gunshots.

“Someone told me people were killed in Gradina. He told me two of my kids were dead and two were taken to the hospital in Prijedor. I ran out of the woods. My uncle said ‘they will kill you’ but I didn’t care,” Horozovic said. Horozovic said he found two of his children alive in Prijedor.

Horozovic said his children told him about the the murder of his family members. He said his wife, two children, mother and other relatives had been killed.

“They told me one of my children was shot in the mouth. They said Zeljko, Ilija, Bozo, Bosko and Dujo’s son, was there,” Horozovic said.

The defense teams of Bosko Grujicic, Zeljko Grbic and Ilija Zoric said Horozovic hadn’t mentioned their clients in previous statements.

The trial resumes on October 16.

Džana Brkanić

This post is also available in: Bosnian