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Witnesses Describe Capture of Civilians Near Teocak

19. October 2015.00:00
A protected state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of nine former Bosnian Serb police and military officials said she was captured in the Zvornik area in July 1992 and was taken to the village of Lokanj with other women, men and children.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Defendants Goran Maksimovic, Ljiljan Mitrovic, Slavko Peric, Mile Vujevic, Vukasin Draskovic, Gojko Stevanovic, Cvjetko Popadic, Rajo Lazareviz and Mico Manojlovic have been charged with participating in an attack on a group of civilians fleeing Teocak on July 14, 1992. They allegedly captured 76 civilians, 67 of whom were killed in the village of Lokanj in the municipality of Zvornik.

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

A protected state prosecution witness known as S-10 testified at today’s hearing. On the day of her capture, she said she was walking through a forest with her family and other residents of Teocak towards territory controlled by the Bosnian Army.

She said armed men guarded them for part of the trip, but then they returned to Teocak. She said her husband was also armed, but handed over his weapon to another member of the convoy so he could carry their child.

A short time later, S-10 said she heard a gunshot and saw a Serb person lying on the ground. She realized he was dead, and said a member of their convoy told her not to look at him. She said they were then captured by Serb soldiers.

“They began insulting and shouting at us immediately. They mentioned a man named Pero. ‘They killed our Pero. We shall now slaughter 40 of them for Pero,’” S-10 said.

S-10 said the soldiers ordered the captured men to slap each other and then tied them up. She said she and two other women, their children, and about ten men who weren’t from Teocak were taken to Lokanj.

“They took the men to a field across the road,” S-10 said. She said she stayed next to a building in the village together with the women and children.

She said following an interrogation, a bus came for the prisoners. The women, children and three men (including S-10’s husband) were taken onto the bus and transported to Zvornik. She said she she stayed in the Zvornik area until October 1992.

State prosecution witness Senad Munbasic said he was also travelling with the group of 120 civilians who left Teocak in an attempt to reach the territory controlled by the Bosnian Army.

“People said we should go to the free territory in order to get weapons, medicine and food,” Munbasic said.

Munbasic said when fire was opened at the convoy people began running away. He said he eventually managed to reach territory controlled by the Bosnian Army. Munbasic returned to Teocak approximately 15 days later and joined the Bosnian Army. He said he was not assigned any weapons.

He disagreed with the defense’s allegation that he brought weapons to Teocak with several other men.

The trial will continue on October 26.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian