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Witness at Srebrenica War Crimes Trial Says Ratko Mladic Requested 50 Buses

20. October 2015.00:00
A prosecution witness and former high official of the Bosnian Serb Army testified at the trial of five former members of Bosnian Serb police forces charged with genocide in Srebrenica. He said he was ordered to mobilize fifty buses on July 11, 1995, and said the buses were sent to the Bratunac stadium.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Petar Skrbic, the former assistant commander of the Main Headquarters of the Bosnian Serb Army for organizational and mobilization issues, testified at the trial of Miodrag Josipovic, Branimir Tesic, Dragomir Vasic, Danilo Zoljic and Radomir Pantic. The defendants are charged with genocide in Srebrenica and participating in the forcible resettlement of the local population from Srebrenica, separating men from their families, and capturing and executing men and boys.

According to the charges, Josipovic was the chief of a public safety station. Tesic was the deputy commander of the Bratunac police station. Vasic was the commander of the police force headquarters in Zvornik. Zoljic was the commander of special units at the Zvornik public safety center. Pantic was the commander of the First Company of the special units.

At today’s hearing, Skrbic said Ratko Mladic, the commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, requested the mobilization of fifty buses over the phone on July 11, 1995.

“I was given the concrete task of mobilizing the buses. I forwarded the request to the Ministry of Justice of Republika Srpska. I knew where they were supposed to go. To the stadium in Bratunac,” Skrbic said. He testified via video link from Belgrade in the presence of his legal advisor.

Ratko Mladic has been charged before the Hague Tribunal with genocide in Srebrenica and war crimes in several other municipalities in 1992, which reached the scale of genocide. He is also on trial for terrorizing the local population of Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.

When asked by the prosecution whether a state of war had been declared in Republika Srpska on July 11, 1995, Skrbic answered negatively. He said he didn’t know which law covered the participation of police and military obligors in combat activities.

Skrbic said he didn’t participate in any meetings in which Srebrenica was discussed.

The trial will continue on October 27.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian