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Protected Witness Describes Murder of Civilians in Zecovi

4. December 2015.00:00
A protected state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of fourteen former members of Bosnian Serb military and police forces said she saw her brothers being taken away from the village of Zecovi in the municipality of Prijedor. She also said she saw the dead bodies of civilians in the village, and that she helped bury them.

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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, a village near Prijedor.

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. Radovan 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.

A protected witness known as Z-16 said she heard shooting in Zecovi on July 23, 1992. She said she saw ten soldiers escorting a few men she knew in front of her house. She said the soldiers, who she didn’t recognize, ordered her two brothers to go with them.

“I ran after my brother to give him cigarettes,” Z-16 said. She said one of the soldiers cursed at her, told her to go back and fired a burst of gunfire into the air.

She said a short time later she went to another house with her mother, where other women and children had taken shelter. She said a soldier came and ordered them to leave the house and walk towards the mosque.

Z-16 said the soldiers called out an acquaintance by name. She said that acquaintance told her she was raped by a former classmate on that day.

Z-16 said an elderly woman died while walking to the mosque. She said they were ordered to enter a basement, where more than 50 women and children were detained. On their way home after the attack, she said she heard about dead bodies in front of the village’s school.

Z-16 said that she saw the dead bodies of Suljo Tatarevic, Amir Tatarevic, Asim Tatarevic, and Ismet Bacic while looking for her brothers. She said she and other survivors buried nine bodies they found two days later.

Z-16 said she joined a convoy of more than 50 civilians who carried a white flag and walked towards the village of Carakovo. They were eventually transferred to the Trnopolje detention camp.

Z-16 said she found out later on that her three brothers and nephew were killed in one of the detention camps in the area.

The trial will continue on December 11.

Lamija Grebo

This post is also available in: Bosnian