Uncategorized @bs

Zvornik Police Forces Had No Orders Related to Potocari Civilians, Witness Says

8. December 2015.00:00
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of five former members of Bosnian Serb police forces said members of the Zvornik public safety center’s First Company and their commander, Radomir Pantic, were in Bratunac and Sandici in July 1995.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Miodrag Josipovic, Branimir Tesic, Dragomir Vasic, Danilo Zoljic and Radomir Pantic have been charged with genocide in Srebrenica. According to the indictment, they forcibly resettled civilians and also captured and executed men and boys.

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

State prosecution witness Nikola Rakic said he and members of the First Company, accompanied by Pantic, searched an area close to the so-called “yellow bridge” near Potocari on July 11, 1995. He said they searched the area expecting to come across “armed forces of Muslim formations.”

“Commander Pantic said if we come across the civilian population, we should take them to a safe place,” Rakic said. He said the houses were empty during the search, because the civilians had probably fled to Potocari.

While the First Company moved towards Potocari, Rakic said they saw yellow tape in the vicinity of the the battery factory and a large number of people, as well as members of UNPROFOR. He said his company didn’t have any tasks related to the civilians.

A short time later, Rakic said Pantic told them to go to Bratunac and wait for further orders.

Rakic said he heard from other soldiers that an evacuation of civilians was being prepared.

Some time later, Rakic said they received an order to go to Sandici and guard the road in both directions. He said commander Pantic was with them.

He said while he was in Sandici he saw that 30 people had surrendered.

Radika Petrovic, the former commander of the Fourth Bratunacki Battalion, was the second witness to testify at today’s hearing. Petrovic said he saw bodies in Sandici on July 15.

“The bodies were scattered around,” Petrovic said. He said he found out later on that those men had been encouraged to surrender.

During cross-examination Petrovic said Bosniaks who wanted to go to Tuzla shot at the dead men.

The trial will continue on December 15.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian