Investigators Deny Threatening Witness at Stanisic and Milosevic Trial
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Ostoja Stanisic and Marko Milosevic are on trial for the murder of approximately 1000 Srebrenica civilians on a dam near Petkovci in mid-July 1995. Stanisic was the commander of the Sixth Battalion of the Zvornicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, which was based in Petkovci, while Milosevic was his deputy.
Bajro Kulovac, a state prosecution witness and former investigator with the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), confirmed that he took a statement from protected witness SM-102. He said the statement was taken at the district prosecution of Bijeljina in 2009 in the presence of his colleague, Ejub Zukic.
“I take full responsibility for my words when I say, before this honourable court, that I have never expressed any sort of threats towards anyone, including this witness,” Kulovac said.
Kulovac said the witness was very important to an investigation regarding the mass killings that took place in Petkovci and on a nearby dam, where about 1000 civilians from Srebrenica were executed in July 1995.
“He was very willing to help and cooperate,” Kulovac said. Kulovac currently works for the Directorate for the Coordination of Police Bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
SM-102 appeared in court in April 2014 and changed the statement he gave during the investigation phase of the case. He said Kulovac threatened him to alter his statement.
Milos Peric, Stanisic’s defense attorney, told Kulovac that witnesses who had testified at other trials related to Srebrenica also claimed to have been threatened by him.
“No disciplinary measures have been ordered against me during my career,” Kulovac said.
Ejub Zukic, who still works as a SIPA investigator, also testified at today’s hearing. He said he remembered SM-102, because he was one of the few witnesses who was willing to cooperate with investigators.
“The information he offered was new to me,” he said.
Zukic said he took minutes during Kulovac’s examination of SM-102 in Bijeljina, and said there was an audio recording as well. Zukic denied that SM-102 was threatened or intimidated.
The trial will continue on December 16.