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Former Bosnian Serb Police Describe Flight and Surrender of Bosniak Civilians in Srebrenica Area

29. December 2015.00:00
Testifying at the trial of five former members of Bosnian Serb police forces charged with genocide in Srebrenica, former police officers said they saw Bosniak civilians emerging from a forested area towards a road in the Sandici area 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.

Svjetlan Stanisic, a former member of the First Company of the public safety center in Zvornik, testified at today’s hearing. Stanisic said he participated in a search in the Potocari area and guarded the road in Sandici in July 1995.

Stanisic said defendant Radomir Pantic, who was in Potocari with other members of the company, was their commander. When asked if Pantic was present in Sandici, Stanisic said he thought he was.

Stanisic said the morning after the company arrived to Sandici, one police officer was killed and three were wounded in the area. He said Pantic went to Bratunac to offer his condolences to the family members of the police officers. On the same day, Stanisic said, Bosniak civilians began emerging from the woods surrounding the road to Sandici, both individually and in groups.

“They were dressed in civilian clothing,” Stanisic said. He was unable to remember if any of the civilians were wounded.

When asked whether Bosniaks could move freely in the area, Stanisic said he couldn’t remember.

Stanisic answered a few more questions by saying he couldn’t remember the events he was asked to recall.

Radivoje Todorovic, another member of the First Company, also testified for the prosecution at today’s hearing. He said he also participated in a search in the Potocari area in July 1995.

Todorovic said he heard that Serb soldiers had entered Srebrenica and that the civilian population was being gathered a factory site in Potocari. Todorovic said he heard rumours that the civilians would be transported to the Bosnian Federation with buses.

He said after they returned from Potocari, the company was ordered to guard a road between between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac, in the Sandici area. He said during their time there, Bosniak civilians began coming out of the woods and surrendered on the following day. He said members of the company returned to Bratunac in the early evening.

The trial will continue on January 19, 2016.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian