This post is also available in: Bosnian
A defense witness said testifying at the trial for crimes against humanity in the Rogatica area in 1992 that he did not hear during the war that anything unusual was happening in the village of Karacici.
Witness Nenad Hrsum said he used to live in Draguljevici village in the municipality of Rogatica during the war, adding he had military engagement consisting of keeping watch at that locality.
As he said, his unit belonged to the Socicka Company of the Rogaticka Brigade with the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), which covered Stjenice local community in Rogatica municipality. He said Boban Jezic was the commander of the company at the very beginning, while Radomir Markovic performed the function later on.
Hrsum said it was not known to him that members of the Socicka Company went to other places, outside their local community.
“The village of Karacici does not belong to the Stjenice local community. It is not situated in the area covered by the Socicka Company. (…) I heard about the event in Karacici village. Actually I read about it on broadcast teletext when these eight members of the Socicka Company were arrested. I do not know a single thing about it. It is not known to me that anything unusual happened in that village,” Hrsum said, testifying in defense of defendant Mile Kusic.
He also said he did not know defendant Kusic and that he did not see him during the war, because his village is about an hour away.
Responding to questions by the prosecution and trial chamber during the cross-examination, the witness said he spent the whole war in his village and that he was not with Company members.
“I don’t know about Kusic’s military engagement. I assume he was a member of Socicka Company if he lived there. When I left the territory in 1994, I did not see that Mile went to the Gorazde battlefield with us. He is from Jarovici village,” Hrsum said.
Mile Kusic, Radomir Markovic, Dragan Bozovic, Sasa Perkovic, Radomir Gluhovic, Pero Radovic, Ilija and Milos Vukasinovic have been charged with participating in an attack and murder of non-Serb civilian population within a widespread and systematic attack conducted in the period from April to September 1992.
They have been charged with having searched and pillaged houses in the villages of Karacici, Vragolovi and Golubovici together with a few other unidentified persons on September 18, 1992.
According to the charges, they found about 20 Bosniak civilians in a garage in Karacici. They allegedly hit them with rifle butts, pushed them into a nearby building and killed them. After that they set the building on fire. The bodies were burnt inside the building.
It is alleged that Markovic was the commander of the Socicka Company with the Rogaticka Brigade of VRS, while the other defendants were members of that unit.
The trial will continue on February 23.