Witness Claims Stanisic Not in Petkovci During Alleged Crimes
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Defendants Ostoja Stanisic and Marko Milosevic are on trial for the mass killing of approximately 1,000 Srebrenica residents on a dam near Petkovci in mid-July 1995.
According to the charges, Stanisic was the commander of the Sixth Battalion with the Zvornicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), while Milosevic was his deputy.
Rade Krstic, a former member of the Mortar Squad with the Sixth Battalion of the Zvornicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, testified at today’s hearing. Krstic said he saw Ostoja Stanisic, the battalion commander, in Krsto Delic’s house in the hamlet of Delici where the Mortar Squad was situated, prior to the attack.
Krstic said members of the Mortar Squad were in a state of combat readiness on or around St. Peter’s Day (July 12), because they were informed that Srebrenica residents would pass by.
According to Krstic, the attack happened in the morning of the 14th or 15th of July and they responded to it.
Krstic said commander Stanisic visited members of the Mortar Squad a night prior to the attack and spoke to his commanding officer, Marko Zeljko. He said the attack happened at around 4am. He said he didn’t see Stanisic on that occasion.
“We responded to the attack. It lasted two and a half hours. There was another one in the afternoon…We had to act alternately, so they couldn’t locate us,” Krstic said.
Krstic said their commanding officer, Marko Zeljko, who communicated with Stanisic, conveyed orders to them.
Krstic said Zeljko asked Stanisic, “Ostoja, was the mortar good? Should it go further or nearer, to the left or right?”
Responding to a question from the defense, Krstic confirmed that Stanisic couldn’t have commanded them from Petkovci. He said he was at a forward commanding post in the village of Parlog.
When asked by the defense whether he heard that the commander or any other members of the Sixth Battalion had anything to do with the captives from Srebrenica, Krstic answered negatively.
Slavoljub Tanaskovic, a former member of the Celopecka Company with the Sixth Battalion, also testified at today’s hearing. Tanaskovic said he was deployed with other members of his unit to the Trnovo battlefield in June 1995. He said he was wounded on June 21, 1995. On the second day of his stay at a hospital in Foca, he said he saw two members of the Reconnaissance Detachment of the Sixth Battalion.
The trial will continue on March 9.