Protected Witness in Kukavice Trial Didn’t See Defendant Attacking Civilian Convoy

8. March 2016.00:00
Testifying at a trial dealing with war crimes committed in Rogatica and Foca, a protected witness said he didn’t see defendant Muhamed Sisic shooting at the tires of a bus transporting civilians in Kukavice. However, the witness said he assumed that Sisic shot at them.

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The protected witness, known as ST-2, was cross-examined at the trial of Muhamed Sisic, Tarik Sisic, Emir Drakovac and Aziz Susa. The defendants have been charged with participating in an attack on a civilian convoy in the village of Kukavice on August 27, 1992. At least 20 Serbs were killed and several dozens were wounded in the attack.

According to the charges, Muhamed Sisic was the commander of the Commando Squad of the Kukavicka Company of the Bosnian Army, while the other defendants were members of that unit.

Drakovac has also been charged with shooting at one civilian in the Rogatica area in November 1992. He has also been charged with torturing an unidentified captured member of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) in the Foca area in late 1992.

ST-2 has been granted immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for testifying at the trial. At the last hearing, ST-2 said that he and Muhamed Sisic shot at the wheels of a bus transporting civilians.

Responding to cross-examination questions by Muhamed Sisic’s defense, at today’s hearing ST-2 said he could not see what each of them did during the shooting. He said he assumed Sisic also shot at the wheels.

Defense attorney Muhidin Kapo said he would prove that Sisic could not have shot at the bus wheels from the place where he was standing, as per ST-2’s testimony. Kapo proposed that a visit to the crime scene in Kukavice be made in order to confirm the defense’s thesis.

Kapo said that ST-2 previously said that the soldiers he accompanied to Kukavice were ordered to save elderly civilians from the village and wait for the Bosnian Serb Army, which was withdrawing from Gorazde.

Responding to a question from the defense, Kapo said he couldn’t remember any civilians from that village. The defense argued that Kukavice had been previously burned down and that no civilians were present in the village. ST-2 denied this claim.

The defense said that due to the terrain and dense vegetation in the area, ST-2 couldn’t theoretically see defendant Emir Drakovac’s position. ST-2 also denied this claim.

ST-2 said he went to the village of Brcigovo from Pokrivenik with 22 other soldiers. He said he didn’t remember any of the other soldiers. He also said he couldn’t remember the names of his comrades from the Pokrivenik battalion.

He said he arrived to Brcigovo as a courier-soldier. He said he met Kasim Velic, among others, in the village. The defense said Kasim Velic had been wounded before August 27, 1992, and that he was not present at that location on that day.

“It seems as if I wasn’t there. I don’t remember, but I did hear he was wounded,” ST-2 said.

ST-2 said he left Brcigovo and went to Kukavice with approximately twenty soldiers. ST-2 was asked if he could name some of the soldiers apart from the defendants and casualties.

“I know Abdulah Sisic by sight, Damir was there – he is dead, this one, that one was there,” he said.

The defense asked ST-2 to try to remember who else was with him. “Maho Mahmutovic ‘Lahki’,” he said.

ST-2 requested that his examination be interrupted, because he was tired and he thought he would not be able to give adequate answers. The chamber accepted his proposal.

The defense will continue examining ST-2 on March 29.

Džana Brkanić

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