Oric Trial: Bosniak Unit Commander ‘Took Revenge’

24. January 2017.17:13
At the trial of Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic, a defence witness testified that another Bosniak commander said he took revenge on a Serb judge who the defendants are accused of killing.

Defence witness Zulfo Salihovic told the Bosnian state court on Tuesday that Suceska Territorial Defence unit commander Zulfo Tursunovic told him that he had a chance to get revenge against Serb judge Slobodan Ilic in Zalazje near Srebrenica in July 1992.

Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic are on trial for killing three Serb prisoners of war in the villages of Zalazje, Kunjerac and Lolici in the municipalities of Srebrenica and Bratunac in July 1992.  Ilic was one of their alleged victims.

But witness Salihovic testified that he concluded, on the basis of what Tursunovic told him, that the Suceska Territorial Defence unit commander “managed to get his own back on Slobodan Ilic”.“He did not like the judge… Tursunovic spent about ten years in prison prior to the war,” the witness said.

Salihovic said that he was sent to Zalazje on July 13, 1992 along with about 15 members of the Suceska Territorial Defence unit to search the area and find the bodies of men who had been killed in an operation in the village the day before.

He said he saw the bodies of between seven and ten Serb soldiers and was told that “those were the bodies of Serb soldiers who had terrorised Bosniaks” and that their leader was a judge called Slobodan Ilic.

At a separate hearing at the state court on Tuesday at the trial of five former policemen for genocide in Srebrenica, a prosecution witness said he and his colleague participated in transporting the bodies of people who were killed in Konjevic Polje.

Witness Rade Burnjakovic said the army escorted the captives to a warehouse. He added that he did not personally see the captives’ murders, but he did see the corpses.

“People were killed. I do not know who killed them,” the witness said.

According to Burnjakovic, soldiers were present in Konjevic Polje, while policemen were standing by the road.

He was testifying at the trial of Miodrag Josipovic, Branimir Tesic, Dragomir Vasic, Danilo Zoljic and Radomir Pantic, who are charged with genocide in Srebrenica.

The indictment alleges that Josipovic was the chief of the Public Security Station, while Tesic was the deputy commander of the police station in Bratunac.

It alleges that Vasic was the commander of police headquarters in Zvornik and chief of the Public Security Centre in Zvornik, Zoljic was the commander of the Public Security Centre’s special units, while Pantic was the commander of the First Company of the special police units.

Marija Taušan