Vogosca Witness Recalls Village Attack, Death Threat

6. February 2017.17:06
At the trial of the former head of the Serb Crisis Committee in the Vogosca municipality, a witness said the village of Svrake came under attack and then a death threat allegedly arrived from the defendant.

Witness Senad Kerla told the state court in Sarajevo on Monday that the attack on Svrake began in the evening hours of May 2, 1992, and that the shooting lasted until the next morning.

Kerla recalled how airplanes then flew over Svrake and opened fire, hitting a few buildings.

The witness said that after the attack, there came a call from the military barracks telling people in Svrake and nearby Semizovac to hand over their weapons and gather at the local stadium.

“We did not do that. We transferred the women and children to a shelter during the night,” Kerla said.

He also said that a man called Mehmed Suljevic conveyed a message from “president Tintor”, telling them to hand over their weapons or else he and his family would be killed.

Jovan Tintor, who was head of the Serb Crisis Committee in the Vogosca municipality in 1992, is on trial for crimes against humanity.

The indictment charges Tintor with participating in a widespread and systematic attack against the non-Serb population in Vogosca from April 1992 to the end of July.

He is charged with unlawful detention, torture, beating, forcing people to do hard labour and the murder of Bosniaks and Croats at several locations, including detention camps.

Kerla said he went to the military barracks on May 4, 1992 in order to inquire if it was possible for the local population to leave Svrake.

But he said he was told by Tintor that “not a single person” could go.

However, he said, the villagers then decided that they would leave.

Also on Monday, at the trial of Mehmed Alesevic for wartime crimes in Buzim, a prosecution witness testified that a protected witness told him he had been forced to have sexual intercourse with a female detainee in Buzim.

Witness Samir Ordagic was captured as a member of the National Defence of the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region, a self-proclaimed Bosniak statelet which existed between 1993 and 1995, and detained in Buzim.

Ordagic said a women was detained in a room next door. He said he saw them bring the protected witness to her cell.

“They brought him so he would have sexual intercourse with her… He said they forced him to have sex with her,” Ordagic said.

Marija Taušan