Jezik / Language:
2 February 2016

Andabak Testifies in Own Defense, Describes Shoot Out in Grborezi

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Continuing his testimony in his own defense, defendant Zdenka Andabak said he saw a shoot out begin in the yard of a house in Grborezi in the municipality of Livno. He also said he saw two bodies.

Andabak has been charged with leading an operation in the village of Grborezi on July 21, 1993, in which members of the Croatian Defense Council’s Second Light Assault Battalion of the military police killed one person and wounded another. Members of the Second Light Assault Battalion allegedly wounded another person, whom Andabak then killed.

According to the charges, Andabak was the assistant chief of the Military Police Administration for the North-Western Herzegovina Operational Zone of the Croatian Defense Council and the commander of the Second Light Assault Battalion of the Croatian Defense Council’s military police.

Testifying in his own defense at today’s hearing, Andabak said the disarmament of Bosniak members of the Croatian Defense Council began in Grborezi on July 21, 1993, and was conducted in the same manner as other villages, namely Guber and Komorani. According to Andabak, he drove in front of a convoy of cars and read a statement concerning the handover of weapons.

He said Grborezi was a scattered village and that he drove into each hamlet. He said he believed that most of the local residents were informed about the disarmament.

He said he stopped in the vicinity of the houses where the indictment claims his alleged crimes were committed. He said he exited his vehicle in this area.

“I saw a man on a balcony, saying, “What are we going to do now?” The man fired a short burst of bullets from the balcony at Marinko Kreso and his group,” Andabak said.

According to Andabak, the man then leaned over the balcony railing to shoot at a person who was running towards the house.

“I saw another man running from a nearby house. He began shooting at that group...All-out shooting then began,” Andabak said.

He said he saw the person on the balcony fall down, and no longer saw the person who opened fire in front of the house.

Andabak said bus had arrived in the meantime, and transported disarmed Bosniaks to the village of Orguz. He said he went to the bus and told them, “Be very careful, so nobody would come and kill the disarmed Bosniaks.”

Andabak said he then returned to the yard of the house, where he saw members of the Light Assault Brigade and others dressed in camouflage and green uniforms. He said he entered the house. While standing at the doorway on the first floor, he saw the body of the person who had been shooting from the balcony. He said he didn’t approach the body, and that a group of soldiers in camouflage uniforms told him the person was dead. He said his group was dressed in green uniforms.

He said after he left the house, he went through a passageway between two houses and saw blood around the corner, at the front of the entrance. He said he then found out another man had been killed and carried into a house. When he entered the house, he said he saw an elderly woman. He said others told him her leg was wounded, but he didn’t see any blood on her person.

“I know nobody harmed her,” Andabak said. He said he then informed his brigade commander that an incident had occurred in Grborezi and requested than an ambulance be sent over. He also requested the presence of civil police, in order to perform a crime scene inspection, as well as a coroner.

Andabak said he then departed to Livno, and passed by an ambulance as he was leaving the village.

He said after he left Grborezi, he headed towards Livno in the afternoon to attend negotiations. He said he was given weapons.

Commenting on combat reports, Andabak said, “all the commanders who participated in the disarmament operation were obliged to submit a report.”

Andabak will continue testifying on February 16.

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