Jezik / Language:
4 March 2014

Bosniak Witness ‘Watched Serb Soldiers Murder Neighbour’

Dzenita Durakovic BIRN BiH Bihac
A prosecution witness told the trial of five Bosnian Serbs for wartime killings near the north-western town of Kljuc that he saw three of the defendants shoot dead his village neighbour.
Witness Nermin Halilovic told the cantonal court in the town of Bihac on Tuesday that one night in July 1992, he saw from his house two men with rifles and one on a motorcycle leading a civilian, identifying them as defendants Predrag and Nenad Bajic and Sinisa Babic.

“The motorcycle lights went on and I saw Sinisa Babic pushing the man. Next to him was the older Bajic and his younger brother was on the motorcycle. Then they shot him. He fell in the water, and they fired another round into him,” said Halilovic.

“The day after, I went and saw the body, but I didn’t recognise him, since he was face down,” he added.

According to the witness, a day later, he heard that a villager called Mirsad Puric was looking for his brother Refik.

“I led him to the place where the body was, and I didn’t know at the time it was Refik, but it turned out to be him,” said Halilovic.

Babic and the Bajic brothers are charged, alongside Mladenko Vrtunic and Slobodan Dragic, with taking part in killings, rapes, inhumane acts in the villages of Humici, Vojici and Pudin Han near Kljuc in 1992 and 1993. They are all former Bosnian Serb Army troops.

Witness Mirsad Puric meanwhile told the court how, one night in July 1992, Serb soldiers came to his house in the village of Pudin Han and took his brother Refik.

“Mother opened the door while I was dressing and I heard my brother going out. I heard them ask him who he was, and when he said ‘Refik’, they told him to come with them. They didn’t let him wear any shoes. When I got dressed, mother stopped me and told me they would take me too. Through the window we saw them taking him toward Kljuc,” Puric recalled.

He said that the following day he went to see a neighbour called Vahid Cehajic and told him what happened.

“Vahid told me that soldiers also came to his house and took his money and beat him up. He was all black and said his ribs were aching. I then went to my neighbour Jadranko and told him to get organised so we could look for my brother, and then we found him on July 31, dead in the water,” said Puric.

The prosecution on Tuesday also called to the stand Ratko Marcetic, the commander of the military checkpoint in Pudin Han in 1992.

Marcetic said that he local Bosniaks blamed brothers Bajic and Sinisa Babic for killings in the area.

“The younger Bajic came to the checkpoint several times after that with a motorcycle, and the children would run away. I asked why they were so afraid and they said they heard the motorcycle when the killings happened,” he said.

The trial continues on March 11.

Related Articles

comments powered by Disqus