Jezik / Language:
20 April 2016

Bosnian Serb Soldier Recalls Mujahideen ‘Cutting off Heads’

A witness told the trial of former Bosnian Army Third Corps commander Sakib Mahmuljin that fighters from the El Mujahedeen unit cut off the heads of captured Serb soldiers.

Velibor Trivicevic, a former member of the medical service with the Third Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Light Prnjavorska Brigade, told the state court in Sarajevo on Wednesday that he saw the severed heads of two of his fellow soldiers while he was detained by the El Mujahedeen unit on July 21, 1995.

Trivicevic said he was captured by members of the El Mujahedeen unit, which was attached to the Third Corps of the Bosnian Army, and taken to the village of Livade in northern Bosnia.

At one point, he said he heard someone shouting “Allahu Akbar” and a Mujahedeen from Ethiopia came running up, bringing a severed head.

“The head had recently been cut off. Blood was dripping on us, on our legs,” the witness said.

He said he then saw another severed head and recognised that both of them belonged to members of his unit, Momir Mitrovic and Predrag Knezevic.

Former Bosnian Army Third Corps commander Sakib Mahmuljin is being tried for having failed to prevent murders and inhumane treatment by members of the El Mujahedeen unit in the Vozuca and Zavidovici areas.

According to the charges, members of the El Mujahedeen unit killed Momir Mitrovic and Predrag Knezevic, cutting their heads off and showing them to other prisoners, in the villages of Livade.

They also decapitated a man called Gojko Vujicic in the village of Kamenica, the indictment alleges.

Witness Trivicevic said he was transported along with a few other captured Bosnian Serb Army troops members to the El Mujahedeen camp, which he said was in “Kamenica or Gostovici”, on July 23, 1995.

While he was there, he said he saw the murder and decapitation Gojko Vujicic.

The indictment also alleges that members of the El Mujahideen unit abused and tortured the captives, cut their ears off, stabbed them all over their bodies, tied them up and beat them.

They also kept the captives tied up in foetus-like positions for several hours with ropes around their necks, it claims.

In a separate trial on Thursday, a protected witness testifying in defence of Zdenko Andabak said the defendant was not armed during a disarmament operation in Livno in July 1993.

The witness codenamed SO-3 said the situation in Livno was “normal” until the disarmament operation on July 21, 1993, when he heard people were gathering in front of the Merhamet building in Livno, where he saw the defendant.

“Zdenko Andabak got out of an SUV. He was uniformed and had a megaphone. I am 100 per cent sure he was not armed,” SO-3 said.

He also said that “everyone was happy when he arrived” because Andabak had been invited to attend the disarmament talks in Livno.

SO-3 said a man named Esad Sado Delalic asked Andabak to guarantee the safety of local families and that the defendant kept his promise.

When asked by the defence about a shooting incident in the village of Grborezi, the witness said he knew that two brothers were killed, but he was not there.

The indictment alleges that Andabak led an operation in Grborezi on July 21, 1993, when members of the Second Light Assault Battalion of the Croatian Defence Forces (HVO) military police killed one person and wounded another.

According to the charges, the HVO military police also wounded another person, who Andabak then killed.

The indictment says that Andabak was the assistant chief of the Military Police Directorate for the HVO’s North-Western Herzegovina Operational Zone and commander of the Second Light Assault Battalion of the HVO military police.

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