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12 September 2008
News

Bozic et al: 'The Mane' from the Military police

BIRN BiH
A former member of the Dutch Battalion speaks about the ''chaos'' in Srebrenica after the fall of the town on 11 July 1995.

The statement of Dutch Major Leen Van Duin,was given during his testimony at the Hague Tribunal, and was read at the State Court in the trial of four former members of the Army of Republic of Srpska (VRS). Van Duin was notable to personally testify due to his ''worsening health condition''.

Duin gave a statement in September 2006 in the case of Vujadin Popovic and others where he talked about the events that took place in Srebrenica before and after the fall of the town in July 1995.

The trial of Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, DragoNikolic, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Radivoj Miletic, Milan Gvero and Vinko Pandurevic is currently ongoing in front of the Hague Tribunal and they are charged for genocide and crimes against humanity in the Srebrenica area.

For the crimes in Srebrenica and for what happened to the civilian prisoners held in Bratunac school, the State Prosecution holds responsible Zdravko Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic.All four of the indictees were members of the Military police in the VRS Bratunac brigade.

''After the fall of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995 the situation become completely chaotic. Refugees who were with drawing from the city towards Potocari were scared, hysterical...We tried tohelp them. We put the people who were not able to walk into the vehicles,'' reads Van Duin statement

Duin stated, back then, that he was ''in the cordon which was separating members of the VRS and civilians in Potocari. There, he met someone who introduce himself 'mane' and a 'captain of the Military police' and said he had certain connections with the Wolves from Drina but he said that they are not part of their unit."

The 'Wolves from Drina' were a paramilitary unit which acted together with the VRS in Srebrenica.

''Mane told me that his commander is Stalin,describing him as a short person who always wore sunglasses. Later I saw such a man speaking with major Momir Nikolic'', stated Duin.

Momir Nikolic, the former head of intelligence and security matters in the Bratunac brigade of the VRS, was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to twenty years in prison.

''Mane told me that the refugees will be transported from Potocari. Shortly after that, the buses arrived. The convoy made up of members of the Dutch battalion tried to help civilian families stay together. The VRS started to separate men on one grassy field'', stated Duin, stressing that Mane told him that they are separating them because there were war criminals among them.

Separated men were taken into the ''White house'' and to another that did not have a facade, the witness stated.

Duin said that during his tour of the "White house" he saw things thrown all around. He tried, he claimed, to collect the passports of these persons in order for them to be identified. Mane told him, as he recalled, that they will not need them any more.

On the photographs which were shown to him,witness Duin recognised Mane but he said he could not remember his name or surname.

Duin also stated that he met Ratko Mladic.

''One woman was crying and acting hysterically because her five children were on the other truck. I carried that woman toward her children. I sent the interpreter to inform Mladic in order to avoid firing on me while I carried her. Mladic then asked, how I had the audacity to send him a Bosniak interpreter and threatened that he will shoot him'', said Duin.

The trial is due to continue on 25 September.

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