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16 September 2013
News

Chaos in Bratunac Caused By Volunteers

Džana Brkanić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial for crimes committed in the territory of Bratunac, witnesses for the prosecution said volunteers “struck terror in both ethnic groups’ hearts“ and that no one had the courage to stand up to them.

Jovan Nikolic said that the situation in Bratunac in early 1992 became tense because of the victory of national parties at elections.

“Everything still could be controlled until a group of volunteers arrived one day, creating chaos and terror for both sides,” said Nikolic.

He said that the murder of judge Goran Zekic “played into the hand of volunteers”, who participated in the attack on Glogova and transfer of civilians to the stadium in Bratunac.

Nikolic said that defendant Savo Babic, who he hard was a military police commander, had problems with volunteers.

Babic is charged, as commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s military police in Bratunac, with ordering, carrying out and failing to prevent the imprisonment of non-Serb civilians in the school in May 1992.

The other witness, Milan Neskovic, who was member of the military police, said that Babic was a conscientious and pedantic man, and that he wanted to form a respectable military police, but he quickly left it over the trouble with volunteers.

The witness said that Babic surely had nothing to do with imprisonment and killing of civilians in the school.
 
“We gave our best not to see that evil,” said Neskovic.

He believed that Miroslav Deronjic and Momir Nikolic were the ones who collaborated with volunteers. They “had to know what was going on”, he said.

Deronjic was sentenced by The Hague Tribunal to ten years of prison for crimes committed in Glogova in 1992. He passed away in 2007.

Nikolic, the security officer of the Bratunac Brigade of Army of Republika Srpska, admitted before the Tribunal to being guilty of expulsion of Muslims from Srebrenica in 1995 and was sentenced to 20 years.

The trial will resume on September 23.

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