Jezik / Language:
22 December 2014

Cleaning of Area and Burst Fire

Dragana Erjavec BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying at the trial for genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, a protected Prosecution witness says that, while cleaning an area in Konjevic Polje, he witnessed the capture and taking away of men. 

Witness SG-11 said that, in the second half of 1995 he was sent from the Training Centre with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska, MUP of RS, on Mount Jahorina to Konjevic Polje in order to “clean and search the area”. 

As he explained, on that occasion about ten men, including a 10- or 12-year old boy, were captured on the road leading from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje. 

“The Squad Commander asked him what he was doing there. After that he told a soldier to come. The soldier took the boy towards shrubs. We heard a gunshot from that direction. The same soldier came back later on, but he did not bring the boy back,” SG-11 explained.  

He said that he did not remember the Commander’s name and that he could not say whether anybody commented on anything after the shooting.   

He said that, during the “cleaning of the area”, one of the captives agreed to bring about 100 men, who were hiding in the woods.  

He explained that, while he was in the school building in Konjevic Polje during the night, he could hear a burst of fire and moans by captives from the Cooperative building.  

“At that moment I did not know what was happening. I did not see anything directly. I certainly could get some indications, but it all became clear to me years later,” SG-11 explained.

He said that some unknown soldiers came to the school building in Konjevic Polje in those days and asked for volunteers. 

“Nobody said what they needed the volunteers for. Two members of my unit volunteered. They were absent for a couple of days. Upon their return, they did not say what their task was, but I remember that they looked tired. One of them wetted the bed all the time after that,” SG-11 said. 

The Prosecution of BiH charges Goran Saric with having commanded the police forces, which participated in the search, disarming and the forced resettlement of women, children and the elderly, as well as the separation of men and boys, who were later executed in the Srebrenica area. 

According to the charges, he issued an order to police members to guard the road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje and capture the men, who were trying to leave the Srebrenica protected zone by walking through the woods. 

During the cross-examination the witness said that he saw indictee Saric once or twice during his stay on Mount Jahorina, but he had never heard him issuing orders.  

He explained that he did not personally see any of the murders that happened in the Srebrenica area in those days, but he heard a burst of fire. He said that he was about 100 metres away from the shooting locations.  

The trial is due to continue on January 12, when new Prosecution witnesses will testify. 
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