Jezik / Language:
12 November 2014

Deputy Commander Acting Like Courier

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
As indicated in his statement given to Hague investigators, Marko Milosevic found out about the murders of Srebrenica residents committed in a school building in Petkovci, Zvornik municipality, and nearby dam in mid-July 1995 a few days later.
Prosecutor Predrag Tomic read this statement at the trial of Milosevic and Ostoja Stanisic, who are charged with genocide in Srebrenica. As said by the Prosecutor, Milosevic gave his statement to Hague Prosecution investigators in 2002 in his capacity as suspect.

When asked by the investigators what he knew about the executions, Milosevic said: “I heard that they were killed. Nothing else.”

He said that he was Deputy Commander of the Sixth Battalion with the Zvornik Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, whose base was in Petkovci.  

He said that, in the morning hours on July 14, 1995 he was informed by the Zvornik Brigade that captives from Srebrenica would be accommodated in a new school building in Petkovci and that those, who would bring them, would also guard them. As he said, Milosevic conveyed this piece of information to Commander Stanisic.

As he said, in the afternoon hours on July 14 the Commander sent Milosevic to Petkovci in order to find Ljubisa Beara, so he could report to the Command of the Zvornik Brigade. He said that he found Beara, who was accompanied by Drago Nikolic, in the vicinity of the school building.

He said that he noticed soldiers, who were guarding the captives, explaining that they were not members of the Sixth Battalion.

“I acted almost like a courier in that situation. I conveyed the message and returned to the Battalion,” Milosevic said.

The Hague Tribunal sentenced Beara, former Chief for Security with the Main Headquarters of VRS, to life imprisonment for genocide in Srebrenica and Nikolic, former Chief of Security with the Zvornik Brigade, to 35 years in prison.

When asked by the investigator where he was in the evening on July 14, 1995, he said that he was in the Battalion Command’s building, just like Commander Stanisic.

When the investigators said that they found it improbable that the persons in the Battalion’s Command heard shooting coming from the direction of the new school building and did nothing to inquire about it, Milosevic said that the Commander “was the only person, who could do something”.

Milosevic and Stanisic are on trial for the murder of about 1,000 Srebrenica residents committed in the new school in Petkovci and on nearby dam during the night on July 14 and the morning on July 15, 1995.
The Prosecution of BiH alleges that they knew about the planned execution of Srebrenica residents and that the co-ordination, supervision of loading and escorting of the Bosniaks from the new school to the nearby dam, where the executions were committed, were done under their command.

Milosevic told the investigators that he was on combat positions from the morning hours on July 15, 1995 and that he was wounded on the following day.

“At around 1.30 on the 16th I was wounded by a grenade shrapnel piece on the front line,” he said.

As he said, he spent about ten days at the Zvornik hospital. He said that he found out about the executions from the people, who visited him at the hospital, but they did not mention who had done it.

The trial is due to continue on November 19.

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