Jezik / Language:
3 February 2014

Indictees Testify that They Were not in Carakovo

Mirna Buljugic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying in their defence, Velemir Djuric and Zoran Babic, who are charged with crimes in Prijedor, say that they were not present in Carakovo village where men were shot in front of a local mosque in July 1992.

Indictee Velemir Djuric told the Court that he received an invitation to report to the Information and Surveillance Centre in July 1992. As he said, after that he and two colleagues of his were deployed to the surveillance point in Benkovac, which was between 20 and 25 kilometres away from Prijedor.

Djuric said that none of them was allowed to leave from there and that he could only go home with soldiers who used to bring them food, in August.

“Soldiers used to come to Benkovac in relays. They would come by trucks,” the indictee said.

When asked by Defence attorney Ranko Dakic whether the indictee knew witnesses Sead Susic and S-1, who said that they had known him from before the war and told the Court about the shooting of men in front of the mosque, Djuric said that he did not know them and that “it is not true that I was in the shooting squad in Carakovo”.

Djuric, Babic and Dragomir Soldat are on trial for having shot men in front of the local mosque in Carakovo on July 23, 1992.

Indictee Zoran Babic said that he was member of reserve police forces in Prijedor from April 29 to October 7, 1992 and that he was assigned to the First Section of the Interventions Squad, which consisted of about 25 people.

“I was given an automatic rifle. We had blue camouflage uniforms with a police sign on sleeves,” Babic said.

He said that he remembered what happened on July 23, because a colleague of his was killed that day and they received “a message about Carakovo” on that day.

“We passed Tukovi and Carakovo villages and arrived to the viaduct, or actually a location called Poljski Put. We were tasked with guarding the road between Sanski Most and Prijedor. We were not given any details,” Babic said.

He said that they stayed at that place for some time, adding that he “did not enter Carakovo village at all”.

“There were soldiers, civilians, women and children, as well as two buses, next to the viaduct. I do not know where they went, because we had left the place before that, as per an order,” Babic said.

He told the Court that he had not known indictee Dragomir Soldat prior to the beginning of the trial.

The trial is due to continue on February 10.

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