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17 February 2011
News

Local Justice – Ahmetasevic: Aggressive Soldier

BIRN BiH

At the trial of Senad Ahmetasevic before the Cantonal Court in Bihac, a Prosecution witness says the indictee killed a prisoner of war in November 1993.

Irfan Merdanic, former member of the Fifth Corps with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, said he was captured, together with Hasan Saric, on November 11, 1993, adding that indictee Ahmetasevic killed Saric shortly after having disarmed him.

“After they had captured us, members of the National Defence ordered us to hand over our weapons or else they would throw a bomb and kill us. (…)

"There were about 12 soldiers. One of them was particularly loud and aggressive. He hit me and fired bullets between my legs. Then they ordered us to lie down, facing the ground. We did as they told us. After that I heard a several bullets being fired,” Merdanic said.

The witness said he saw “the most aggressive person among them” shooting at Saric. “His hair was brown. He had distinct green-blue eyes,” Merdanic said, pointing to indictee Ahmetasevic in the courtroom and saying he was that person.

Senad Ahmetasevic, former member of the National Defence with the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region, ND WBAR, is charged with having captured five members of the ABiH Fifth Corps at the Johovica reservoir on Omic hill, in Velika Kladusa, in 1993.

The indictment alleges that Ahmetasevic then killed captive Hasan Saric, who had been disarmed, by firing several bullets at him.

Merdanic said he heard Ahmetasevic saying to his superiors that he “had to shoot because Saric tried to activate a bomb”.

The indictee's Defence objected to the witness' statement, saying it differed, “in key facts”, from the statement he gave to the Una-Cana Cantonal Prosecution in July 2010.

Second Prosecution witness Sabrija Muslic said he was captured on November 11 as well, but he did not know who had shot his comrade Saric.

“When they ordered us to lie on the ground, a member of ND WBAR put his leg on my neck, so I could not move at all. I heard shooting. Then they took me to a house for examination. After that I went, together with a few of their soldiers, to collect Saric's body, which was wrapped in a blanket,” Muslic said.

This witness said he was then taken to the Drmaljevo detention camp, where he stayed until February 1994, when he was exchanged. He said that while he was in Drmaljevo other detainees told him that Ahmetasevic had killed Saric.

The trial is due to continue on March 9, 2011.

Dž.Dž.

 

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This article is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Balkan investigative reporting network (BIRN) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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