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27 March 2013
News

Bosniaks Voluntarily Departed Bratunac

Radosa Milutinovic BIRN BiH Haag
As the trial of Radovan Karadzic continues, defence witness Rodoljub Djukanovic implied that in April 1992 Bosniaks volunteered to leave Bratunac.
Djukanovic stated that in April 1992 former president of the Bratunac Municipal Assembly, Nijaz Dubicic told him that he intended to take out all Bosniaks who wished to go, asking the municipal authorities to provide security.
 
Not denying that in May 1992 Serb forces committed crimes against Bosniaks in Bratunac, Djukanovic stated that he had no information about it. He implied the relocation and murders of Bosniaks were the result of the attack on the column of Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and murder of the leader of Serb Democratic Party  (SDS) in Srebrenica, Goran Zekic.
 
Following the attack on the JNA column, Djukanovic "heard" that “some Muslims" were taken to the hangar of an old Bratunac elementary school, and subsequently that dead bodies were found in a hangar on the Drina bank. According to him, following Zekic's murder, SDS, in Bratunac ordered the "disarmament" of Glogova village.
 
Djukanovic testified that following the attack on Glogova, he was aware that Bosniaks were taken to Bratunac football stadium while "volunteers” secured them. When he asked about that event, chief of the Bratunac police replied to him that he had an order not to intervene in the operations run by "the military and military police".
 
Djukanovic stated that subsequently he heard that men were transferred from the stadium to the elementary school where they were murdered. Crisis Staff, who he was a member of, then decided to "save" the detainees by relocating them to Pale. The Staff decided to expel volunteers due to "problems" they caused.
 
Djukanovic also stated that Karadzic did not issue any orders to Bratunac Crisis Staff. He stood by this statement during the cross-examination when prosecutor Caroline Edgerton presented him with documents from the Crisis Staff meeting where "Karadzic's order" was discussed.
 
Karadzic, former president of Republika Srpska, is on trial for participation in the Srebrenica genocide, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats from 20 municipalities, including Bratunac, terrorising Sarajevo civilians, and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.
 
At this hearing, Dusan Micic, former Bratunac Territorial Defence Military Police member, testified as Karadzic's defence witness.He stated that in Bratunac elementary school he saw unknown individuals wearing JNA uniforms, taking away people, but he had been ordered not to intervene.
 
The witness stated that his unit had nothing to do with Bosniaks detained in the elementary school, noting that they did escort two buses with detainees to the Bosniak territory, while others were transferred to Pale.
 
Micic also testified that in July 1995, following the fall of Srebrenica, as the member of  Republika Srpska  Special Police Forces, he was present in Potocari where thousands of Bosniak refugees were assembled, but he did not see men being separated from their families.
 
With reference to the mass murders of Bosniaks in Bratunac and Kravica villages on 13 July 1995, Micic stated that he subsequently heard about it.  

The trial of Karadzic will continue on Thursday, 28 March.
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