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16 March 2015

Protected Witness Describes Execution of Civilians at Goran Saric Trial

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
At today’s hearing of the Goran Saric trial, a protected witness known as SG-6 said Saric gave a speech to his unit before they departed for Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.
Saric is charged with commanding police units which took part in the search, disarmament, and forcible transfer of women, children, and the elderly, as well as the separation of men and boys, who would later be killed near Srebrenica.
According to the indictment, Saric told members of the police force to guard the road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje and to arrest men who tried to leave Srebrenica.
Testifying for the Bosnian state prosecution, SG-6 said he was brought to Jahorina from Serbia in the summer of 1995, where he was trained. Before departing for Srebrenica, he said that members of his unit were lined up and Goran Saric gave a speech.
“Saric was in front of the line of soldiers. Very relaxed, he spoke with ease. At one point, he said, ‘Why are you so scared, you’re just going for a couple of days. We need to get a job done.’ That's what he said,” SG-6 said.  

When asked by Saric’s defense on how long the speech lasted, SG-6 said it lasted a few minutes. He said that was the first time he saw Saric.

SG-6 said his unit was stationed in a school and then was sent to search the area.
“We were told to disarm all men and to separate all civilians...We saw women and told them to go to the center, where they gathered,” SG-6 said. He said that on the second mission he helped civilians enter trucks.  

During the next mission, SG-6 went to a hangar in Kravica. There SG-6 said he saw uniformed soldiers, and heard “activities around the hangar.”
“I heard some screams, from the depths of the hangar. The only thing I can claim I knew was that there were people in there, who we were told needed to stay inside. That’s what was said,” SG-6 said.

He said in the morning civilians exited the hangar. They were ordered to kneel with their backs to the hangar.

“I decided that no matter what I wouldn’t shoot. The prisoners were killed, shot by rifles,” he said. SG-6 said he was shocked by what he saw.
The trial will continue on March 23, when new prosecution witnesses will testify.
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