Jezik / Language:
5 February 2013

Savo Babic: Volunteers Allowed No Access to School

At the trial of Savo Babic, charged with war crimes in Bratunac, witnesses for the prosecution said that military police whose commander was the defendant were not in charge of guarding the Vuk Karadzic school, where Bosniaks were held prisoners.
Milos Mitrovic and Branislav Milosevic, former members of the military police in Bratunac, said that they could not approach the school of “volunteers and military police wearing white belts, with whom they had no contact," because “they were the terror” of Bratunac.

“In mid-April 1992 a volunteer unit arrived. The so-called Vukovar unit was armed, they seized the municipality. In early May 1992, a Novi Sad Corps unit arrived, with Commander Reljic and Commander Musa at the helm. They had with them a military police unit with white belts. We had no contact with them. They paid no attention to us,” said Mitrovic.

He added that they could not approach the school because of these units.

“One of ours may have passed there in their free time, but it was better not to get in contact with them,” said the witness.
Responding to the defence’s question on whether he heard that the fate of people imprisoned in school was being decided by Savo Babic, Mitrovic replied in the negative.

“I heard that the Vukovar group was apprehending the population and bringing them to the primary school. Some of them were brought in and sent further away, some to Kladanj, the others to Tuzla,” said Mitrovic.

Mitrovic said that in mid-May 1992 he heard Savo Babic was not the commander of the military police in Bratunac any more.
The prosecution charges Babic, as a commander of the military police in Bratunac, with ordering, committing and failing to prevent the imprisonment of non-Serb civilians in the Vuk Karadzic primary school in Bratunac in May 1992.

Around 400 imprisoned civilians, the indictment said, lived in fear for their lives. They were beaten and tortured every day, and several dozen civilians were killed or died as a consequence of the conditions in the school.

The other witness, Branislav Milosevic, said that the military police had no assignment for the school.

Milosevic recalled one time when he was passing by the school with a colleague and saw Bosniaks who came out of the building to fetch water, and that they were escorted to a house to do it.

He heard about the murders only later, he added.

The trial is set to resume on February 11.
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