Jezik / Language:
29 October 2013

The Day Hranca Burned

Jasmina Đikoli BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial of persons charged with crimes against humanity in Bratunac in May, 1992, the witness for the defence said that on the day houses in the village of Hranca burned, defendant Najdan Mladjenovic was, together with a group of neighbours, in nearby woods.

Kristina Petrovic said that on May 3, 1992, she went to pick up her brother-in-law so that he could help her with a cow giving birth.

“I found him with a group of neighbours in the Gajic woods. Among them was Najdan. They said they set off on the trail of an army that passed earlier,” said Petrovic, adding that her neighbours wore civilian clothes.

Petrovic said her brother-in-law helped her with the cow, and then returned to the neighbours in the woods.

“On that day there was shooting in Ramici. There was smoke too,” recalled the witness, adding that in the evening, together with children, she left the house and went to her daugther-in-law in Repovac, and on her way she saw that the houses in Hranca were on fire.

The Prosecution charges Najdan Mladjenovic with leading the attack on the village of Hranca, in which several Bosniak civilians were killed and imprisoned on May 3, 1992, and having ordered that their houses be set on fire.

Six days later, according to the Prosecution, Mladjenovic led the attack on the village of Glogova, and gave out an order that more than 20 villagers be killed. Savo Zivkovic is also charged, with participating in the attack and expulsion of civilians from the villages, as well as the destruction of their property.

According to the indictment, Mladjenovic was commander of the Territorial Defence in Bratunac, and Zivkovic was a member of the same formation.

Petar Jovanovic, the second witness at this trial, said that on May 9, 1992, he came from Serbia to Bratunac.

“It was a ghost town,” the witness said, adding that a reserve policeman, whose name he did not remember, dropped him off to his house.

“We stopped at Najdan’s home. The driver wanted to see Najdan on what was happening… When he got back, the driver said that Najdan told him something was going on around Glogova,” recalled the witness.

He said that the road to his house was full of soldiers, adding that they wore different uniforms and that he did not recognise any of them.

During the cross-examination, prosecutor Ozrenka Neskovic asked the witness whether he saw or heard the first defendant on May 9 at all, to which he replied that he did not.

The defence will examine new witnesses at the next hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, November 5.

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