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16 January 2008
News

Todorovic and Radic: First Defence Witnesses

Defence witnesses describe Todorovic and Radic as peaceful persons, claiming that they did not know anything about their military engagement in May 1992.

At the trial of Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic, who are charged with crimes against humanity, the defence evidence presentation process has started with the examination of Zivojin Milovcevic and Miladin Jovanovic. These witnesses were invited by Mirko Todorovic's defence.

The Prosecution of BiH considers that Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic, together with four other soldiers, attacked a group of 14 civilians who were hiding in the vicinity of Borkovac village in Bratunac municipality on May 20, 1992. After torturing, beating and pillaging the property of some of the captives, they took them to a nearby brook and shot them.

Witness Zivojin Milovcevic said he had known Todorovic for more than 30 years.

"Mirko used to come to my coffee shop and I came to his grocery store," said the witness, describing this indictee as "a hardworking and good man".

"Only those who have evil intentions can say bad things about Mirko. I know him as a good person," said the witness claiming that, after the war had ended, Todorovic communicated and socialised with his Bosniak neighbours as normal.

Milovcevic said that, in 1992, adult Serbian men in Bratunac received invitations for military mobilisation, so he "guessed" that Todorovic was also invited. Claiming that he did not know anything about the shooting in Borkovac village, the witness added that "people say that Mirko allegedly was there, but he did not do any harm to anybody".

Speaking about the second indictee, the witness said he heard that "he was digging his cornfield, when he was ordered to go to Borkovac".

"All people in Bratunac are surprised that this man is here [in court] now," said the witness, speaking of Milos Radic.

Second defence witness Miladin Jovanovic said he had known both indictees since their childhoods, but did not know anything about their military engagement. He supposed that they were assigned to some units, "just like everybody else". Jovanovic said he had heard of the murder in Borkovac, but he did not know any details about that event.

Asked by the defence attorneys to describe the second indictee's personality, Jovanovic said: "We have an expression for people like him – we say they are like little lambs". Asked by the prosecutor to clarify what it meant, he said that he was a "quiet, decent and shy man".

The trial is due to continue on January 21, when five more witnesses called by Milos Todorovic's defence will be examined.
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