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7 July 2015
News

Tomasica Mass Grave Victims ‘Died in Ethnic Cleansing’

Radosa Milutinovic BIRN BiH The Hague
A Hague Tribunal prosecution expert said that victims exhumed from the Tomasica and Jakarina Kosa mass graves near Prijedor were killed in attacks listed in Ratko Mladic’s indictment.
Demographic expert Ewa Tabeau told the UN-backed court on Tuesday that out of 385 bodies exhumed from the mass grave in Tomasica, a total of 123 were identified as people who were killed in attacks by the Bosnian Serb Army on Bosniak villages that are listed in the indictment against Mladic as a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

“I was able to confirm that 75 exhumed victims were killed in the Biscani village in July 1992 and 28 more were among the 150 men killed in the Keraterm [detention] camp,” said Tabeau.

She added that out of 211 bodies exhumed Jakarina Kosa, 61 were killed in seven incidents listed in Mladic’s indictment.

Former Bosnian Serb army commander Mladic is charged with the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats which reached the scale of genocide in several municipalities, including Prijedor, in 1992.

Mladic is also charged with genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

The UN-backed court decided last year to allow the prosecution, which had already finished presenting its evidence against Mladic, to call a series of new witnesses to testify about the Tomasica grave, the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was discovered in 2013.

Tabeau also confirmed previous testimony from the head forensic officer of the International Commission on Missing Persons Thomas Parsons, who said that a total of 604 people were exhumed from the Tomasica and Jakarina Kosa mass graves.

During cross-examination, Mladic’s lawyer Dragan Ivetic told Tabeau that 18 victims’ names are on a list of Bosniaks who were mobilised to the local Territorial Defence forces in Kozarac near Prijedor.

Tabeau said that she could not confirm these were are the same people just based on first and last names, and added that “even if some persons were on the lists, that does not mean they were killed in combat”.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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