Jezik / Language:
22 May 2013

Unrest and Murders in Kravica

Radosa Milutinovic BIRN BiH The Hague
Testifying before the Hague Tribunal, former Mayor of Skelani municipality Dane Katanic says that, during their meetings in mid-July 1995 Radovan Karadzic did not mention the murders of Bosniaks from Srebrenica to him.
Katanic said that he met Karadzic in Pale one day after the fall of Srebrenica and three days later, because he was afraid that Skelani might be endangered and objected to the appointment of Miroslav Deronjic as civilian commissioner for Srebrenica.
According to Katanic’s testimony, despite the fact that representatives of Skelani municipality objected, Karadzic appointed Deronjic his commissioner in “the liberated Srebrenica”. In 2003 Deronjic admitted guilt before the Hague Tribunal for the murder of more than 60 Bosniaks in Glogova village, near Bratunac. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“There was no discussion about murders of captives from Srebrenica,” Katanic said, adding that Deronjic was “close” to Karadzic, as he was an official of the Serbian Democratic Party.
Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its Army, is charged with genocide against about 7,000 Srebrenica Bosniaks and the persecution of thousands of women, children and the elderly in the days that followed the occupation of the enclave by the Republika Srpska Army on July 11, 1995.
Katanic said that he attended a meeting with Deronjic in Bratunac on July 13, 1995, adding that, while he was in the town, he saw buses, transporting Bosniaks from Srebrenica.
“I did not see how many people were present. I did not have a need to look at them. I saw a crowd of people... I am not so curious to look at the things I should not look at,” Katanic said. When asked by the Prosecutor whether he was saying that he did not see “thousands” of Bosniaks in Bratunac, the witness said that he “does not know” and that he “does not believe” that there were thousands of them.
When the Prosecutor suggested that, on that same day he heard about “the shooting of more than 1,000 Bosniaks” in nearby Kravica village, Katanic said that he did not hear about it and that he “does not know that it was a shooting”.
However, he confirmed that he heard that a Serb soldier from Skelani was killed in Kravica after one of the captives had seized his gun and shot him. According to the witness’ testimony, Serb soldiers then pulled their guns and “unrest happened”. When asked to specify what “unrest” meant, Katanic said: “It means that murders happened afterwards, but I did not know when, how many or how it happened”.
Karadzic’s witness denied having seen anything unusual when he passed through Kravica on his way to Pale the following day. He stuck to his allegation even after the Prosecutor told him that previous witnesses claimed to have seen corpses in front of the warehouse in Kravica.
Kalinic said that he only saw “policemen and soldiers” alongside the road and that he passed by the warehouse uninterruptedly. “No, I did not notice a pile of corpses on my way to see Karadzic… I saw nothing,” he said.
Katanic denied having told Karadzic anything about the events in Kravica during their meeting on that day.
The trial of Karadzic, who is also charged with persecuting Bosniaks and Croats, terrorising civilians in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage, is due to continue on Thursday, May 23.
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