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1 December 2014
News

Witness Heard about Death Squad

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A protected Bosnian State Prosecution witness says, testifying at the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, that he was in the field in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.

SG-8 said that, after having been arrested in Serbia and returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, in 1995, he joined special police forces and that he was sent to the Training Centre on Mount Jahorina. As he said, during his stay on Jahorina he was sent to a field mission in Srebrenica.
 
“We stopped at a crossroads. I did not know where we were. We were distributed alongside the road. Our task was to accept civilians and let them proceed. Civilians were coming from the hill above us,” the witness said, adding that he remembered a large group of people surrendering and being taken away from that place.
 
When asked by Prosecutor Ibro Bulic whether members of other units were present at that place, the witness said that members of the Army and civil police were there.
 
SG-8 said that two murders happened during his stay in the field.
 
“Just before dark we heard noise and somebody shouting: ‘Surrender’. Then we heard a bomb explosion. A member of our Unit was wounded. Shooting then followed,” he said.
 
The witness said that members of his Unit were invited carry some weapons, but he did not volunteer for the task. The Prosecutor read a part of his statement given in 2010, when he said that, one day after the invitation to carry the weapons he heard that the volunteers, who were invited to perform that task, formed “a death squad”. Witness SG-8 said that it was true.
 
The Defence asked the witness whether it was true that he did not know any members of the so-called “death squad”. The witness confirmed the allegation.
 
SG-8 said that he did not see Goran Saric, Commander of special police, on Mount Jahorina.
 
“I saw him in Bileca and then again on Boracko Lake,” the witness said.
 
Saric is charged with having commanded police forces, which participated in the search, disarming and forced relocation of women, children and the elderly, as well as the separation of men and boys, who were executed in the Srebrenica area later on.
 
According to the charges, he ordered police members to guard the road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje and capture the men, who tried to leave the Srebrenica protected zone through the woods.  
 
At the end of the hearing the Defence requested the Court to relax the prohibiting measures against Saric, because he was acquitted of charges under a second instance verdict pronounced in another case. Prosecutor Bulic said that there was no reason for terminating the measures.
 
The trial is due to continue on December 8 with examination of a new protected Prosecution witness. 
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