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1 December 2011

Kos et al: Observer of Shooting on Branjevo

Testifying at the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, a Defence witness says that he was taken him to an arable field in the vicinity of Branjevo and was told to shoot captives, but he refused to do it.

Petar Cvjetinovic, former member of “Panthers” unit with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, said that, on July 15 or 16, 1995 he went to a house in Bijeljina, adding that Milorad Pelemis was there, among others. The witness said that he was told that he should go to Branjevo military farm in order to “help with certain things”.
 
“I headed towards Branjevo with Pelemis, but we first stopped next to an arable field. Zijad Zigic, Aleksandar Cvetkovi and Z1 brought 31 captured civilians. They brought a machine gun and asked me if I wanted to kill those men, so they could record it with a camcorder. I refused to do it. Pelemis took the machine gun and killed those men wantonly,” Cvjetinovic said.
 
Witness Cvjetinovic testified at the trial of Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja, whom the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charged with genocide in Srebrenica by participating in the murder of about 800 Bosniaks on Branjevo military farm in July 1995.
 
According to the charges, Kos , former Commander of the First Unit with the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of the VRS Main Headquarters, Kojic, Golijan and Goronja, former members of that Squad, jointly shot prisoners, some of whom were tied and blindfolded.
 
Aleksandar Cvetkovic, former member of the Tenth Reconnaissance Squad of VRS, was arrested in Israel in January 2011. The procedure related to a request for his extradition is still underway.  
 
Witness Cvjetinovic said that, once the shooting of captives on the field was completed, he and Pelemis went to Branjevo farm, where he watched prisoners, who had been brought by buses, being shot.
 
“About seven people participated in the shooting. I saw Kos , Kojic, Z1. (...) I was an observer on Branjevo. A bus brought some wounded people. People were killed inside the bus, while others were taken out and shot. I saw six buses that came to that place,” Cvjetinovic said.
 
Cvjetinovic said that he recorded the shooting of prisoners on Branjevo with a camcorder, which was hidden in a bread loaf, because “nobody would have shot people had they known that I was recording it”.
 
Cvjetinovic said that, after the end of the war, he received threats from people, who did not want him to speak about the Branjevo events, but he decided to speak about it, so the truth would be revealed.  
 
The public was excluded from one part of witness Cvjetinovic’s testimony.
 
Witness Zvonko Bajagic, who testified in defence of indictee Kos , was examined at this hearing, because the Defence reproduced a video recording made in Bajagic’s house on July 12, 1995. Bajagic said that he was in Srebrenica on July 13, 1995, adding that the place looked “grievous and spooky”.
 
The next hearing is due to be held on December 6 this year.

S.U.

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