Jezik / Language:
10 July 2006

Damjanovic: Good people in a time of fear

Birn BiH
Prosecution witnesses in the trial of Dragan Damjanovic spoke of peoples' destinies in Vogosca in July 1992.
Two witnesses testified on Monday about the events in Vogosca in July 1992, for which the prosecution holds Dragan Damjanovic responsible.

One part of the indictment charges the former Bosnian Serb soldier that in "July 1992 he and a colleague nicknamed Mico Chetnik forcefully took two persons from their homes, whose hands they tied with wire, forcefully pushed them into a car and took in an unknown direction".

In July 1992, the court heard, witness Salko Kolar watched from the window of his Vogosca flat as Damjanovic and Mico Chetnik took his neighbour Bekir Salihodzic away.

"After a while, my ten-year-old daughter came into the house and said that some people chased her out of the entrance into the building, and later she saw that from a nearby building they also took neighbour Muharem Bajramovic," Kolar told the court.

Fearing for his and his family's safety, Kolar said that he asked his Serb neighbour Jovo Kuburic for help.

"I was lucky that there were also good people in that situation. Neighbour Kuburic saved me," Kolar said.

The witness said that, after a few days of hiding, Kuburic and another Serb neighbour, Zlatko Todorovic, took him to the front line and helped him get into territory controlled by the Bosnian army.

"I am grateful to both of them. If it wasn't for them, I also would have been taken by Damjanovic and probably never return," Kolar concluded.

Jovo Kuburic himself appeared in the courtroom as the second prosecution witness against Damjanovic. He confirmed that he offered Kolar a hiding space in his flat.

During the war Kuburic was a soldier of the Republika Srpska Army. "I didn't want to fight, but they mobilised me in May 1992," he told the court.

"Before I went to the front line, I would leave my neighbour some food, something to drink and my rifle. I told him that he should have it in case he needed it for self defence," Kuburic said.

The trial is set to continue on July 17, 2006.
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