Jezik / Language:
23 February 2016

Drakovac Tortured Prisoner of War, According to Protected Witness

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A protected state prosecution witness said defendant Emir Drakovac tortured a captured member of the Bosnian Serb Army in Zebina Suma in the municipality of Foca during the Bosnian war. The witness testified at the trial of four former members of the Bosnian Army charged with crimes in the Rogatica and Foca area.

Defendants Muhamed Sisic, Tarik Sisic, Emir Drakovac and Aziz Susa have been charged with participating in an attack on a civilian convoy in Kukavice on August 27, 1992. At least 20 Serbs were killed and several more were wounded in the attack.

According to the charges, at the time Muhamed Sisic was the commander of the Commando Squad of the Kukavicka Company of the Bosnian Army, while the other defendants were members of that unit.

Drakovac has also been charged with shooting at one civilian in the Rogatica area in November 1992. He has also been charged with torturing an unknown captured member of the Bosnian Serb Army in the Foca area in late 1992.

A protected witness known as ST-2 testified at today’s hearing. ST-2 was granted immunity from criminal prosecution. He said he left the village of Brcigovo in August 1992 with Muhamed Sisic, Emir Drakovac and between 17 to 20 other soldiers. He said they headed towards Kukavice in order to wait for the approach of the Bosnian Serb Army.

“I chose a position, camouflaged myself and waited. Muhamed Sisic was in the vicinity of the village center, about 100 meters away from me. We could see each other. Emir Drakovac and Ramiz Salic, known as Ustasa, were at the entrance to the village,” ST-2 said. He said other soldiers scattered around the village, while some remained inactive near the mine.

ST-2 said the soldiers were dressed in different uniforms and armed.

When shown a photograph, ST-2 recognized a man named Hazim. He said the photo depicted Hazim Susa, also known as Podrezak. According to ST-2, Susa was present in Kukavice on that day and so was Tarik Sisic.

He said a convoy of vehicles appeared and a man named Ramiz Salic fired the first bullet. He said the others then began shooting at the convoy.

“I aimed at tires. Some aimed a bit higher, so the windows broke. We heard noise and wailing, so we realized they were civilians…‘They were civilians. Dear God, what did we do,’ Muhamed said,” ST-2 recalled.

ST-2 said after they realized they were shooting at civilians everyone stopped shooting and withdrew, except for Emir Drakovac.

“Muhamed said what we did was scandalous and we had to hush it up...Muhamed and I regretted it. Some found it funny, like Emir and Nurija. It didn’t matter to Ramiz Salic,” ST-2 said.

ST-2 said Muhamed Sisic wasn’t his commander at the time, but everyone listened to him.

The state prosecution said ST-2 was granted immunity with regards to the Kukavice event. ST-2 said he lied in his two previous statements and requested immunity, “because he would be accused as well.”

ST-2 said he went through the village of Vratsalici in Rogatica in 1992. He said the village had been occupied by a Second Battalion unit which was composed of the Kukavicki Squad.

“I saw two dead women next to a fence and an elderly man. His shoe slipped off his feet...We then came across a stable, a room. We saw a man whose head, arm and genitals were cut off, lying on the floor. I felt sick, so I went out quickly,” ST-2 said.

ST-2 said as he was approaching the room, he saw Emir Drakovac exiting the room with two other men, dropping an ax.

ST-2 said he saw a captured member of the Bosnian Serb Army tied to a beech tree in the village of Zebina Suma in the municipality of Foca. He said he was interrogated by Emir Drakovac and some members of the 31st Drinska Brigade, whom he didn’t know. He said Muhamed Sisic and the commander of the Second Battalion were present.

“He was tortured in order to disclose the position of minefields. Such information was always coerced in that way. They were beating him. Emir joined them. Drakovac. He liked to do such things. His nickname was Muf...He circumcised him...He was yelling. He was conscious. We withdrew,” ST-2 said.

ST-2 said he saw the captive at the same place on the following day. He said he was killed and crucified on the tree.

ST-2 will be cross-examined on March 8.

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