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22 December 2014
News

Father Taken away

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Witnesses Dragica Kristo and Mirjana Jovanovic say, testifying before the Zenica Cantonal Court, that indictee Eniz Basic took their father away, adding that their father’s charred body was found two days later. 

Sisters Kristo and Jovanovic said that they knew the indictee well, because they used to attend the same elementary school. 
 
Dragica Kristo said that she left Bilivode village on April 17, 1993, because the village was attacked by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH. As she said, after having spent one night in Vardiste, she moved, along with her parents and sister, to Bilivode the following day. She said that they called on Luka Sestan’s to have some rest and eat. 
 
According to the witness’ testimony, the indictee, who was dressed in camouflage uniform and had a rifle, came in front of the door. 
 
The witnesses said that Luka Sestan went out as per the indictee’s invitation and that their father Mirko Letic followed, because the indictee asked if there were any other men in the house. 
 
According to the witnesses’ testimonies, when their father bent in order to tie his shoelaces, the indictee prepared his rifle for shooting, pointed it in his direction and said: “You do not have to tie them. You won’t go far away”. 
 
Dragica Kristo said that she asked the indictee where he was taking her father and that he said: “Don’t worry. They will just examine him”. 
 
As she said, the indictee told soldier Samir Kulic to lock them inside the house until they decided what to do with them.
 
“I told Eniz again to bring our father back. Luka and my father walked in front of him. We were scared and waited. Then, while looking through the window, I saw Sabahudin Kulic, Samir’s brother. I knocked on the window. He approached it and told us to go to our people in Vardiste, adding that he could not guarantee to us that we would stay alive, because the situation was that bad,” Kristo recalled. 
 
Two days later they found out that three men were murdered in a summer house, so they went there. 
 
“We saw three bodies. Only bones and ashes on a mattress, which was burnt. All that remained of it were wires. I recognised my father Mirko Letic by his wrist watch, Luka Sestan by dollar coins, which a cousin of his had sent to him. He kept them in his pocket. We recognised my father-in-law Jozo Kristo by his teeth,” Kriso said. 
 
Mirjana Jovanovic said that she thought that the indictee was a member of the military police, adding that she came to such conclusion on the basis of his uniform. She said that she and her sister knew the indictee, because they met each other many times on their way to school. 
 
When asked by the Defence whether she mentioned, in a statement given during the investigation, that Samir Kulic was the person, who took her father away, the witness confirmed having said that. 
 
She stuck to her allegation that she was now completely sure that indictee “Basic is the soldier, who should know what happened to her family members, considering the fact that he took them away”. She also said that “it is not clear to me why he is saying now that he does not know us”. 
 
The indictee objected to both testimonies, claiming that he did not remember the witness from the school and particularly having met them after school. 
 
The trial is due to continue on January 5. 
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