Jezik / Language:
22 January 2015

Indictee Claims to Have Cut Ear in Revolt

Dzenita Durakovic BIRN BiH Bihac
Testifying at the trial of Bora Kuburic and Radmila Banjac before the Cantonal Court in Bihac, first Prosecution witnesses say that a nurse, who, according to the charges, was captured, mistreated and later killed, was wounded during a reconnaissance operation.
During the examination of the witness indictee Bora Kuburic said “I did that, I cut the ear off”, adding that she did it in revolt, because the captured nurse “Karmen was member of the reconnaissance group.”

“She said that your task was to headcount Serbs, so you could kill them on St. Peter's Day. Also, she said that she was wounded, because she activated a bomb and killed three Muslims,” Kuburic said.

Kuburic and Banjac are charged with having tortured and treated in an inhumane manner Karmen Kremencic, a nurse with the Kljucko-Sanska Company of ABiH, who was captured by members of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, in the Radici area, Bosanska Krupa municipality, in June 1992.

Witness Aziz Gromalic said that a group of 25 people inspected the area together with nurses Aleksandra and Karmen and that they came across an ambush on their return.

“Our guide was killed in that attack, while Karmen was severely wounded on her head, hand and legs. We evacuated her to a valley, because there was shooting and bomb-shelling. We were surrounded. We had no ammunition. I crawled towards the forest on my back. When the others joined me, I asked where Karmen was. They said that she was dead and that they could not evacuate her, adding that we would come back later on in order to pick her up,” Gromalic said.

Witness Mirsad Music, who was a member of the Unsko-Sanska Operational Group just like Gromalic, described the wounding of the nurse as well.

“We were more experienced, so when the shooting began, we lied down on our back. She remained standing. I saw the first bullet hit her in her head, the second in her hand and the third in her leg. She fell down and silently called for help. I crawled to her, grabbed her and dragged her to the valley. The colour of her face had already begun to change,” Music said.

He said that the nurse asked them to kill her rather than leave her there, but the circumstances were such that they had to withdraw. They came to the same place tomorrow, but she was no longer there.

“As the front lines were close and we shouted to enemy soldiers, they began saying that they had captured one of our people and that they would do all sorts of things to her. Later on I heard the truth. I heard that she was still alive when they captured her, and that she was killed after having been tortured,” Music said.

According to the charges, the captured wounded nurse was handed over to members of the “Women's Front” with the Petrovacka Brigade of VRS, whose members the indictees were.

The indictment alleges that they hit her with sticks, while Banjac carved a cross on her back and Kuburic cut the lower part of her ear off. She was eventually killed by young minor Veselko Djukic.

Witness Mevlida Konjevic, who was member of the medical unit, just like the injured party, said that many years later she heard what had happened to Karmen Kremencic.

Testifying at this hearing, court expert Nada Milovanovic determined that, despite her severe health condition, Radmila Banjac was capable of participating at the trial.

The Defence attorneys repeated that they were “close to reaching a guilt admission agreement with the Prosecution.”

The trial is due to continue on February 3.

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