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14 April 2010
News

Klickovic et al: Voluntary Departure

BIRN BiH
Mile Bjeljac, testifying for the Defence of Gojko Klickovic, says he escorted Bosniak residents of Zalug village, who "prayed to God" to help them leave Bosanska Krupa in May 1992.
"They left voluntarily. People prayed to God to help them leave hell. There was no electricity, water or food..." said Bijeljac, a former policeman from Bosanska Krupa.

Gojko Klickovic, Jovan Ostojic and Mladen Drljaca are charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians and prisoners-of-war committed in the Bosanska Krupa area during 1992.

The indictment alleges that, "as per a written order issued by Gojko Klickovic" Muslim civilians were forcibly resettled from Zalug and Krupa town to Bihac on May 24, 1992.

Bjeljac told the Court that, when the shelling and shooting began in Bosanska Krupa on April 20 or 21, 1992 he was sent, together with 10 to 15 reserve policemen, to Govedarnica village "to safeguard its population" in order to avoid conflict between Serbs from Govedarnica and Bosniaks from Zalug village.

He said Bosniaks stayed in Zalug for "about a month", adding that they "begged and asked him how to leave the place" every day.

"When we came to the Station one day we were told we were supposed to escort a convoy of refugees to Bihac. We went to Govedarnica. We saw some vehicles and a column of people. The people took with them whatever they wanted. They were allowed to do so. Some soldiers were standing on both sides, acting as security. We drove in a police car at the end of the convoy," the witness said.

He said Serbs crossed the Una river and "moved into Bosniak houses on the same day".

"The houses were not damaged. Muslims returned to their houses and perhaps found even more stuff than they left behind. Our houses were destroyed and burnt," the witness said.

The next hearing is due to take place on April 20, when the Defence of the first indictee will continue presenting evidence.
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