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6 June 2011
News

Koricanske stijene: Information About Murders

BIRN BiH
Testifying in defence of Petar Civcic, a witness says that he heard about the murder of civilians committed at Koricanske stijene in August 1992, adding that a decision was then made to dismiss the Interventions Squad with the Public Safety Station in Prijedor.

Radovan Kecan, former commander with the Public Safety Station, PSS in Prijedor, said that a convoy was organised in order to transport non-Serbs from Prijedor to Travnik in August 1992, adding that members of the Interventions Squad were among the convoy escorts. Kecan said that a few days later he heard that some convoy passengers had been killed.

“I know that the convoy left the town safely. A couple of days later I heard about the murders committed at Koricanske stijene. People disapproved of the murders. I know that Radovan Karadzic told Simo Drljaca that Koricanske stijene should not have happened,” Kecan said.

Simo Drljaca, former Chief of the PSS in Prijedor, was killed during an attempt to arrest him in 1997. Radovan Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska, is currently on trial before the Hague Tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Civcic, Sasa Zecevic, Radoslav Knezevic, Marinko Ljepoja and Branko Topola with having participated in escorting a convoy of more than 1,000 civilians who were traveling from Prijedor to Travnik on August 21, 1992. They allegedly participated in separating and murdering about 200 men at Koricanske stijene.

The indictment alleges that Civcic was Commander of the First Section with the Interventions Squad of PSS in Prijedor, Zecevic, Ljepoja and Knezevic were members of that Squad and Topola was member of the Territorial Defence.

Witness Kecan said that Civcic was Commander of a Interventions Squad section, but he “was not able to make any decisions”.

Kecan said that following the murders committed at Koricanske stijene, a meeting was held in the Safety Services Centre in Banja Luka. The meeting resulted in the dismissal of the Squad and Chief Drljaca.

Witness Djuro Prpos, who also testified in defence of indictee Civcic, is the former Commander of the Traffic Police with PSS in Prijedor. He said that he heard that some convoy passengers from Prijedor were killed at Koricanske stijene, adding that two traffic policemen were among the convoy escorts.

“Vladimir Sobot and witness K2 escorted the convoy. They said they did not escort it to its final destination. In their report they said that everything went well. They knew nothing until they returned to Prijedor,” Prpos said.

Slobodan Brdar, former traffic policeman with PSS in Prijedor, testified at this hearing too. He said that, in August 1992 he learnt that members of the Interventions Squad participated in the murder of people committed at Koricanske stijene.

“Nobody mentioned that Pero Civcic was among the convoy escorts,” Brdar said.

The trial is due to continue on June 8 this year.

A.J.

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