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12 February 2016
News

Family Members Recall Arrest and Disappearance of Loved Ones from Strpci Station

Srdjan Kureljusic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Family members of victims kidnapped and killed in Strpci, Rudo, in February 1993, testified at the trial of ten former Bosnian Serb soldiers charged with their abduction and killing. At today’s trial, the family members of the victims recalled the last contact they had with their loved ones.
The state prosecution has charged Luka Dragicevic, Boban Indjic, Obrad Poluga, Novak Poluga, Dragan Sekaric, Oliver Krsmanovic, Petko Indjic, Radojica Ristic, Vuk Ratkovic and Mico Jovicic with kidnapping 20 civilians from a train in Strpci on February 27, 1993. The civilians were then allegedly killed in the Visegrad area.

According to the charges, Dragicevic was the commander of the Second Podrinjska Light Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, Boban Indjic was the commander of the Interventions Company of that brigade, while the other defendants were members of the Interventions Company or the First Company of the First Battalion of the Second Podrinjska Light Infantry Brigade.

Testifying at today’s trial, Hajro Kajevic said he saw his brother, Nijaz, for the last time when he went to work. He said Nijaz slept at his nephew’s house, who then saw him off at the train station on the following day.

Kajevic said he found out his brother was kidnapped in order to be exchanged, as part of a Bosnian Serb Army operation.

Kajevic said a train conductor told him his brother resisted and didn’t want to leave the train.

He said his brother saved other passengers in the process, who would have been taken off the train as well if he hadn’t stalled the soldiers.

Bahto Husovic said his brother, Rifat, was one of the passengers kidnapped from the train in Strpci. Husovic said his brother had gotten married a year prior to his death. He said the last time he saw him was when he left to Belgrade to get a visa.

“The train was late. We knew they hadn’t arrived. We found out on the following day that they had kidnapped and killed him,” Husovic said.

Husovic said one of the passengers on the train told him they wrote the personal information card numbers of passengers on their train tickets.

Selma Colovic said she lost her father, Fikret Memovic, in February 1993.

“According to rumours they tortured them and then killed them,” Colovic said. She has never found her father’s body.

Also testifying at today’s hearing, prosecution witness Seco Softic was one of the 20 civilians taken off the train. He was married and had two sons. He said the body of his brother, Etem, was never found.

The state prosecution plans to examine about ten more family members of the passengers kidnapped from the train in Strpci. The trial will continue on February 29.

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