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24 August 2007
News

Ljubicic: Military information on crimes in Ahmici

BIRN BiH

A former member of the British contingent in BiH speaks of how civilians were severely wounded during the attack on the village of Ahmici in April 1993.

Prosecution witness Major Mathew Robert Wooley has told the court about the participation of the
Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in the attack on the village of Ahmici, the killing of civilians and the severe wounding of women and children.

"After our arrival in Ahmici on 16 April 1993 we saw that the houses were on fire," Wooley said.

"In the street we met an old man who took us to a house where there was a woman with a towel wrapped around her head. When I took the towel off her head I could see the woman's brain and I realised she
was wounded," Wooley has said.

Pasko Ljubicic, a former commander of the Fourth HVO Military Police Battalion, is charged with having participated in the planning and execution of attacks on Bosniak villages in the Lasva valley, in central Bosnia.

The indictment alleges that HVO soldiers attacked the villages of Ahmici, Nadioke, Pirici and Santici on 16 April 1993.

During the attacks, considered by the prosecution to be ordered by Ljubicic, more than100 civilians were killed and their property was destroyed and pillaged.

Witness Wooley has pointed out that, on the same day, they found a wounded girl in the village of Ahmici who had to be evacuated immediately.

"In one house, which, I think, was used as a shelter, we found about 30 civilians, mostly women, old people and children. Among them were five wounded people and one girl who had the most severe injuries of all of them. There were several cuts on her leg, and her thigh was shot through," Wooley has said.

This witness claims to have seen a number of dead civilians, whose bodies had been shot many times, in the streets of Ahmici.

"A few days after the attacks we discovered five male corpses, but none had any weapons with them. There were many wounds on these bodies, but, as far as I can remember, we did not see any defence
posts or killed HVO soldiers," Wooley has pointed out.

During cross-examination, defence attorney Tomislav Jonjic asked the witness, several times, about demographic structure and geographic coordinates of the villages, about HVO structure and if there were any racial differences between Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.

After Prosecutor Philip Alcock objected to these questions, the Trial Chamber banned some of them due to "their irrelevance".

The trial is set to continue on 30 August 2007.

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