Jezik / Language:
6 March 2014

New Search for Bodies Urged at Sarajevo’s Kazani

Albina Sorguc BIRN Sarajevo
Bosnia’s Missing Persons Institute wants a new exhumation at the Kazani pit in the hills above Sarajevo because more bodies could be buried where the remains of over 20 war victims have been found.
The Missing Persons Institute told BIRN on Thursday that it had asked the prosecution to launch a fourth exhumation at Kazani because it has information that at least eight more war victims could be buried in the rocky pit.

“According to our operational knowledge, as well as witness statements and what was established in certain court proceedings, it is known that there are certain number of people who have been tortured, killed and dumped in the pit in Kazani,” said a member of the institute’s board of directors, Milutin Misic.

If the missing people’s remains are not in the pit, Misic said he thought that they had probably been “lost somewhere or concealed deliberately”.

During the previous three exhumations at Kazani, 23 people’s remains were found and 15 of them were identified.

“These were five female victims and ten male victims, aged from 27 to 66 years. Two victims were Ukrainian nationals, a married couple, Ana and Vasilj Lavrov; two victims were Croats, one victim was Bosniak and ten victims were Serb,” said Lejla Cengic, spokesperson for the Missing Persons Institute.

The victims at Kazani are believed to have been killed by Bosnian Army troops led by notorious commander Musan Topalovic, alias Caco, who was himself killed in October 1993 and buried in a secret grave, but later exhumed and given a hero’s burial in Sarajevo.

Four ex-soldiers, Zijo Kubat, Esad Tucakovic, Refik Colak and Mevludin Selak, were sentenced to six years in prison for the killings in Kazani. Eight more former fighters were jailed for ten months for not reporting the crime and its perpetrator.

Another man, Samir Bejtic, has been on trial for more than ten years for alleged war crimes at Kazani. However, a final verdict has yet not been handed down because the supreme court quashed his previous convictions and ordered a retrial.
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