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22 April 2013
News

“Policeman” from Vraca

Dragana Erjavec BIRN BiH Sarajevo

An expert witness in police issues testifies for the Defence and says that indictee Goran Saric was never appointed Chief of the Public Safety Station of the Serb municipality of Centar.

Responding to the Prosecution’s questions during the cross-examination, expert witness Mile Matijevic confirmed that no public safety station existed in that area during June and July 1992, adding that it was “an ordinary police station, which was mainly composed of reserve policemen, as well as former active policemen”.

Matijevic pointed out that such a police structure could not even have a chief and that Goran Saric could have by no means been its chief.

 
“The only document mentioning Saric, which I have found, says that he was registered as a policeman from Vraca the whole time.

There is no document, indicating that he was appointed some chief,” Matijevic explained.

When asked by State Prosecutor Sead Djikic how he explained the fact that Saric had signed two documents containing payrolls from June and July 1992, in his capacity as Chief of the Public Safety Station of the Serb municipality of Centar, Matijevic said that it must have been the case of an unauthorised performance of a job.

“Saric may have signed them as Chief of the Public Safety Station of the Serb municipality of Centar, while performing a task he was given by other, authorised persons. I do not know. I am repeating that none of the documents mention that he was ever appointed the Chief. All of them mention Goran Saric as a policeman from Vraca,” Matijevic said.

Saric is charged, in his capacity as Chief of the Public Safety Station in the Serb municipality of Centar, with having ordered all men from Nahorevo to gather in front of the local community building in that neighbourhood on June 19, 1992. About 100 Bosniaks were then taken away and detained in the Jagomir hospital building, while a group of 11 detainees was later killed at Skakavac.

According to the charges, Saric ordered the remaining non-Serb population to surrender. After that about 200 women, children and the elderly were forcibly transferred to territories controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH.

As his examination continued, Matijevic confirmed that the payrolls signed by Saric in his capacity as Chief of the Public Safety Station of the Serb municipality of Centar, could not be used as legal acts, because they did not contain a protocol number.

“All these things indicate that the Public Safety Station did not exist formally at that time. Otherwise, it would have had its number and it would have been registered. As there was no Station, there was no Chief either. All these lists with this signature on them are a product of an unauthorised action,” Matijevic said.

The trial is due to continue on May 20, when the Defence will present the remaining pieces of material evidence and complete the evidence presentation process.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced that it would then examine two new witnesses. The Trial Chamber accepted its proposal.




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