Jezik / Language:
21 June 2011

Pelemis and Peric: Trusting Officers

On the second day of his testimony at the trial for the Srebrenica genocide, a defence witness for Momir Pelemis says that no procedure related to the exchange of captured Srebrenica residents, who were held in the “Kula” school building in Pilica, Zvornik municipality prior to being executed on Branjevo farm, was conducted.

Responding to Prosecution’s questions during the course of cross-examination, protected witness O1, former member of the First Battalion with the Zvornik Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, said that there was no list of prisoners for exchange, but he still thought that they would be exchanged, because his officers told him so.
“No procedure was conducted in terms of exchange of prisoners. There were no lists of names or International Red Cross representatives. I cannot remember if there was a VRS exchange commission, but I was told that the prisoners would be exchanged. I had to trust my officers,” witness O1 said.
State Prosecutor Eric Larson said that when he testified before the Hague Tribunal in 2007, this witness said that he “was not shocked by the fact that Srebrenica residents were killed”, but, at this hearing he did not want to comment on the statement, saying that he believed that they would be exchanged.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Momir Pelemis and Slavko Peric with having participated in the genocide in Srebrenica. The indictment alleges that they participated in the murder of about 1,200 Srebrenica residents on Branjevo military farm and about 600 men in Pilica Centre, Zvornik municipality on July 15 and 16, 1995.
According to the charges, the Srebrenica residents who were shot on Branjevo had first been detained in the  “Kula” school building in Pilica.
The indictment alleges that Pelemis was Deputy Commander of the First Battalion with the Zvornik Brigade of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS and Peric was Assistant Commander for Security with that same Battalion at the time.
Responding to the Prosecution’s questions during the course of cross-examination, witness O1 said that he personally offered the Defence of indictee Pelemis to testify at this trial.
“I contacted the Defence on my own,” O1 said.
Following the examination of the witness, Prosecutor Eric Larson presented the transcript of witness O1’s testimony before The Hague Tribunal as material evidence.
The trial is due to continue on June 28 this year.


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