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29 January 2013

Saric: Sarajevo Serb Police ‘Didn’t Exist in June 1992’

At the trial of Goran Saric for crimes in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, a defence witness said that the Police station of the Serb Municipality of Centre was formed in September 1992, not June, as the indictment alleges.
“As far as I know, the police station was formed in September and its first chief was Rade Sljivic. That is when the ten of us came down to the station for the first time,” said Borislav Todic.

He added that he did not know what was happening up to that point in the territory of Jagomir, where the police station was formed.

In the early days of the war in spring 1992, the witness said, citizens of the village of Mrkovici, where he lived, organised a defence.

“Villagers were in panic and established some kind of defence. The first attack against us was on April 6, and we did not belong to any unit then. The citizens organised themselves in shifts,” said Todic, adding that he did not hear about defendant Goran Saric at the time.

Saric is charged, as head of the police station in the Serb Municipality of Centre in Sarajevo, with participating in the attack on the civilian population in Nahorevo, Poljine and other Sarajevo settlements.

He is charged with ordering all men in Nahorevo on June 19, 1992, to come to the local community centre, where around 100 Bosniaks were taken to the Jagomir hospital building. A group of 11 prisoners were later killed at Skakavac.

Zeljko Vujadinovic, the second witness at this trial, said that he lived in the municipality of Centre in the Kromolj Street when the war broke out in 1992. He emphasised that he and the citizens organised and established a checkpoint that they guarded.

“In time I became a reserve policeman, after the arrival of Rade Sljivic,” explained Vujadinovic, adding that before Sljivic’s arrival there was no police station there.

The prosecutor, Munib Halilovic, showed the witness the list of salaries for July 1992 for members of the police in the municipality Centre with the name of the witness on it.

The witness said that the signature on that document was “most probably” his.

“I think we were getting the salaries retroactively, after the police station was formed,” added the witness.

The trial will resume on February 4.
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