Jezik / Language:
15 June 2015

Search and Expulsion of Civilians in Zecovi Described By Former Policeman

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A state prosecution witness testifying at a trial for war crimes in the Prijedor area said he participated in a search in the village of Zecovi during the summer of 1992, under the command of Radomir Stojnic.
Radomir Stojnic has been charged with participating in acts of murder, torture, and abuse, as well as the destruction and confiscation of property from the local population of Zecovi. He’s been charged with Dusan Milunic, Radovan Cetic, Dusko Zoric, Zoran Stojnic, Zeljko Grbic, Ilija Zoric, Zoran Milunic, Bosko Grujicic, Ljubisa Cetic, Rade Grujcic, Uros Grujcic, Zdravko Gnjatovic and Rajko Gnjatovic.

The indictment alleges that Stojnic was the commander of the reserve police station in Rasavci, Milunic was the commander of the Rasavacka Company of the Sixth Battalion of the 43rd Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, while Radovan Cetic was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party and crisis committee in Rasavci. The other defendants were members of the army, police and other formations.

Testifying at today’s hearing, witness Radoslav Saganovic said he was recruited to the reserve police forces in Rasavci in 1992. He said Radomir Stojnic was his commander.

“I don’t know whether it was a search or a sweep, but rumours said there were armed groups in Carakovo and Zecovi. The sweep in Zecovi happened in the summer of 1992...I don’t know who ordered it,” Saganovic said.

According to Saganovic, Stojnic told him he would be involved in a search, and that he and others should find weapons and armed groups. Stojnic also allegedly told Saganovic to send the local population of Zecovi towards the road between Prijedor and Sanski Most.

“There weren’t many houses in the part I was in. No force was used and people weren’t mistreated. Men, women and children were supposed to go towards the road,” Saganovic said.

Responding to questions by the prosecution, Saganovic said he came across burning houses and noticed that a mosque had also been set on fire.

“We came across two or three corpses, I don’t know how many exactly. They were dressed in red clothes. They were lying by the road. Nobody was standing in their vicinity,” Saganovic recalled.

Saganovic also said he saw many civilians, soldiers and vehicles in front of the Zikina Cafe, which was located next to the main road leading to Sanski Most.

In response to questions by Milunic’s defense attorney, Saganovic said he didn’t know which unit attacked and killed Zecovi civilians.

Marinko Brkic, Stojnic’s defense attorney, asked Saganovic whether his client had used the word “sweep” in any of his orders. Saganovic said he hadn’t.

“Stojnic never told us to shoot,” Saganovic said.

The next hearing will be held on July 3.
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