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11 February 2014

Srebrenica Genocide Defendant’s Driver ‘Saw No Crime’

Denis Dzidic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The driver for ex-police commander Goran Saric, accused of the Srebrenica genocide, said that he was with his boss on the day of the massacre but never saw him commit any crime.
Witness Radenko Vanovac told the court in Sarajevo on Tuesday that he drove with Saric to Bratunac, where the alleged crimes were committed, to see the Bosnian Serb special police brigade, which the defendant commanded, but they only stayed there for a few minutes.

Vanovac said that one day he went to fix one of the special brigade’s armoured vehicles, along with Saric and another man he named as Milorad Maric.

“After we fixed it, Goran asked Maric if he knew the road to Bratunac, because he wanted to see what was going on there. We did not know what was going on, but [special police brigade deputy commander] Ljubisa Borovcanin was there,” he said.

The Hague Tribunal in 2010 sentenced Borovcanin to 17 years in prison for crimes against humanity in Srebrenica.

“We stopped at Konjevic Polje and there were many soldiers, but none of them knew Ljubisa. Then we left to Bratunac, to the police station. Goran went in and went out after few minutes and we went back,” said Vanovac.

He said that he did not see anything unusual during the ride, and that he did not know what was going on around Srebrenica.

Saric is accused of assisting a joint criminal enterprise responsible for the genocide in Srebrenica, in which 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed.

As the commander of the Bosnian Serb interior ministry’s special police brigade who was responsible for units that were operating around Srebrenica at the time, he is accused of being involved in the capture and murder of Bosniaks.

He is also accused of ordering police officers to secure the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road to capture escaping Bosniaks who tried to get out of Srebrenica through the woods.

Another witness on Tuesday, Velomir Gajic, said that he was the driver for Dusko Jevic, commander of the Bosnian Serb special police brigade’s Jahorina Training Centre, who was sentenced to 32 years in prison for assisting the genocide in Srebrenica. Gajic said that he drove Jevic to Srebrenica and Konjevic Polje.

“I remember that I saw some members of our unit around the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road... I remember that I saw three dead bodies by the road and around 30 or 40 prisoners at the meadow,” he said.

But he added that he did not see defendant Saric there.

The trial resumes on February 18.

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