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16 May 2016
News

Strpci Victims’ Relatives ‘Heard about Abductions via Media’

BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Statements by relatives of people kidnapped from a train in Strpci in February 1993 and later killed said they first heard of the abductions through the media.

Due to poor health, three state prosecution witnesses were unable to attend the trial for the murder of civilians kidnapped from a train in Strpci in the in February 1993, so their previous statements were read in the courtroom on Monday instead.

In her statement given to the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution in December 2014, Koviljka Buzov said her husband Tomo, a former officer with the Yugoslav National Army, was on his way to visit their son, who was serving his military term in Podgorica, on the day of the abductions.

Buzov said her husband informed her that his train was late but she thought everything was fine until her son informed her that he had not arrived on that train.

She said she heard about the kidnapping in Strpci in the news the following morning.

Luka Dragicevic, Boban Indjic, Obrad and Novak Poluga, Dragan Sekaric, Oliver Krsmanovic, Petko Indjic, Radojica Ristic, Vuk Ratkovic and Mico Jovicic are charged with kidnapping 20 civilians from a train in Strpci on February 27, 1993. The civilians were then killed in the Visegrad area.

According to the charges, Dragicevic was the commander of the Second Podrinjska Light Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, while Boban Indjic was the commander of the brigade’s Interventions Company. The other defendants were members of the Interventions Company of the First Company with the First Battalion of the Second Podrinjska Light Infantry Brigade.

A statement given by Misin Rastoder in 2014 was also read at thehearing.

Rastoder said his father Jusuf, who used to work in Belgrade, travelled to Bijelo Polje, where he wanted to spend his days off, by train on February 27, 1993.

Rastoder said he heard on the radio about the kidnapping of passengers from the train.

At that time he did not know his father was on that train, but found out about it when a colleague brought him his father’s salary. His father’s remains were found in the Perucac lake, he said.

Also on Monday, closing statements continued at the state court at the trial for crimes in Bileca.
The lawyer for defendant Miroslav Duka called for an acquittal, saying the indictment was imprecise.

Duka’s lawyer Dejan Bogdanovic argued that it could not be said that a complete expulsion of the Muslim and Croat population from the Bileca area was planned and organised on June 10, 1992.

“I consider that what happened on June 10 was unplanned. The events were not systematic and widespread. The police could not have been associated with them,” Bogdanovic said.

According to the charges, Vujovic was the chief of the public security station in Bileca, Duka was the commander of the station, while Ilic was a policeman.

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