Jezik / Language:
1 December 2014

Taken away from Vardiste

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica

Testifying at Eniz Basic’s trial, a Zenica Cantonal Prosecution witness says that she found out that the indictee participated in taking two civilians away from Vardiste village, Zenica municipality.

Sonja Kristo said that, due to the shooting and shelling in April 1992, she left her family house in Bilivode village together with her relatives and other local residents. She said that they went to Luka Sestan’s house in Vardiste village.  

After having visited her village with her mother-in-law, Kristo returned to Vardiste, where her relatives informed her about people being taken away.  

“When I returned to Vardiste, Mirjana, Dragica and Zorka were in the house. They told me that Eniz Basic took Luka Sestan and Miro Letic away, but, as he said, he would bring them back. They were crying and scared. Three or four days later we found out that three men had been set on fire inside a summerhouse in Bilivode,” Kristo said.

She mentioned that they went to the burnt summerhouse with members of the Civil Protection Unit, adding that she “saw three skeletons” in the house.  

As she said, she recognised Luka Sestan, Mirko Letic and her father-in-law.  

The Cantonal Prosecution charges Basic, former member of ABiH, with having taken two civilians from a house in Vardiste village without authorisation in April 1993. Their charred bodies were found several days later.  

The witness said that Eniz Basic did not look familiar.  

Witness Jakov Kristo said that he lived with his wife Sonja and his parents in Bilivode, which was attacked on April 17. He said that he and other HVO soldiers surrendered. They were then taken to the Penal and Correctional Facility.  

“The other members of my family went to uncle Luka Sestan’s in Vardiste. Luka Sestan and my father Jozo Kristo were civilians at that time. As far as Mirko Letic is concerned, I do not believe that he was member of the Army…The Facility Manager informed me that I had to dig graves. On that occasion my late mother told me that the two of them had been taken away by Eniz Basic and that they did not know who had kept my father in the village,” the witness said.  

Kristo said that her mother told him that Basic was armed and that he took them away, but he said that they would come back soon.  

The trial is due to continue on December 22.
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