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12 November 2013
News

Victims from Bljecevo Grave

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

As the trial for crimes in Bratunac continues, a court medicine expert says that, acting on a request by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he identified 55 bodies from the Bljecevo secondary grave, Bratunac municipality.

Court expert Vedo Tuco said that, on the basis of a DNA analysis, identification reports and court medicine expertise, he made his findings and opinion about the cause of death of 55 persons. He personally attended the exhumation of those bodies. 

“After having analysed the remains, we determined that some of the bodies were originally buried in a grave in Redzici and that Bljecevo was actually a secondary grave,” Tuco explained. 

The court expert said that it was determined that 21, out of 55 victims died due to bullet-caused injuries on their heads. It was not possible to determine the cause of death of ten people with certainty. 

The court expert could neither confirm nor deny that some of the persons suffocated to death, considering the fact that it was not possible to analyse that on the basis of skeletons only.

“Eight people were exhumed as separate cases. In fact, transposal and destruction are the characteristics of secondary graves. We find a small part of a body, like a foot, in one grave and the majority of the remains in another grave,” Tuco said. 

The court expert said that the identified bodies belonged to men aged between 18 and 54. 

When asked by the Defence of indictee Savo Babic whether those persons died in “Vuk Karadzic” school building in Bratunac, court expert Vedo Tuco said: “Some families mentioned the school building, but it is not written in the report. In our reports we write the place, village or town.” 

Also, he said that families of victims told them the time of death on the basis of witnesses’ statements, discoveries and so on.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Savo Babic, former Commander of military police of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, in Bratunac, with having ordered, committed and failed to prevent the detention of non-Serb civilians in “Vuk Karadzic” school building in Bratunac in May 1992. 

The trial is due to continue on Monday, November 18, when Defence witnesses will appear in court.


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