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6 November 2015
News

Witness Describes Father’s Abduction from Zecovi

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of fourteen former members of Bosnian Serb military and police forces said his father was ordered to leave his home during a search in the village of Zecovi, near Prijedor. The witness said his father was never seen alive again.
Defendants Dusan Milunic, Radomir Stojnic, Radovan Cetic, Dusko Zoric, Zoran Stojnic, Zeljko Grbic, Ilija Zoric, Zoran Milunic, Bosko Grujicic, Ljubisa Cetic, Rade Grujcic, Uros Grujcic, Zdravko Antonic and Rajko Gnjatovic have been charged with committing acts of murder, torture, sexual violence, as well as destructing and confiscating property from the local residents of Zecovi.

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

State prosecution witness Denis Burnic testified at today’s hearing. Burnic said he remembered seeing a group of Serb soldiers in the hamlet of Gradina in Zecovi during the summer of 1992.

“Zeljko Grbic, Radovan Grbic, Bozo, Dragan Mrdja, Ure Grujcic, Rade Grujcic, Ridjo were there,” Burnic said.

Burnic said he knew Zeljko Grbic from before the war, and that Ure and Rade Grujcic were his neighbours.

“Dragan Mrdja told father and my neighbor, Elvedin, to go towards the butcher shop,” Burnic said.

Burnic said Uros Grujcic told him to stay behind and unlock his grandmother’s home. He said Uros Grujcic and a man called Ridjo entered his grandmother’s home and found an axe.

Burnic said that on the same day he saw fire coming from the Bacic family home. He said his brother told him that some people had been killed.

Several days after his father had been taken away, Burnic said his mother asked Rade Grujcic about his father. He said Grujcic told his mother that he was in the Trnopolje detention camp with the Sijecic family. His father’s remains were found after the war in the Tomasica mass grave.

The defense asked Burnic why he failed to mention Zeljko and Radovan Grbic in statements he had given during the investigation phase of the case. Burnic said he had forgotten.

A former reserve police officer named Zeljko Babic also testified at today’s hearing. Babic said he participated in the search of Zecovi in 1992. He said he didn’t see any bodies and didn’t find any weapons.

The trial resumes on November 13.
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