Jezik / Language:
10 December 2015

Witness Describes Hearing Trovrh Prisoners Beaten in Gorazde

Lamija Grebo BIRN BiH Sarajevo

An Eastern Sarajevo district prosecution witness testifying at the trial of four former members of the Bosnian Army said she heard detainees being beaten in a police station in Gorazde. She said the detainees had been brought to the police station from Trovrh.

The district prosecution in Eastern Sarajevo has charged Muhamed Adzem, Omer Ugljesa, Senad Halilovic and Suljo Karkelja, former members of the Bosnian Army, with participating in the murder of seven captured members of the Bosnian Serb Army from Trovrh on September 17, 1992.

According to the charges, the detainees were captured on August 21, 1992, and were detained in the municipal secretariat for internal affairs (SUP) in Gorazde. They were allegedly taken to Ladjeva Stijena in the village of Kopaci, where they were killed.

Cantonal prosecution witness Dusanka Pljevancic testified at today’s hearing. Pljevancic said she and others were arrested in Bucje in the municipality of Gorazde and were taken to the secretariat of international affairs (SUP) in Gorazde. She said seven or eight captives from Trovrh were brought there a month later.

“They beat them so hard I had to cover my ears,” Pljevancic said. She said she never met the Trovrh prisoners, but heard them being beaten at night.

She said some of the detainees managed to look at the captives from their cell and recognized some of them.

“They beat them up one night, but they were gone the morning after,” Pljevancic said. She said the prisoners were held there “perhaps for seven or eight days.”

She said the guards mentioned that the captives were from Trovrh.

Two statements given by deceased witness Mujo Celjo were also read at this hearing.

In a statement given in 2012, Mujo Celjo said he was a member of the Kopacki Battalion of the Bosnian Army. He said the “Krug” operation began on or around August 18, 1992. He said the goal of the operation was to liberate the left bank of the Drina river.

He said he was told by soldiers from Trovrh that eight people were captured at that location.

He said in August 1992 he visited a silo where he heard Ratomir Klacar had hung himself. He said he saw his body there.

In his statement Celjo also said he heard the sound of a small truck on the night of September 17 or 18, 1992 in his hometown of Kopaci in the municipality of Gorazde. He said he stood in front of his house to determine the source of the sound.

“I heard a burst of gunfire from the direction of Ladjeva Stijena. I found that strange, because I knew there were no more combat activities in Kopaci,” Celjo said. He said he saw a minivan drive from Ladjeva Stijena towards Kopaci ten or fifteen minutes later.

He said according to rumours in Kopaci “seven Serbs from Trovrh had been brought from Gorazde and killed.”

In a second statement Celjo gave in 2013, he confirmed his previous allegations.

The trial will continue on December 23.

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